General property management is difficult enough, yet adding in the special requirements and restrictions of operating Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or similar facilities only makes it harder. With the laws around affordable and subsidized housing changing year to year, it’s important to have software in order to remain ahead of new regulations.
Affordable housing software is a specific property management solution designed for those operating Housing and Urban Development (HUD) compliant residential buildings or other government subsidized residences. This sort of housing is intended for qualifying tenants, mainly individuals and families who are:
Affordable housing software makes it easier to manage both the tenants and properties through process automation. This software includes tools for collecting rent, handling proper maintenance, and generating account reports. These main features are designed for both independent landlords and property management companies working with affordable housing locations.
Note: The affordable housing software products here are primarily aimed at helping property managers and landlords within the United States. However, some products are usable for international housing services.
Utilizing an affordable housing software can provide your organization with many long-term benefits for property managers, landlords, and real estate agencies with residential portfolios:
Affordable housing programs, particularly those aimed at low-income individuals, have very strict qualifiers for potential tenants. As a result, landlords, leasing offices, and managers are limited in how high they can set the rent on any particular unit. Unlike the rates at other residential properties, annual cost-of-living increases have to be carefully considered before raising monthly payments in order to remain compliant with government regulations on Fair Market Rents (FMRs). Fortunately, affordable housing software helps track rent cap rules and calculate the right rates for your tenants.
Next, there are many federal and state funding programs you may be eligible for using. Some programs have to be used by the tenants themselves, while others require the paperwork from the landlord or property management. Software can also help you follow guidelines set by these funding programs, such as:
With so many different organizations with their own rules and procedures, it’s important to utilize software in order to streamline the subsidy process as much as possible. Otherwise, you might not accurately balance what is paid by the tenant with what is owed by the government. Affordable housing software organizes the information from the varying workflows so you can focus on applying for tax credits and assistance without spending days or weeks worrying about paperwork.
Running any affordable housing program means addressing a lot of legal requirements and safety standards. And the exact type of housing you offer will determine what is and isn’t allowed. For example, there are a lot of differences between running an apartment complex for low-income families compared to selling homes meant for individuals with disabilities. The former will likely require rules about how many people can be housed in a single unit while the latter must meet accessibility requirements set by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Housing types include:
Since there are varying types of public housing options out there, there are many different state and federal organizations dedicated to helping provide affordable housing to residents across the United States in each of these categories. Just a few of these include:
The rules set forth by each agency are designed to ensure they help the individuals and families who need it most. For instance, tenants applying for low-income housing will need to undergo Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) in order to officially qualify.
Since there are limitations on who can rent or buy affordable housing, you need to find qualified tenants before any transactions can take place. Depending on what sort of affordable housing you offer, the requirements can vary. Some tenants may need to prove their low-income status or verify their employment status before their applications can be processed. Certain programs also limit funding based on other factors ranging from family size to building location.
If your facilities are full, generate a waitlist of eligible tenants to contact as soon as there are new vacancies. Keeping tabs on potential applicants from HUD-approved housing counselors or agencies can drastically cut down on time spent trying to fill openings in the future.
Affordable housing rules and regulations are constantly evolving in order to help more people. Some of the latest trends in this area of residential property management software include:
What led to these changes? Some have been caused by:
Others are simply the result of evolving technology influencing every industry. Whatever the cause of the latest trends, adapt with comprehensive affordable housing software.