The Low Down on Low Income Housing Tax Credit Buildings

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Here’s a small selection of our favorite tax credit properties from around the country. These properties are sometimes called “income restricted” buildings. These kind of buildings come in a very wide range. Some are nice, clean and safe, while others are not.

These kind of buildings can be a great match for people with housing vouchers because they all accept vouchers. If you don’t have a voucher, you can still move in, but rent will be higher. (Still cheaper than the open market though).

What’s a Tax Credit Building?

Low Income Housing Tax Credit properties are buildings owned and built by private landlords. These landlords received extra funding to help build their buildings using a bizarre, complex and confusing formula which involved buying and selling tax credits.

In exchange for this extra funding, the landlords agreed to make some or all of their apartments “Affordable.” Rents are calculated using a formula so bizarre, complex and confusing we don’t even know what it’s called.

Where to Find Buildings

  • On the HUD map, all purple circles are tax credit buildings. Some orange and dark green circles are tax credit properties as well.
  • Many are also listed on Affordable Housing Online Directory
  • If you are up for a challenge, here’s where you can access the LIHTC Database
  • Pro tip: If you see a senior or elderly building, it’s worth calling or writing and asking if they accept younger households if someone is disabled.

I’m Low Income! That’s Good! Right?

Sort of. Low Income Housing Tax Credit buildings are a bit irritating because (ironically) they do not allow actual allow low income people to live there.

Most of these buildings have minimum income levels, and if you are too poor and don’t have a voucher, they won’t even let you apply! These buildings are a good match for:

  • People with mid income
  • People with mid-low income
  • People with low income who have housing vouchers

This is Affordable Housing! That’s Good! Right?

Sort of. These buildings are somewhat cheaper than what you might rent on the open market. However, if you do not have a voucher, some of these buildings are not that affordable.

Some of these properties have complicated rent and income charts based on number of people in your house, number of bedrooms, and your income level compared to the average income level in the area. You can ask them for information on exactly how much your rent would be.

Using Gift Income

If you are just below the minimum income level, but really want to move in, most buildings will allow you to use “gift income” to make up the difference.

Example: Tulip and Orchid live together and have combined income of $3,000 per month. For two people in two bedrooms, the building has a minimum income of $3,050. Tulips mom agrees to give her a gift of $51 per month and writes and signs a letter stating this. Tulip includes the gift income on her application, allowing her to qualify.

Gift income is a bit tricky, because any gift you receive may also affect other benefits (food stamps, medicaid, vouchers, etc). If you first became disabled before age 26, you may be able to receive the gift into an ABLE account, which will not impact other programs.

Tip for People with Vouchers

Some of these properties require that you have a minimum amount of income. Don’t be scared off if you see this. They may have completely different rules for people with vouchers. Ask!

Also, you can list the value of your voucher as part of your “income.“ So if your voucher is worth $1000, you would list on your application that you had an additional $1000 in monthly income from the housing voucher.

If those things don’t work, you may still have some other options for still getting approved. Take a look here: How I Got Around Landlord Requirements for Income 3x Rent

A Lot of Things You Want to Know

Learn a whole lot more about these types of buildings in: The Guide to Life in “Low Income” Buildings


If someone in household is disabled:

How to Contact

More Pics!

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Thanks for Reading

🌷 This page is part of the free online guide: The Sleepy Girl Affordable Housing Survival Guide

🌷 Facebook Group:  HUD and Section 8 for People with Disabilities (and family)

🌷 Art on this page by Robin Mead and Elizabeth D’Angelo.

🌷 If you found this page helpful, please share it with others by pressing one of these magic little buttons: 

8 thoughts on “The Low Down on Low Income Housing Tax Credit Buildings”

  1. Thanks for the info. I’ve been homeless for the last couple of years while waiting for housing but the lists having waiting lists here of 5 to 10 years and I cannot live in shelters with my disabilities/illnesses. I keep being told I am.not eligible for emergency housing assistance because I do not have children.

    I’m trying to find a LITC property somewhere who will take me. I am on disability and not meeting requirements for 3 to 5 times rent and do not have a cosigner.

    How do I get a housing voucher asap? Is it different in every state? Who do I need o contact because so far I have called the numbers in my state (s) and have not gotten anywhere.

    Do you have to apply for a LITC apartment and then get the housing voucher through that property or do you need to get a housing voucher first in the state you want to move to and then apply for the apartment? What about if you are moving out of state? Do you contact the state you want to move to first for housing voucher or find the apartment first? Is there any info on this site regarding this I can refer to?

    Thank you


  2. Hello again –
    The Portside Apartments property in Maine you showcase in the Low Income Tax Credit Buildings slideshow appears to be outdated information. I did not find it in the LIHTC Database searching the entire state. A quick [but admittedly less extensive] search at didn’t have it either. Could you please update us about this property? Thank you.


    1. I’m not sure where you were looking. We do not include the names or details of specific properties in the slideshow. This slideshow is just an example of types of properties available.


      1. Hi – I was looking at properties in the 2nd slideshow on this page [ ie. Low Down on Low Income Housing Tax Credit Buildings]. All properties list the state they are located in. The one I’m talking about says it’s in Maine and it shows a sign in front of the building with the name of the property. That’s how I know the name. Anyway, like I said the name doesn’t come up with any of the search tools I used, not even with Google. It may not exist anymore.


  3. Hi – The sample LIHTC properties showcased at the website look great. Have you also created a list with the names and addresses so we can make inquiries? I did try clicking on the images but that didn’t provide any information. [I am especially interested in the property in Maine. I can read the name on the sign in the photo but cannot find it when I do a search for it]. Thanks.


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