Affordable Senior Apartments: Income Guidelines Apply vs. Variable Pricing Structure

Senior apartment communities who use the wording ‘Income Guidelines Apply’ are apartments priced to fit most budgets of older adults on fixed incomes. In exchange, all or a portion of the apartments are set aside for low- or fixed-income tenants. Your eligible income and your rent will be based on the average income for the area where you live.

Many Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) properties are operated as 55+ or 62+ communities, or senior apartments.

Income Guidelines apply to affordable housing which can vary from 30 – 40 -50 – 60% of the area median income in the specific city in which to property is built. You need to determine which property, and then that city has its federally established guidelines, for which your monthly income cannot exceed a certain amount based on Household of 1 person or 2 persons or 3 persons.

If you see the wording “Variable Pricing Structure” it simply means the community offers BOTH affordable housing and market rate apartments located on the same property. Market Rate units have no maximum income guidelines, and usually have upgrades (marble counter, upgraded sinks, tubs, hardware etc..) Be sure to check with the property you’re considering as they can give you the specific guidelines for “affordable” or determine if market rate is your best option.

Qualifying Requirements for Developers

To qualify for Texas tax credit apartments, the proposed development must involve new construction or substantial rehabilitation of existing residential units (at least $12,000/unit in direct hard costs). The amount of tax credits that may be applied for depends on: the amount and type of additional funding sources, the total amount of qualified development costs to be incurred, the percentage of rent restricted units set aside in the development for eligible tenants, and location in communities designated as Difficult Development Areas and Qualified Census Tracts.

Each qualified tax credit development must include a minimum percentage of rent restricted units to be set aside for eligible tenants. Pursuant to the Code, a qualified housing development means any development approved by the Department for residential rental occupancy if the development meets either of the following requirements:

Red arrow Twenty percent (20%) or more of the residential units in such development are both rent restricted and occupied by individuals whose income is fifty percent (50%) or less AMFI;

Red arrow Forty percent (40%) or more of the residential units in such development are both rent restricted and occupied by individuals whose income is sixty percent (60%) or less of AMFI.

Texas tax credit apartments may only be claimed on the units that have been set-aside for participation under this program. It is possible, but not required, for development owners to set aside one-hundred percent (100%) of any development for consideration under the tax credit program and in doing so claim the maximum amount of tax credits eligible for the development. 

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