Blog

August 3, 2022 10:00AM

Affordable Housing at REdirect

In several areas of the United States and the world, housing prices are at a record high. Many families are struggling to access housing that fits their budget in an appropriate location, and housing costs are eating up a disproportionately large percentage of households’ monthly budgets. 

Federal guidelines state that “affordable housing” is anything that costs less than 30% of a household’s total income. 

Owning and operating affordable housing properties comes with its own set of challenges. That’s why, here at REdirect, we’ve created a suite of offerings specifically geared toward helping businesses meet their affordable housing property management needs, including Property Onboarding, Baseline Imports, Project Setup, Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Ledger Cleanup, Certification and Voucher Corrections, Setup for Repayment Agreements, Setup for Special Claims, and Affordable Waitlist Setup.

Read on to learn all about our affordable housing offerings and how they can help you manage your business, provide your tenants with a great experience, and ensure compliance with all relevant legal and regulatory frameworks. 

Property Onboarding

Our comprehensive property onboarding support ensures that you start off on the right foot with every new property and new tenant. We can add affordable properties to your system, add all the relevant project data, and set up the various financial details required for the smooth running of your property. 

Our Property Onboarding includes:

  • Adding Affordable property, including Property Control setup
  • Setup up property banks
  • Setup of Affordable project data, including income limits, rent limits, set aside rules, and buildings
  • Adding unit types and units
  • Setup of Affordable unit data
  • Importing Affordable tenants and baseline certifications
  • Adding market tenants, including lease charges
  • Adding security deposits on-hand
  • Adding open accounts receivable and prepayments
  • Adding Trial Balances
  • Adding property budgets
  • Validation files to compare onboarded data to legacy system data

Baseline Imports

If you’re just starting out with your affordable housing offering, a series of initial imports can help you get started by prioritizing the essential data first. In this phase, we’ll begin with critical steps such as setting up affordable housing accounts, adding your properties, and importing property baseline files such as tenant and unit data. 

Our Baseline Imports service includes:

  • Setting up affordable accounts
  • Adding the properties
  • Importing property baseline files, including tenant and unit data
  • Completing project setup
  • Completing unit setup, including Affordable unit data

Project Setup

For companies launching their first affordable housing project, our project setup service is a comprehensive way to ensure everything is in place as you prepare for launch. Affordable housing projects can be complex. They are subject to strict rules and may operate under several different remits, such as Section 8/50059, Tax Credit & HOME, Rural Development, or various local programs.

Our Project Setup service includes: 

  • Income Limits Setup
  • Rent Limits Setup
  • Property/Project manager setup
  • Adding program-specific data, including 50059, Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Tax Credit/LIHTC), HOME, Rural Development, and local programs
  • Adding Tax Credit Set-Aside Rules
  • Adding buildings

HAP Ledger Cleanup

Housing Assistance Payment, or HAP, is a form of government financial support for housing. If your affordable housing project has been running for some time or includes many properties and tenants, your HAP ledger may be sprawling and unwieldy. We can work with you to tidy it up and ensure you’re working with clear, accurate, up-to-date data. 

Our HAP Ledger Cleanup service includes:

  • Reviewing tenant ledgers and certifications to identify variances, discrepancies, and incorrect transactions
  • Posting adjusting transactions to tenant HAP and non-HAP ledgers
  • Ensuring tenants have correct active lease charges
  • Correcting tenant certifications and vouchers, as needed
  • Ensuring general ledger balances are correct after tenant adjustments
  • Documenting steps required to complete ledger clean-up

Certification and Voucher Corrections

The Tenant Rental Assistance Certification System (TRACS) is a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) system designed to improve financial controls over assisted housing programs. Owners and managers of HUD-subsidized housing must use TRACS to send certifications and HAP vouchers to relevant administrators and HUD. It is therefore vital to keep your certifications and vouchers within TRACS correct. Our comprehensive certification and voucher corrections system is designed to help you do exactly that. 

Our Certification and Voucher Corrections service includes:

  • Reviewing TRACS error messages and messages from Contract Administrator
  • Reversing tenant voucher and related charges
  • Creating correction certifications
  • Reposting Rent & HAP
  • Submitting certification corrections and new voucher files to Tenant Rental Assistance Certification System (TRACS) via iMax
  • Posting adjusting tenant charges and add new lease charges, as needed
  • Training staff on certification and voucher correction procedures and best practices

Setup for Repayment Agreements 

A repayment agreement occurs when a tenant receiving HAP has been overpaid and must return some of the assistance funds they’ve received. If the tenant cannot repay in a lump sum, a repayment agreement allows them to pay in affordable installments. HUD has strict requirements that govern repayment agreements. 

Should you need to use a repayment agreement, we can help you with every step of the process. 

Our Setup for Repayment Agreement service includes: 

  • Adding tenant and owner/agent repayment agreements
  • Adding expenses for repayment agreements
  • Recording events associated with repayment agreements
  • Printing repayment agreement documents
  • Post repayment agreements
  • Recording receipts for posted tenant-reversal charges

Setup for Special Claims 

When an affordable housing tenant vacates a property, the owner may, in certain circumstances, be able to claim for financial losses as a result. They have 180 days to file the claim when the unit becomes available for occupancy. This is called a Special Claim. 

We can help you with every stage of the Special Claims process, from identifying candidates to creating the claim to generating reports. 

Our Setup for Special Claims service includes: 

  • Creating a special claims resident for properties
  • Identifying candidates for special claims
  • Creating special claims for unpaid rent/damages, rent-up vacancy, regular vacancy, and debt service
  • Posting special claim charges
  • Generating special claims reports

Affordable Waitlist Setup

With the current high demand for affordable housing, many households will be placed on waiting lists for an affordable property. There are strict requirements around how you run your waiting list, depending on whether your affordable housing project falls under HUD 50059, Tax Credit/LIHTC, Rural Development, or HOME properties.

Our experts can help you set up, manage, and maintain your waiting list to ensure you’re abiding by legislation and giving your tenants and prospective tenants the best possible service. 

Our Affordable Housing Waitlist service includes:

  • Setting up Affordable Housing waiting lists for HUD 50059, Tax Credit/LIHTC, Rural Development, and HOME properties 
  • Setting up waiting list preferences and assigning preference priorities
  • Opening affordable waiting lists
  • Adding prospects and residents to Affordable Housing waiting lists
  • Reviewing and editing household waiting list information
  • Documenting waiting list events
  • Printing waiting list forms and documents, postcards, and address labels
  • Reviewing waiting lists and selecting households from waiting lists

Learn More and Get Started 

As you can see, there are many moving parts when it comes to setting up, running, and operating an affordable housing project. However, it is also a highly in-demand and growing area of the real estate market. 

Our team of experienced professionals is here to help you with every stage of the process. Get in touch today for a no-obligation discussion of your needs and to learn more about how we can work together. 

We look forward to working with you!

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Jacinta Gray
About the Author

Jacinta Gray

Jacinta has over 30 years of experience in the mortgage banking and property management industries, including expertise in finance, accounting, and information technology, previously working at Price Waterhouse, Fannie Mae, and Yardi Systems. At Yardi Systems, Jacinta was a Technical Account Manager, providing excellent customer support, …