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Tax Credit and Income-Based Apartments

I'm Rachelle, a.k.a "TheMotleyChick," a lover of eclectic but ordinary people, situations, and topics. I love sharing helpful resources.

Income-based apartment complex in Atlanta, GA

Income-based apartment complex in Atlanta, GA

Tax Credit Apartments

Of all the low-income housing programs, tax credit apartments (or, income-based apartments) are the least hassle. There are no long waiting lists and no lengthy application rituals (like the ones associated with section 8 housing).

The program's goal is affordable housing, and it offers decent (even above average) low-income housing options with below market monthly rental rates.

If you have a job, your credit is fairly decent, and you are looking for a safe and affordable place to live, tax credit apartments should be the first type of affordable housing program you pursue.

How Does the Program Work?

In this income-based apartment program, a contractor is given federal money to build apartment communities.

In exchange for the federal money, the contractor has to agree to build and lease a certain number of units to low-income families at cheaper rental rates than the market rates (normal high rent costs).

Tax credit apartments normally feature amenities aimed at helping low-income families. They may provide after-school kids programs and some apartments host the Summer Lunch Program or Summer Food Program for the kids in their community.


In the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program (or income-based apartments), there are income limits that allow an applicant to pay lower rents.

Just like many other low-income assistance programs - the maximum and minimum income guidelines are set by the federal government, but each region operates within those guidelines according to income averages within their area.

In other words, you have to contact each property to find out if your income will allow you to receive tax credit rental rates in their community. The property managers will look at:

  • Your Income
  • Your Household Size
  • Your Rental History

After you pass the income and household size hurdles, the community will pull your credit to determine if you will be a good tenant - just like any other apartment complex.

If you have a bad rental history or an eviction on your credit report, you probably will not qualify. Click the following link to learn how to get an apartment with an eviction on your credit.

Since the program is a low-income housing program, the lower your income, the more likely it will be that you can participate - within limits.

If you have a very low income, you may not meet minimum guidelines and one of the other housing assistance programs may be a better fit for you.

Common Issues

Most of the apartments in this program are newly constructed communities, so there are generally no gripes about the apartments themselves.

The gripes have to do with the communities. Some (not all) of the apartment complexes are built in neighborhoods that were decaying, but most of them are trying to clean up their act.

Also, some of your neighbors may be less than "charming." No, these are not the projects, but you may have to deal with people who are not used to having nice things. You know how that goes...

The way to get around these issues is to understand that you live inside your own apartment and try not to worry about what other people are doing around you.

If any situation gets out of hand, approach the property management and tell them what is going on - if they do not respond, don't renew your lease and head off to a different complex.

If you are more assertive and proactive, you can pitch the idea of starting a "neighborhood beautification" or "neighborhood watch" program in your community.

Positive Aspects

Some of the positive aspects of tax credit apartments include the following:

  • Decent & Upscale
  • Affordable Rent
  • Activities & Programs for Kids
  • No Waiting Lists

Many of the low-income tax credit apartment complexes are in nice neighborhoods, intermingled with regular upscale apartments, and you would never be able to see any difference between them.

The icing on the cake is the fact that there are no waiting lists, there are usually activities for kids, and best of all, the affordable rent.

In almost every case, the good outweighs the bad here. If you have to live in any form of low-income housing until you get your finances together, tax credit apartments are not a bad deal

How Do I Apply?

Click the link to find a listing of low-income tax credit apartments.

The list includes many of the older complexes that were grandfathered into the program. You have to take your time and do a little bit of "cherry picking" to find the really nice ones and the newer ones.

Good luck!

Is an Eviction Stopping You From Renting a Place?

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Rachelle Williams (author) from Tempe, AZ on May 27, 2019:

Thank You!

Patricia Isbell on May 26, 2019:

So wonderful

Rachelle Williams (author) from Tempe, AZ on October 18, 2018:

Where are you located?

dawn on May 13, 2018:

how do i know if i qualify for low income houses iam 63 have no income still raiseing my son only get food stamps and dont qualifty for ssi old people pay yet

Latoya on March 19, 2018:

Hi I'm on a set income and I'm new to atl how and where would I find income based apartments?

Valerie on August 28, 2017:

Can you explain how I could get an increase when I just moved in 8 months ago?

Riverside county, CA

Caprice on August 03, 2017:

What are some different apartment that allows tax credit

Rachelle Williams (author) from Tempe, AZ on July 13, 2017:

Hi Ashley, in what city do you live?

Rebecca on June 03, 2017:

So if I were to move into a lithc apartment complex would the cost of my rent be based on my income?

Ruth Hayes on September 26, 2016:

If a widowed senior citizen can no longer afford the rent where she lives anymore, someone should seek out her an apartment in an affordable senior complex. They will have to pay a portion of their rent and the utilities are usually included. For instance. some of the rent may be $322 w/ utilities.

Linda montgomery on July 06, 2016:

I'm living in Chicago in a low-income apt been here five years,i would like to relocate to Atlanta GA in a low--income apt having a hard time with this online in need of

Regina Goettel on July 23, 2015:

I have a widowed friend who is on disability social security. She moved into a very nice tax credit apt. approximately 4 years ago. The rent has increased every year. She no longer can afford to live there (social security income does not increase yearly) and has found a friend who is letting her move in with her. This not a move she wanted to make and is making her more than less homeless. Is this price increase allowed by tax credit housing complexes? If so, shouldn't that information be included in the leasing agreement?

Eleorra Hamilton on December 14, 2014:

I need help with finding a tax credit apartment I have a 4 year old daughter in I been on a waiting list for this apartment for almost 3 years now in me in my child need a place of our own now my gmail is

Shanice on December 04, 2014:

I wanted to know if tax credit apartments require your baby ssa card & birth certificate

derrick jones on September 16, 2014:

How do i get a listing of the based on your income or taxed credit apartments

nita on November 11, 2013:

mid pen housing foster city has tax credit apartments all over bay area california

tim miller on April 17, 2013:

how do i find a tax credit complex in fl ? i cant find any websites for that. if you can help my email is

monicamelendez from Salt Lake City on July 19, 2012:

My brother in law runs a tax credit complex and it's seriously great. They are so nice and have a pool. I wish I could live there!