The Application – 10 Helpful Hints

It is important to remember that no two households are the same; every application presents its own challenges.  However, all households are seeking quality affordable housing. The application is the foundation for the certification process; it contains all the information necessary to determine LIHTC eligibility and can serve as a back-up affidavit if necessary.

Remember:

  1. Applications, verifications, and certifications must be no more than 120 days old as of the certification effective date.
  2. Every question/field on the application must be answered; even if the answer is “no.” Nothing can be assumed in this business; a blank does not mean “no.” If a household does not have a certain type of income or asset, they must answer “none” or “no” or “n/a” on the application. An incomplete application could result in noncompliance.
  3. Never modify a verification or application. Always use a separate sheet to document clarifications.  Never use white-out. If an applicant has used white-out, instruct them to initial the changes and document the reason on a separate page.
  4. The LIHTC program income calculations include all anticipated income for the 12 months following move-in. Any possible changes in income and household composition must be reported during the application process.
  5. If an applicant requires assistance completing the application, you must document this in writing. An affidavit stating why assistance was required (i.e. language barrier) and who provided the assistance must be included in the file and signed by the applicant(s).
  6. Check for variations in ink and handwriting on the application.  Spectrum will question this, so ask the applicants(s) about variations and document the explanation(s) in writing.
  7. Changes on the application should also be explained in writing.  Applications containing white-out should be re-done by the applicant with an attached explanation.
  8. Relationships should be clearly defined (i.e. instruct applicants to use “son,” “niece,” “step-child,” etc. instead of “child”).
  9. Unborn children are considered household members and should be included on the application.
  10. Check for consistent answers. Any inconsistencies should be explained in writing.

Apply logic to each household’s situation.  If things on the application just don’t seem to add up, ask more questions and document the answers. Don’t rent to a household until you can get clear and complete answers to your questions!

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