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Know Your Rights » » Low Income Housing » Subsidized Housing & Section 8

Tax Credit Properties

1) Program Overview

The Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program provides housing for low- to moderate-income renters in exchange for tax credits for the developers. The LIHTC program is overseen by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission.

2) Waiting List and Application Process

Individual tax credit buildings maintain waiting lists and wait times vary depending on the building and the area. Individuals are screened by property ownership and management. IRS regulations specify that projects financed through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program are not required to collect social security numbers from potential residents. However, LIHTC projects still ask for social security numbers on applications and use them to determine applicants’ financial eligibility and suitability as tenants. Equivalent identification would be a Work Visa, Alien Registration Receipt Card, Temporary Resident Card, IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), or Employment Authorization Card. Failure on the part of applicants to provide social security numbers or equivalent identification could hinder or delay an LIHTC property’s ability to review their applications for housing. For more information on tenant screening, see Housing Search.

3) Tax Credit Eviction

Tenants living in tax credit buildings have good cause eviction protection statewide. LIHTC owners are prohibited from evicting residents or refusing to renew leases or rental agreements, other than for good cause. The termination notice must state good cause, and may include either a serious or repeated violation of the lease, crime or drug related activity, or failure to vacate following a condition that leaves the unit uninhabitable. Good cause is not defined clearly enough in tax credit policy, and is determined on a case-by-case basis. The notice of termination or non-renewal of lease must include a list of the specific good cause reasons for the action. The tenant has the right to raise good cause eviction protection in court as a defense against an eviction if they believe they were evicted for non-good cause reasons. See Eviction Process and speak to an attorney for more information.