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Buyer's Guide

by Taylor Short,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: March 15, 2017

Property managers who lease to people under Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Housing Choice Voucher programs have additional needs above and beyond those typical of most rental properties. In addition to the normal tenant and lease administration features, managers in the affordable housing sector must manage tenant compliance with HUD requirements.

Common Features of Affordable and Public Housing Software
Benefits of Affordable and Public Housing Software

Common Features of Affordable and Public Housing Software

Funding programs Including Section 8 and Section 236, there are several affordable housing options. So, it’s a good idea to select a program that has the specific program(s) you need. Some programs offer support for layered funding, allowing the user to manage multiple programs simultaneously.
EIV integration Effectively managing the different funding programs means making it easy for users to establish compliance with the current HUD, TRACS, Rural Development and other regulatory standards. Integration with the Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) System and the PIH Information Management System allows the housing agencies to submit information automatically to HUD, drastically reducing the time spent on managing paperwork and bureaucracy.
Audit trail With government reimbursements on the line, it’s extra critical to maintain a trail of voucher and certification reporting to ensure that no valuable information is lost.

Benefits of Affordable and Public Housing Software

Here are some of the commonly known benefits of using this software:

Quick and easy tenant and lease tracking: Providers of affordable and public housing deal with a number of tenants and have to manage all their documentation, such as IDs, rent agreements, contracts and other lease documents, as well. An affordable and public housing solution allows property owners to store tenant-related details and lease documentation in a central location, whether it is on-premise or in the cloud. Some solutions also offer email and text messaging features to communicate with tenants, owners and vendors using the software. It also sends automated reminders so that owners stay updated if their leases are about to expire.

Set building maintenance reminders: Property owners are required to undertake maintenance in between tenant move-outs. They also need to perform seasonal maintenance jobs, such as fixture repairs and cleaning, as part of the property upkeep. This becomes a huge challenge for an owner or property manager who has a large number of housing units to track and maintain.

Housing management software allows users to record their maintenance tasks in a single location. It also helps manage the work orders of the maintenance staff. Users can view all the properties that require maintenance and allocate resources as per requirement. The software also sends automated reminders if the maintenance tasks haven’t been completed by the due date.

Ensure accurate property accounting: Businesses need accurate accounting reports to make decisions and measure their performance. These reports include general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, sales tax and employee payroll. Owners who manage multiple properties often find it challenging to maintain all the rent receipts, maintenance costs, asset costs and employee payroll that are needed to prepare accurate reports.

Housing management software allows businesses to store all this information in the company database. With real-time availability of rent and expense information, users can create accurate reports by exporting data from the database. Some of the products in the market also offer integrated accounting, which further eases the process of accounting. These systems can directly pull data from the company database and use that to prepare standard accounting reports.

Automatic rent tracking: Property managers managing multiple properties need to track rent from different sources. More often than not, tenants request to be shifted from one property to another. In this case, matching the correct rent information and contracts for different apartments becomes a challenge. Property managers who do not use a housing management system face the risk of delayed or no rent payments, which can ultimately result in revenue loss.

A housing management solution helps property managers maintain records of all the tenants and their rent information in a single location. Many housing management products can send automatic reminder texts and emails to tenants with their rent amount and due date. In case of payment delays, the software can also calculate late payment fees and send notification to owners. HUD property managers can benefit from the Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) voucher functionality, which enables users to accurately calculate rent based on the subsidies under Section 8 of the Tenant-Based Assistance Housing Choice Voucher Program.

Ease of online payments: This functionality is gaining popularity in the market as more and more tenants are moving from paper checks to online rent payments. Without an online payments system in place, it becomes a hassle to manage online transactions from different tenants in differing amounts. A housing management software solution allows property managers to create payment portals that have online and card payment functionalities. Tenants can log in to their profiles and make online payments. The payment information is available with the property owners and enables them to track the tenants who have defaulted on their rent payments.

Housing scheme management: Some software in the market allow users to manage tenants under multiple housing schemes, such as section 8 and section 236. This functionality enables users to submit all the required documentation, such as leases, mail merged letters and blank verification forms, online. The software also checks if the tenant details are compliant with HUD regulations and calculates the applicable vouchers for rent reimbursements. The software also calculates rent based on the applicable vouchers and submits the voucher information back to the government authority.

Compliance management: Affordable and public housing property owners need to manage plenty of compliances and government regulations. These documents include background check, IDs, leases, contracts and rent agreements. In addition, the affordable and public housing companies also need to manage HUD documentation and housing scheme documentation (such as section 8 and section 236 forms). All these documents are required at the time of inspections and to create audit trails. A housing management solution provides an easy way to store all the documentation in a single location. Property managers only need to scan these documents and upload them so that they can be accessed later at any time.

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