Like many industries, the real estate market did not escape the devastation of COVID-19. Georgia’s $95 billion real estate industry was hit hard, upsetting stability for investors, entrepreneurs and second-stream income seekers. With economic uncertainty and widespread unemployment as a result of the pandemic, experts predict the recession will have a long-lasting damaging impact on the future of the real estate market. Despite the daunting forecast, one market segment still promises steadiness and a low-risk investment strategy: subsidized rentals in partnership with a local housing authority.
Typical of housing authorities across the nation, Atlanta Housing (AH) pays rent on behalf of low-income, assisted families to property owners of single- and multi-family rental homes. For more than 40 years, AH’s Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) has been a reliable source of income for private-market rental property owners. Currently in Atlanta, nearly 3,000 real estate investors partner with AH to expand the availability of affordable housing while benefiting from this recession-proof stream of income.
Ways to Partner With Atlanta Housing
Backed by funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), AH administers two programs where property owners, real estate investors and developers can earn reliable rental income. Through the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP), commonly referred to as Section 8, owners of properties within Atlanta’s city limits rent their homes to low-income families with a Housing Choice voucher. Families pay a manageable portion of the rent, AH pays the rest. Even when an AH-assisted family experiences financial hardship, the subsidy from AH is adjusted to fill in the gap. In addition to the rent subsidies, the AH HCVP program offers several other benefits to owners, including property protection, leasing incentives and an up-front rent estimate tool. For a complete list of benefits, click here.
HomeFlex, also known as project-based rental assistance (PBRA) supports private real estate developers and property owners who renovate quality mixed-income rental communities to provide affordable housing. AH and the property owner enter into a long-term agreement to provide rental assistance to eligible residents in those HomeFlex units covered by AH’s commitment. The developer or owner applies AH’s goals and policies and administers the program on-site. In many instances, owners use the long-term subsidy commitment to qualify for certain types of additional financing and tax benefits.
Taking Advantage of the Opportunities
In these uncertain times, having reliable income is a challenge for many. An effort to secure multiple streams of income to safeguard against unpredictable financial events is certainly wise. Consider partnering with AH as a proven pathway to recession-proof income. With a significant shortage of housing options for low-income hard-working families, and the disabled and elderly, there is opportunity for partnerships that provide dependable income for property owners and rental units to those in need of affordable housing.
Only properties located within the Atlanta city limits qualify. Existing Atlanta property owners and investors can then submit an online application to the HCVP department. For owners interested in partnering with AH to rent a multi-family property to AH’s HomeFlex program, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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