The Section 8 Housing Program offers financial assistance to access low-cost housing, sometimes referred to as the housing choice voucher program.
According to the latest figures, about 2.2 million households by low-income earners receive subsidized rent through the section 8 housing choice voucher program.
Since the government takes care of a large chunk of rent payment, the section 8 multifamily subsidized housing program has a massive advantage over traditional rental contracts. We examine how a shrewd property owner can tap into the program and build wealth.
What is the Section 8 Program?
Under the program, the government pays a percentage of the tenant’s rent directly to section 8 landlord whose property is in the listing.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Management (HUD) funds the program by paying, on average, 70% of a section 8 tenant’s rent and utility bills.
A family must typically earn under 50% of the median income in a given area to qualify for HUD Section 8 relief.
Section 8 Multifamily Home Ownership
Homeownership and maintenance under the program can involve financial support from the HUD. The owners can also access conditional government subsidies when renovating, building new homes, or putting up properties for a mortgage.
The homeowner must set aside units to house the low-income American population under the section 8 housing list.
Section 8 landlord application can be lengthy and costly, involving a lot of paperwork, a waiting period, and property inspection. It can take up to 5 months to get approval.
Multifamily homes are properties with up to4 units, and still qualify as a single residence from lending standards. These can be townhouses, duplexes, triplexes, or apartments with up to four units. Five units and above are multifamily, but usually require a commercial mortgage.
Most multifamily dwelling property owners rent them out to residents. They are great for generating a higher monthly rental income with lower maintenance costs, so you can rely on property to build wealth over time.
Vouchers under the Section 8 Housing Program
Section 8 includes two types of vouchers for the tenants– The Housing Choice Voucher Program and the Project-Based Voucher.
The Housing Choice Voucher program allows tenants to choose any unit within the section 8 program.
The Project-Based Voucher ensures that the federal rental assistance stays within the selected housing unit and is often more profitable for the owner.
Advantages of Section 8 Multifamily Home Ownership
1. Easy Bank Financing
For real estate investors with a record of handling rental assets, the bank can use the projected rental income from the units to finance down payment programs for multifamily homeownership.
2. Certaintyof Rental Income
Upon qualifying for the Section 8 program, the HUD agrees with the property owner on the expected rental income, per the Fair Market Rate. The landlord will receive monthly payments from the government, even when there’s a recession.
3. Occasionally Higher Rental Rates
As an incentive, the government often includes an annual 5 to 8% incremental increase on rent payments. The rate could translate to a better deal than what they would get from the open market.
4. Increased Occupancy Rate
Qualified and listed property multifamily homeowners get access to a vast pool of would-be tenants on the waiting list. The list can have 2 million or more Americans at any given time. That means minimal vacancy issues, reducing your marketing budget significantly.
5. Stability of Rental Income
The federal subsidies make multifamily homes in the Section 8 program suitable for long-term tenancy, as the tenants are likely to stay longer in the units.
Building Wealth through section 8 Multifamily Home Ownership
Investing in several multifamily homes is a remarkable way to achieve long-term cumulative wealth. Here are some tips to consider when investing in section 8 multifamily homeownership:
a) Choose and manage tenants wisely
While renting out the multifamily units under Section 8, you pay off your mortgage from the tenants’ rent. Hence, liabilities go down, while in almost every instance, the property’s value goes up.
In this case, there comes a time when the mortgage is zero, and the income is primarily profit. Therefore, you can obtain more multifamily property, which you can scale to millions of dollars in wealth.
b) Ready Investors
The multifamily concept is more investor friendly as compared to single-family units. In this case, when you need financing, you bring the deal to the table while investors bring the money on board. Later, the profits get split as agreed.
c) House ‘hacking’
When you own a multifamily home, you can live in one of the units while renting out the rest. The tenants’ rent caters to your housing expenses, and you can save up over time.
d) Add more rooms
A sure-fire way to increase your rental income is to follow the BRRRR (buy, renovate, rent, refinance, repeat) strategy. Additionally, it would be best if you thought about increasing the number of rooms.
There’s a healthy market for multifamily homes with more than four bedrooms, but a chronic shortage for them:
Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Multifamily Properties: Opting In, Opting Out and Remaining Affordable.
For example, a single home will make you $150 in profit per month, but a duplex will rake in $300, while a four-unit multifamily will fetch $600 within the same timeframe.
Scaling up wealth from multifamily units has a longer time horizon, is not entirely problem-free but is assured, especially when listed in the Section 8 program, whereby there is the assurance of monthly government payments.
It gets better over time as you can hire property managers to run it on your behalf, and you can adjust rental prices upwards after periodic renovations.