Sort Through 65 Income Based Apartments With No Waiting List in Austin

Austin has seen massive growth and rising housing costs in recent years, making it difficult for many to find affordable rentals. However, the City of Austin’s SMART (Safe, Mixed-income, Accessible, Reasonably-priced, Transit-oriented) Housing program aims to change that by subsidizing units in certain apartment communities based on income limits. This allows eligible renters to pay reduced rents in desirable locations without long waitlists.

Understanding Austin’s SMART Housing Program

The SMART Housing program partners with apartment owners across Austin to set aside units with discounted rents for those meeting income thresholds set by the City. Limits vary from 30% to 80% of the city’s Median Family Income (MFI) based on household size, ranging from 1-8 person households. So whether you are a single individual or have a large family, SMART communities have units to accommodate different needs. In general, most communities require you make 60% or lower to qualify for SMART units at qualifying properties throughout Austin. Reviewing the image below some examples are as follows:

Example: Community #1 Required 60% MFI

  • Single Individual
  • Gross income is 48,000
  • Qualified 🙂

Example: Communit #2 Required 70% MFI

  • Married Couple (2 person household)
  • Gross income is 75,000
  • Disqualified 🙁

Example: Communit #3 Required 100% MFI

  • Family (3 person househould)
  • Gross income is $121,000
  • Qualified 🙂

Rents are generally below market rate oftentimes near 20-30% which can equate to $400-700 less per month. This makes SMART apartments enticing for those struggling to keep up with Austin’s soaring housing prices. Keep in mind though you’ll need to provide documenation to with paycheck stubs to qualify. There are no additional qualifications besides those at the apartment community which often still requies you meet credit score and background history requirements regardless of your income.

If you don’t know what market rate rents are for a particular area, get your free rent analysis today!

Click Here to Learn More

Why SMART Units Have No Waitlists

Unlike other income based housing programs, SMART units do not have long waitlists because they are on a first come first serve basis. If you make more than the MFI, you can’t qualify. Interested renters can work directly with participating apartment communities once their eligibility is confirmed directly through the apartment and as long as you meet the income thresholds and other basic criteria for credit and background history showing no criminal violations, evictions, broken leases etc, you can start the application to get approved right away.

This lack of a waitlist makes SMART housing highly desirable for those that meet income eligibility guidelines, especially when wait times for other income based housing like public housing or housing vouchers can take months or even years. It’s a fantastic alternative to communities that are regarded as “Affordable Housing” options which may traditionally not be as new or offer as nice as amenities as those complexes that are enrolled with the City’s SMART housing program. The ability to move into an affordable apartment quickly is invaluable option for first time renters, recent graduates and individuals who cannot meet a 3x income requirement at market rate rent.

Work With An Apartment LocatorAustin!

Attempting to research all SMART participating apartments on your own can be an arduous process. With over 65 apartment communities in the program, narrowing down the ones meeting your needs in terms of location, size, budget, and amenities is challenging.

This is where working with an Austin apartment locator familiar with the SMART program can save you valuable time and effort. They will discuss your specific situation, preferred areas, budget parameters and other needs. They can then pinpoint 3-5 communities aligned with your goals that you can explore further so long as their units are available for your move-in timeline.

Rather than spending 35+ hours calling various leasing offices and combing through websites, you let the locator do the heavy lifting. Your local expert will provide detailed overviews of each property with rent ranges, floorplans, features, and more. Once you decide on a few that sound like a great fit, we’ll schedule the tours so you can visit each property and review the building, grounds, property amenities and individual unit amenities. This service is unique to renters that want to take advantage of all the benefits we provdie while also allowing you to compare and make the best decision based on your lifestyle and individual circumstances.

Top Things To Know About SMART Housing

If exploring SMART housing for your next apartment rental in Austin, keep these key things in mind:

  1. Income Verification Is Required – To qualify for SMART housing, you must go through an income verification process with the apartment community at which you apply. This involves providing recent pay stubs, tax returns, and other documents to confirm you fall below the set income thresholds. Income limits adjust yearly based on the City’s MFI.
  2. Credit & Rental Requirements Still Apply – While discounted from market rents, SMART units are not guaranteed. You still must meet standard credit and rental requirements to qualify and pass application screening. Requirements vary by apartment community because each property management company has a different set of criteria but it’s safe to say they generally require fair credit, solid rental history, no recent bankruptcies, evictions, broken leases or felonies etc.
  3. Units Are Mixed Within The Community – SMART units are not separate from market-rate units. They are interspersed throughout the apartment community so you won’t be living next to people in the same income bracket as you. This facilitates economic diversity among residents and ensures those enrolled with SMART are not segregated as a class of renters. Aside from paying lower rent, SMART renters receive no differences in unit condition, amenities or services.
  4. Waiting Lists Can Occur – If a particular SMART unit meeting your needs already has an approved applicant, you may have to join a small property wait list assuming you’re still interested and it meets your timlines for moving there. In our experience, these apartments tend to move quickly as renters secure other housing. This differs greatly from public housing waitlists spanning months or years based on availability.

Finding Your Next Income Based Apartment

The City of Austin’s forward-thinking SMART Housing program makes finding reduced rent apartments easier than ever. If eligible based on income thresholds, you can avoid long waitlists and access discounted units in desirable communities across the city.

Partnering with an apartment locator intimately familiar with the program can further simplify your search! Within days, you can find the perfect community meeting your specific needs, budget, location preferences and lifestyle plus if your SMART housing unit qualifies, you may even take advantage of their move-in special.

Looking for Austin’s SMART Income Based Apartments? Call Ross, the Locator Boss to Discuss Options at 512-320-4599 Today!

Ross Quade

Austin Realtor and Apartment Expert