Affordable Housing Property Management Software in 2024

For landlords who offer affordable housing, the burden of government red tape is often compounded by the ongoing management of their properties. However, tools can alleviate some stress. Affordable housing property management software streamlines management tasks and provides a sense of control in an otherwise complex environment.

These tools can be a game-changer, especially for Section 8 landlords, who often operate on thinner margins than those who don’t utilize government housing assistance. By efficiently managing tasks, landlords can feel more secure and confident.

As demand for affordable housing grows nationwide, property management software helps landlords get more done faster through automation. By automating and streamlining repetitive tasks, landlords move residents in quicker and improve tenant satisfaction. 

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Understanding Affordable Housing

Affordable housing comes with a range of challenges, but landlords should also be aware of a number of benefits. Regarding challenges, landlords and property managers deal with strict regulations that affect everything from rental pricing to maintenance standards. 

These regulations create higher levels of complexity compared to regular market-rate units. Because affordable housing is in such high demand, managing waitlists and filtering through large application pools makes tenant selection difficult. 

On the plus side, landlords who invest in real estate and use it as affordable housing know that a government subsidy will cover at least 60% to 70% of the rent. So, even if the tenant can’t uphold their obligations, the landlord won’t be out the entire monthly rent. 

Essential Features of Affordable Housing Property Management Software

Choosing a software solution is essentially picking a suite of features that can help you accomplish your specific goals. 

Let’s take a deeper look at the essential features landlords will need to consider when making their selection. 

Streamlined Tenant Screening

With waitlists sometimes years long, the demand for affordable housing will only ease when contractors build more houses. If you’re accepted to provide government-assisted housing, you’ll have a wide selection of tenants to choose from.

But if you can’t screen tenants quickly and manage their reports easily, you’ll fall behind and risk losing quality tenants. 

With that in mind, choose affordable property management housing software that streamlines tenant screening procedures and keeps all prospective tenants in a single, easy-to-manage location.

Efficient Rent Collection

Because affordable housing landlords will accept rent from at least two sources — the tenant and the Public Housing Authority (which pays out Section 8 funds) — properly allocating each party’s rental obligation adds another complication. 

Rent collection software that enables landlords to charge renters their share while allowing them to pay via various options, including ACH, debit, and credit cards, helps simplify the process. Accounting for the subsidy keeps all financial records accurate while smoothing the rent collection process. 

Compliance Tracking

Managing extensive waitlists and verifying tenant information can be time-consuming for larger affordable housing providers. Compliance with programs like the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit via a software solution eliminates manual tasks. It frees up time for maintenance or another essential facet of affordable housing management. 

For smaller landlords, software solutions that provide this functionality might prove cost-prohibitive, so choosing solutions that can provide streamlined access to critical functionality like rent collection, maintenance management, and property advertising may be the way to go. 

Maintenance Management

Depending on the housing authority you work with, you’ll have different inspection timelines and requirements. 

The best way to ensure the comfort and safety of your tenants is to utilize maintenance request management with built-in communication tools to help you create a clear line of communication between you and your tenants while ensuring the work gets done promptly. 

Document Management

When you rent to tenants who use public housing vouchers, you’ll have more paperwork to keep track of than when you rent to non-regulated rentals. 

To help you keep track of it all, property management software for affordable housing provides landlords with secure data storage options to keep everything in line and easy to find. 

Rather than fumble through reams of paper, software solutions keep everything you need to reference, like applications and screening reports, in an easy-to-find, centralized location.

Top Affordable Housing Property Management Software Providers in 2024

The best affordable housing software will depend on the number of units you manage, your compliance needs, and your budget. Let’s examine the best options. 

Yardi Breeze — Best for Large Portfolios

If you’re a property management company servicing huge affordable housing complexes, Yardi provides a number of services that can help make your management duties easier. 

Yardi offers:

  • Rent Collection
  • Maintenance Management
  • Accounting
  • Centralized Communication
  • Renters Insurance
  • Compliance tools for managing Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, HUD 50059, Tenant Rental Assistance Certification System (TRACS), and Management Interactive Network Communication (MINC) documents

There is much more to Yardi than compliance, and their solution is robust. But that power comes with a cost. 

Landlords and property managers must pay $400 monthly (billed annually). To gain access to tenant screening, verification services, and additional functionality, you’ll need to add to the initial $400 monthly cost. 

The add-on service prices aren’t listed, so you’ll need to call the company directly. 

Appfolio — Best for Large Multi-Use Portfolios

Appfolio’s solution provides many options for managers with a diverse portfolio of investment properties. Users can manage single-family, multifamily, community, and community associations in its base tier from a single platform. 

However, you must upgrade to its “Plus” tier to access affordable housing functionality. 

In the “Plus” tier, landlords and property managers get the critical functionality of the starting-level “Core” tier, which includes:

  • Marketing and leasing management
  • Work order management
  • Inspections
  • Purchase orders and tracking
  • Portals, mobile apps, and communication features
  • Online payments
  • Screening and verification

Landlords must pay at least $298 monthly, with a minimum of 50 units for those features. Each unit is $1.49 to manage. However, you’ll pay $3.20 monthly to access affordable housing functionality, and the minimum monthly spend isn’t listed. 

Contact Appfolio to determine pricing for your specific needs. 

RealPage OneSite Affordable — Best for Pure Compliance Needs

For landlords whose most significant concern is compliance, consider RealPage OneSite Affordable. If you’ve figured out the nuts and bolts of property management but need help with compliance, RealPage offers a number of features that can help you reach your goals. 

You’ll find:

  • Waitlist, certification, and resident management
  • Document storage
  • Rent payment services
  • Accounting, reporting, and processing functionality
  • On-the-go facility management

With OneSite Affordable, critical features like lease generation, maintenance management, tenant screening, and rental applications are not included in the $1.75 per unit/month listed price. 

Plus, you can’t just buy the software outright. You’ll need to schedule a demo to get further details. 

How TurboTenant Meets Affordable Housing Needs

Unlike the previously mentioned affordable housing property management software, TurboTenant is entirely free. This price point can help smaller landlords who manage affordable housing units boost their bottom lines in tight affordable housing markets. 

With TurboTenant, affordable housing providers gain access to critical functionality like:

Plus, when you upgrade to Premium, landlords gain income verification, reduced screening fees, and custom prescreening questions, among several additional features. Compared to some other options, TurboTenant offers a lot for very little. 

Remember that TurboTenant doesn’t offer the compliance functionality you’ll find elsewhere. But you’re also not paying the nearly $5,000 a year that you would with Yardi. Sign up for a free TurboTenant account and start managing your properties easier than ever before. 

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