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The California Tax Credit Allocation Committee (TCAC) is pleased to announce that we have re-entered into a contract with Spectrum Enterprises, Inc. to collect HUD tenant data electronically for all tax credit projects in California. This mandate came from the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA). TCAC issued specific guidance on November 23, 2010 advising low income housing tax credit property owners and managers of the requirement. California

For Year 2019

(Updated 01/01/2020)

The data collection applies to households within all LIHTC units in a project as of  December 31, 2019.  

2019 data collection cycle begins on  February 3, 2020  and is due to Spectrum by  April 17, 2020

See the section below entitled ‘Download Software’ to install the Spectrum software on your computer.

If you have the Spectrum software currently installed on your computer you will continue to use it for the 2019 data collection.

Starting February 3, 2020, when your existing installation of the Spectrum software is opened it will be automatically updated to the most current version which is 6.0.5. If your current installation has not been altered in any way then the last report file you worked with will be automatically loaded.

If your software doesn’t automatically update
If your existing installation does not automatically update to version 6.0.5 see the section below entitled ‘Download Software’ to re-install the Spectrum software on your computer.

### Please keep in mind that if you have any existing (.eoy)  database files on your computer they won’t be modified or deleted during the re-installation of the software. ###

If you Manually Enter Data 
It is expected that you will be adding 2019 Tenant data to your existing database report file(s) (.eoy) that were used for the 2018 data collection cycles. If you are no longer able to access your previous report files or they cannot be located anywhere within your organization contact Spectrum support at 517-277-0120 and request that your 2018 report file(s) be made available to you.

If you Enter Data Using XML Importing
If your 2018 (.eoy) database file(s) are not available you have the option to either contact us and request your previously submitted files or you can create new .eoy file(s) and import the new data into them. If you chose to start with a new .eoy file you will need to complete the Property data entry for each property.


2) As in previous years only XML files with a NAHMA version of 4.0 or older are supported. We are not currently supporting version 5.0 or 6.0. The version 4.0 will fully satisfy the requirements for the 2019 data collection cycle.



2016 Updates
New Asian and Pacific Islander racial categories (HUD Mandated)
In accordance with Executive Order 13515, Asian and Pacific Islander racial categories were expanded.
The categories now include:
1 – White;
2 – Black/African American;
3 – American Indian/Alaska Native;
4 – Asian
       4a – Asian India              
       4b – Chinese
       4c – Filipino                    
       4d – Japanese
       4e – Korean
       4f – Vietnamese
       4g – Other Asian
5 – Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander
      5a – Native Hawaiian
      5b – Guamanian or Chamorro
      5c – Samoan
      5d – Other Pacific Islander
6 – Other;
8 – tenant did not respond.

Keep in mind that these new race categories were finalized by HUD in May of 2016 with the expectation that collection would begin with the 2017 collection cycle. Consequently, it is not required that you go back through your 2016 data and update tenant certifications with the new designations. Starting with the 2017 data collection cycle you’ll need to use the new categories.

If your management software IS NOT using the XML Standard version 3.0 or higher then you’ll have to manually enter certain income and rental data into the Spectrum software after the XML import process has been completed.

Additionally, if your management software is capturing the new racial categories and is also using version 4.0 of the XML Standard then any of the new racial categories that have been entered in your management software will be imported.

If you are not sure if your management software supports version 3.0 and 4.0 or higher of the data standard you’ll need to contact your software vendor. Spectrum does not have information regarding the specific XML status of third party management software systems.

******** END (12/05/2016) UPDATES  ******** 


Download Software

The Spectrum-TCAC Tenant Demographic Reporting software is now available for download. Please click on the links below to either view the Software Installation Guide or to Download and Install the software.

Training Materials

(Published July 2012)

 View\Download: Complete User Guide  

Building Identification Number (BIN)

In order to stay in compliance with CTCAC’s requirement of submitting BINs in the correct IRS format, CTCAC has included in their updated Tenant Income Certification (TIC) form on page four (4) of the instructions the following:

BIN# Enter the building number assigned to the building (from IRS Form 8609).

IRS guidelines for the correct format are as follows:

The BIN will consist of a two character state designation (identical to a postal state abbreviation) followed by a two digit designation representing the year the credit is allocated, and a five digit numbering designation.

When issuing a BIN, CTCAC guidelines dictate a BIN as CA-YY-PPPNN which follows the IRS rules and where YY is the last 2 digits of the allocation year, PPP is the project application ID and NN is the building number within the project (01, 02, 03, etc).

BINs submitted to HUD as part of this CTCAC Demographic Data Collection program must follow this format.

If you’ll be entering data into the Spectrum collection software by hand you’ll need to be sure that the BIN you enter is the correct BIN (as reported on IRS form 8609) and it must be in the correct format (CA-YY-PPPNN).

======= Do Not Use the Property Identification Number (PIN) for the BIN =======

XML IMPORT: If you’re using property management software that will generate a NAHMA LIHTC Data Standard (v1.1 , 2.0, 3.0 or 3.1) compliant file for import into the Spectrum software you’ll need to be sure that the BIN is correctly entered in the management software before you create the XML file.

 Property Lookup
In an effort to make data entry easier and more accurate we are pre-loading the list of California LIHTC properties (over 3,500) into the software as well as the currently known Owner and Management Company information for each property. Consequently, you’ll be able to select the property(s) you’re working with and the correct CTCAC number and other property information will be automatically loaded for you.

Additionally, the range of expected Building Identification Numbers (BIN) will be provided in an effort to help make the entry of correctly formatted BINs easier.

Spectrum Introduction

(Published July 2012)

Spectrum Enterprises is pleased to have been selected to partner with the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee (CTCAC) to collect HUD tenant data electronically for all tax credit projects in California. Spectrum Enterprises has been performing LIHTC compliance services for over 25 years and provides compliance monitoring services as the authorized delegate for a number of state housing agencies.

Over fifteen years ago Spectrum developed a software application that is currently being used in over 1,400 tax credit properties to collect tenant income and demographic data used in its state compliance monitoring activities. This software was updated in 2009 to accommodate HUD’s requirement to collect tenant demographic data as mandated in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA). It is this software that will be used to collect tenant demographic data in California.

Additionally, Spectrum has worked very closely with HUD and the National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA) to develop and subsequently update the State Housing Finance Agency (HFA) Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Data Transfer Standard that provides the ability to transfer data via XML from existing project management software systems into the Spectrum data collection software thus eliminating the need for hand entry of tenant information.

Data Being Collected

(Published July 2012)

HUD is requesting the status of all tax credit units in a project as of December 31 of the year being collected. For example, in this first year of collection, owners of California projects must submit data to HUD that indicates the demographic and economic status of all household members within all LIHTC units in a project as of December 31, 2011.

It is important to keep in mind that HUD is requesting the most recent household demographic data as well as the most recently certified household financial data. In some cases this information may come from different Tenant Income Certification (TIC) forms that were completed at different times during a tenants occupancy. For example, if a TIC is being used to self certify a household’s income then the household member demographic data must come from that TIC while the household income data must come from an earlier TIC that was used to actually certify the household as a tax credit household. 

About The Spectrum LIHTC Tenant Data Collection Software

(Published July 2012)

The Spectrum software is a free standalone application that must be downloaded from the Spectrum website and installed on a local computer. Once completed, the data collected is submitted to Spectrum from within the software via an internet connection. However, an internet connection is not required while using the software to enter data. There is no cost for the software and you are free to use it on as many computers as you need to. You may also download it multiple times.

Computer Requirements
The Spectrum software will run on any computer running all versions of the Microsoft operating system from Window’s XP through Windows 8 (both 32 and 64 bit). Hard drive space required is 15mb. Single property reports files are generally 1-3mb in size while multiple property files can be as large as 10mb. When a report file is submitted to Spectrum it is compressed prior to transfer and the average transfer time is approximately 2-3 minutes.

Multiple Properties
If you are a management company that is managing multiple properties, you have the option of including all your properties in a single report file or creating a separate file for each property. The Spectrum report file(s) can be located on a centralized server and accessed from multiple computers on your network. However, at this point in time, a report file can only be accessed by a single user at a time.

Additionally, it is not necessary that a single property management representative download the software for distribution and use by your organization. While you can use this centralized approach you may also have individuals (e.g. compliance managers, etc.) from different locations download the software. It’s up to you to decide how you’d like information from Spectrum regarding the software distributed to multiple locations.

Data Entry
There are two methods for getting household data into the Spectrum software; XML Import or Manual Entry from paper TIC forms.

XML Import
If you are using a management system software package that supports the NAHMA LIHTC Data Transfer XML Standard (1.1, 2.0, 3.0, 3.1, 4.0) you can import data for any date range into the Spectrum software. It is a two step process that involves first running a report in your management software that will generate an XML file and then importing that file into the Spectrum software. Both steps are relatively easy to accomplish and have been used extensively during the past five years.

Third party software vendors that Spectrum has worked closely with that provide XML support include management applications by Yardi, Real Page (now MRI) and Boston Post. If you are not sure if your management software supports the data standard you’ll need to contact your software vender. Spectrum does not have information regarding the XML status of third party management software systems.

Manual Entry
For 2011, manual data entry will simply require entering the data from the forms provided by CTCAC (noted in section 5 above). Because of the nature of recent changes HUD has made to their Tenant Data Collection Form (during the summer of 2011), and related requirements regarding the accuracy and completeness of income data, starting in 2012 you’ll need to enter each TIC form completed during the year instead of waiting until the end of the year to simply enter the current state of the unit.

While at first glance this may appear to be a more time consuming task it will in fact be less time consuming in the long run because the Spectrum software will automatically track and report to HUD all household demographic and income data that represents an accurate snapshot of the your tax credit units as of December 31st.

Entering each TIC completed during the year eliminates issues that can arise from having to wait until after December 31st to go through all of the tenant files to analyze and pull the ones you’ll need to enter data from to satisfy the HUD requirement. You will not have to review each TIC or search through previous TICs for earlier income qualification dates. Additionally, if you’re not currently using a software package to track tenant events the Spectrum software includes free reports that you can use to help stay in compliance.

Data Submission
The HUD data report file is submitted to Spectrum directly from within the Spectrum software. An active internet connection is required at the time of submission. The upload process generally takes 2-3 minutes. 

Support and Training

(Published July 2012)

While instructor led, hands on training courses will not be provided, there are a number of easily accessible support materials that will be. A complete, illustrated and printable user guide in PDF format will be available on-line as well as from within the software. Context sensitive help will be provided within the software that will provide immediate and detailed information for the screen that is being used at the time. On screen instructions will be provided as well as mouse over hints at key points. Additionally, because the software is modeled after a standard TIC form the layout of the software will be familiar.

Technical support will also be provided during normal business hours (PST) via telephone and email.

Contact Information Spectrum Technical Support:

Contact: Paul Perpich
Email: HUDHelp@SpectrumLIHTC.com
Web site: www.SpectrumLIHTC.com/states/california
Phone: 517-277-0120
Hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm PST

CTCAC website: