Many senior citizens today live on fixed incomes, and subsidies such as Social Security aren’t always enough to pay for living expenses, including housing. This forces many elderly people to seek low-income senior housing because they can’t afford other places to live. That leads to today’s Ask After55.com question:
How do you find low-income senior housing?
If you or a loved one is planning to rent, this information can help you find affordable 55-plus housing.
How HUD Can Help Seniors
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development can provide rental assistance for low-income seniors in four ways:
- Privately-Owned Subsidized Housing: Apartment owners who receive assistance from HUD can offer reduced rents to low-income residents.
- Public Housing: Contact your local public housing agency to find affordable apartments for low-income seniors.
- Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8): You can use this voucher to pay for all or part of your rent in a residence of your own. Your local public housing agency can help.
- HUD Resource Locator: Use this tool to find HUD regional and field offices, public housing agencies, USDA rural housing and more.
Local Renting Information
Rental help is available in your state from HUD. You can find special-needs housing and affordable rentals, as well as get assistance with your utility bills and more. You or your elderly loved one can get a low-income tax credit from HUD. Through the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Database, you can find affordable housing or rental properties supported by this HUD program. (User tip: Select your state, then city or county, then select “Targeted to Elderly.”)
How to Qualify for Low-Income Senior Housing
HUD also helps senior citizens through its Section 202: Supportive Housing for the Elderly program. Housing projects that are part of this program include apartment rehabilitation or construction, and subsidies for that property’s rent so seniors pay only 30 percent of their income. Eligibility requirements are:
- Having one member of the family who is 62 years or older.
- Meeting HUD’s income limits for very-low income, which is 50 percent or less of the area’s median income.
- Passing a local housing authority’s resident screening, including references.
- Applying to your local housing authority for specific programs available within your income bracket.
- Submitting the address, name, gender and date of birth of everyone who will live in the residence.
- Estimating income for the current year.
Types of Low-Income Senior Housing
“Low income” does not mean housing is located in a crime-ridden neighborhood. If the housing units or apartment communities are well-designed and managed properly, and are in safe and stable neighborhoods, then you or your loved one will be fine. For seniors, here are a few choices:
Retirement communities: These clusters of housing units for those 55 and older consist of single-family homes, duplexes, condominiums, mobile homes or townhouses. Some are rentals while others can be purchased. There is usually a monthly fee for maintenance and recreational activities.
Senior apartments: These communities are generally age-restricted. Rent includes recreational programs, transportation, low-cost housekeeping and meals in common dining rooms.
Subsidized senior housing: These units are available to low-income seniors and are subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Most of these have extremely long waiting lists.
What Are Your Senior Housing Questions?
Ask After55 is a monthly feature of After55.com by correspondent Mary Beth Adomaitis. Submit your questions for consideration in one of two ways:
– Comment below on this article. (Your question will be displayed publicly, so we suggest that you don’t include personally identifying information.)
– Fill out this form. (Your question will be sent to us privately. Note, however, that we aren’t able to answer all questions, especially on individual situations.)
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