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How to Find Low-Income Senior Housing – Ask After55.com

Many senior citizens today live on fixed incomes. However, 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, in turn, 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.

Figures of elderly man and woman, walking between stacks of coins, to illustrate how to pay for low-income senior 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.

Where to Find Low-Income Senior Housing

Low-income senior housing can be found in cities across the United States. The areas below are the most popular metros for low-income senior housing on After55.com:

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.) 

Related Ask After55 questions:

Will Medicare Help Pay for Senior Housing?

Will Medicaid Help Pay for Assisted Living?

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  • Mary Beth Adomaitis

    About Mary Beth Adomaitis:

    Mary Beth Adomaitis a freelance writer living in Southern California. She has written about senior topics for several senior living websites. She also has a blog, Unwrinkled Hearts, which was started after her mother-in-law passed away in 2015. It focuses on elderly living in the 21st century. Mary Beth has been a writer/journalist for more than 25 years, lending her talents to companies such as The Los Angeles Times, where she also served as a copy editor and graphic designer.

    Comments

    1. Would I qualify for some kind of senior’s low income program, I’m 62 and just started receiving about $1200 a month from Social Security, plus I have about $103,000 saved in an IRA and about $15,000 in cash, no debt. I am a USA citizen living in Thailand now for 12 years. I live on about $850 a month, including rent and bills. I’m looking to move back to USA so I can get on Obamacare and get back surgery. I’ve been dealing with chronic back pain since Jan 2013 when I injured my back and have herniated L4/5/S1 discs nerve pain, plus I have spinal arthritis. I am partially disabled and have all my medical records from Thailand with a MRi of my back injury, but have only seen Thai doctors (so I don’t know if I can get any consideration for being partially disabled unless I can see some American doctors). I am considering moving to Arizona (Phoenix or Tuscon) or some place with low humidity because I get more pain during the rainy season (definitely don’t want to live in Seattle where it’s rains often). I have some family in Tulsa Oklahoma (but don’t really want to live there unless it’s temporary until my parents pass on mom 95/father 102). I have a brother near Austin Texas which would be OK and my best friend in Houston (but maybe too humid and too flood prone).
      I’m not married and live alone and will need help shopping and some maid/laundry service eventually (unless I can get successful back surgery and go back to work someday, but at my age and physical condition, the best I can hope for is part time work). I would like to find a nice secure place with friendly people 55 and up in a good area, do you have any suggestions for locations and what programs I that might help me get discounts on rent or would I qualify for anything? Thanks, Paul

    2. Philip Bulla says:

      I’m 65 years old and looking for a small one family house , l only live off a small 13.000$ income per month, l hope to live in sheep’s head day, is it possible at my age to aford a house

    3. My name is Tom, 76 yrs old,wife is72…..Nam Vet, looking to live near family in Deerfield beach , Fl…..would like senior neighbors.
      Am now in an “all ages” apartments, and have nothing in common with “embryo” kids who live here. ( lol )
      Soc Sec. is our only income….It would be nice to have neighbors, our age, and can share data from the 50″s.. Tired of explaining what a “suicide knob” on your steering wheel was !!!!!!

    4. Mary langenfeld says:

      I’m looking for a one Bedroom apartment in Racine Wi I’m 72years old

    5. my husband is a 63 yrs disabled vetern and we r looking to rent somethin affordable that is wheelchair scooter friendly. since im only 46 are we eleigble to rent in a 55 or older community assisted.living

    6. Shelly Shelton says:

      I am 55 yrs old and I am waiting on disability, I have no income until I get my disability. How can I get an apartment with 0 income

      • Hello, Shelly.

        Housing assistance programs generally are run through local public housing authorities. The best source of information on any assistance in your area would be your city or county’s housing authority. Just Google the name of your city and “housing authority.”

        – Mark, After55.com

    7. If you currently have a mobile home in a 55+ community, how can you go about getting assistance? My sister bought a mobile home with my Mom last year. My sister pays the mortgage, but the rent space my mom is responsible for and she can’t make ends meet lately. What are you allowed to have and what are the qualifications for assistance? At this point my sister is wanting to sell the mobile home and my mom will have no where to go. We live in Yucaipa, CA. What are her options for getting help or what to do? She makes $20,000 a year with working part time and social security benefits and is 70 years old. She can only afford about $400 a month with utilities.

    8. I am applying for a low-income apartment as I am living only on social security. I own property with an ex-spouse. The ex refuses to sell the property as they are living there. Will this disqualify me for the low-income apartment?

    9. Elizabeth Marrero says:

      I’m 58 years old disabled, independent, have a voucher from nycha choice.(expires Aug 30 2017.
      And I heard I have to reapply after 15 years of waiting for them to call me.
      CAN YOU HELP ME?

    10. TINA MERZ says:

      WE ARE LOOKING FOR SENOR APARTMENT BY INCOME WITH 2 BED OR 1 WE LIKE TO SET OUT DOORS DO YOU HAVE ANY THIN NEAR ALLEN PARK MI WE CAN YOU HELP US

    11. Neva Ford says:

      I want to rent I have section 8 for five years

    12. Neva Ford says:

      Were is your location an I have section 8 and,I’m 47 I have a, defibrillator heartbeat diaylis

    13. Dani doyle says:

      Hi my name is dani, I go by dee. I’m 57 yrs old and have lots of health issues diabetes, depression, anxiety, bipolar and slight white brain matter disease. I have had my assistant dog for 13 yrs I will get another one. Looking for a assisted living or senior place if something happens to my dad. Looking to live in petaluma, Ca. As I have a sister there. Can you give me some help. Thank you.

    14. Ginger Hoiland says:

      I am 74 years old and am looking for low income housing (a house) for myself. How can you help me? Who do I contact and where do I look. I am living in Hemet, CA and my son is telling me to get out of his house and live elsewhere. Very bad situation.

    15. Barbara Johnson says:

      Helping a friend who survived aneursym find 55 over housing. My friend experience residuals from accident and is interested in renting in quiet area.

    16. Susan Tarallo says:

      Hi, I’m 57 and on disability. My checks are $1,100 per month. I am on the Section 8 list, but still need to wait about 8 more years.

      I have list of properties for San Diego through the housing authority, and have made many phone calls. However, they are woefully outdated. I don’t feel well enough to dig further than I already have.

      Some properties with tax credits will allow disabled even though not yet 62. However, I do not know which ones fall under the latter category.

      I am currently living in a tiny private studio with no kitchen and termites and a leaky roof. Please help!

    17. Lynette Armstrong says:

      Please send me info.thankyou

    18. Kathleen Wright says:

      1- 5 years tooo long….help
      Ok to contact me
      Thank you

    19. Cathleen Pollard says:

      I am looking for a low income based senior citizens apts in oklahoma city ok. I live on a very merger as check and only receive food stamps. Can you help mr

    20. Hello, I live in the Bergen county of NJ and my mom has been on the waiting list for 6 years give or take. Is there a way I can find out the status on her wait?

    21. Gloria ANN Rushen says:

      Need to find HOUSING for me im 60 yrs old.in Ohio area.

    22. I’ll be 62 in 2018, really need affordable rental housing. My annual income is a little over 21,000

    23. Jenn Chereck says:

      Hi, this is a great sight! Last year I moved to South Carolina to find rent under $900/month. I am 70 and single. I have some money in savings from the sale of my townhouse in IL plus my SS. I figure that I can stay where I am at for about 2 years before I will need something cheaper. Are there low income facilities in Lexington , South Carolina? I think I had better get on a list!

    24. Hey seniors .do choose your places wisely.dont move to colorado.its a 2-3 yrs wait on apts here.got a place in cortez co.apts very subtandard living conditions.in poor shape too.no ofhers available.for years.indianalis in.waiting periods.3-6 months.Florida’s waiting periods.1-3 yrs.choice wisely first.public housing agents in your state has housing list of low incomes apts.ask for the list.call apts for openings.apply for several ones and wait your turn.it’s along wait. But worth it.miss Harris.from indianapolis,in

    25. Marjorie Walker says:

      Hi. My. Marjoriewalker. I. Need. To. Get. In. Apartment. Soon. As. Possibly. Please. Help. Me. Ps. Thank. You.

    26. Christina Claudio says:

      Im wonder if you have low income here around in vienna va

    27. Hello,
      I’m 57 year’s old can’t afford to pay high rent I’m not employee anymore I’m in Edd please help me to find place cheaper

    28. Michaelene Shelton says:

      Looking for base income one bedroom in los Angeles California

    29. Marie fitch says:

      If they stopped helping people that never paid unto the system ,they could help people that worked their butts off and cannot qualify because we don’t check how paid taxes or who worked under the table.government should check that before helping people

      • Danielle says:

        Marie, they do check who has paid into the system (has their 40 quarters in). There is a difference though, SSI is for elderly and/or disabled (Supplemental Security Income- not Social Security Income as many think). You can be born with a disability and be on SSI your whole life, receiving a set amount of money based on your living circumstances. SSDI is what you are talking about Marie, Social Security Disability Insurance. It is meant for people with short-term disabilities. You must have paid into the system for usually about 10 years (equals 40 quarters) to qualify. Then, if you have a short-term disability, one from which you will heal and return to work, then you can apply for SSDI which is for a limited about of time and ends up being a percentage of your regular income. — I really feel people should read up on these things before making judgemental comments about others.

    30. francisco chang says:

      Vivo en miami florida, busco vivienda para mi y mi mascota , busco y busco y siempre me dicen que no hay, y y en ocasiones se me dice que que mi mascota una boxer como si fuera un bebe, es tranquila y no ladra que no puede ser pesa 68 libras, sin ella no pudiera rentarme, por favor mi mascota es de compania quiisera una renta de bajo recurso y me ha sido imposible ayudenem por favor gracias anticipadas, soy una persona que esta en su pleno cabalidad desearia miami florida .

    31. Bonita Dickson says:

      Finding hud appointment.in California. For 55 yrs old. And for low income.

    32. Sarah St.John says:

      I ‘AM INTRESTED IN KENWOOD PLACE APARTMENTS IN TALLAHASSEE FLORIDA 32304 I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF THEY ACCEPT HUD. I WOULD DEEPLY APPRECIATE IF YOU CAN HELP ME.
      I’AM OVER 62 YRS OLD.

      • Hello, Sarah.

        You will find information on Kenwood Place here: https://www.after55.com/listing/100566/kenwood-place

        It does identify itself as low income. Low-income senior communities set aside all or a portion of their units for residents whose incomes are below specified limits. Those limits are set by the federal government (HUD) and vary by location. The individual property would have to answer more specific questions. From that page, just click “Check Availability” to contact Kenwood Place, or call (877) 343-5183.

        – Mark, After55.com

    33. Elena R Quintana says:

      Need 1 bedroom apt. That pays about $850.00 a month. In or around Delray Bch. Fl. Soon. Thank you. I am 76 yrs. old

    34. I took an early retirement 2-1/2 years ago. I had to move from my 55+ apartment community because the rents were much too high for my reduced income. I now live in a nearby residence that is comprised of mostly young couples and their dogs. Even here, the rent keeps going up – last year it went up $60/month and this year it is going up $50/month. My problem is, I can’t afford these increases! Could HUD possibly help me by supplementing my rent at my current residence in NH?

    35. Muslimah Salahuddin says:

      I am looking for low income subsidized home or apartment in the Miami surrounding aea.

    36. Jeanine Saintvil says:

      Where to apply in south Florida

    37. Hello, I am 62, I have applied for my social security benefits. My benefits are low so I do not make enough money to pay for rent. I need help! Please help, I live in Seattle WA.

      Thank you
      Mary

    38. Esther Reyes says:

      I plan on relocating to AZ next fall. I’m 63 yrs old and live independently. I would like listings/information on low income housing with in unit washer and dryer, 2 bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths and pet friendly. I’m interested in North Phoenix and/or surrounding areas within 10 miles from North Phoenix. Thank you in advance for your response.

    39. C. A. DuFresne says:

      I am in the same boat as many of the above people asking for help.
      I am 81 in very good health and can run my own place. I lived ina house for 24 years then my landlord, who had a heart of gold, died and his daughter raised my rent a thousand dollars and of course, I cannot pay tat much. My husband died from the effects of lung cancer and was in the hospital at least 5 times. Almost all our savings went to pay DR. bills. I am rooming with a friend and signing up everywhere to try to get studio somewhere in the S.D. county area close to stores and bus as I have not car

    40. I currently live in 55+senior housing in Melrose Park, IL. The rent
      for most units is $1200. I suspect the government is not assisting.
      I am relocating to DeSoto, Texas. Please tell me how to find 55+
      community housing.

    41. How does one find a listing of affordable Senior Housing in the Arizona/Nevada states? Arizona is quite expensive and doesn’t have enough rental properties for low income. Too many are for sale and not lease or rental. I for one don’t want the overhead of ownership at this part of my retirement.

    42. I live in the Dallas, Texas area and there are a lot of beautiful, safe senior apartment communities. BUT, because my Social Security income is so low the ones that I qualify for have waiting lists of one to three years. They are even building a newer senior community that is still under construction. I rushed to contact them, but because my income is not twice the amount of the rent, I can’t even get into them. I have been searching for three months with no luck. I just keep getting on waiting lists. It is very discouraging when you just don’t make quite enough money.

    43. Peggy Cusumano says:

      I am relocating back to Florida from Utah. I have tried unsuccessfully to apply to the 55plus communities in Seminole County area. I am just barely over the income restriction, but am not able to afford the high rent in most of the communities here. The ones with affordable rent are in high risk areas where safety is a concern for me as a 70 year old woman living alone. What am I to do? Would appreciate some input from you as to how to qualify for senior housing in this area. The more expensive complexes have a minimum amount well over what I make annually.

    44. Within the next year (if not sooner) I plan on leaving southern California and moving out of state. I am (55) years old, live alone and am employed. I am specifically seeking a (55) plus rental community in Nevada or in neighboring states.

      Since I haven’t moved in many years I am seeking someone or some organization that can assist me in locating housing and eventually employment. Would you happen to know of any individuals and/or organizations that can assist me on a personal one on one basis in this endeavor? Either a public and/or private organization. I would even be willing to pay a nominal fee if I could find a reputable person(s) who could work with me in this regard. Because of work and time restraints it is almost impossible to sift through all the material in locating a place to reside, especially out of state.

      Any & all help that you can render in this regard is greatly appreciated.

      Sincerely,

      Dan Rapaport

    45. Seranor T DeJesus says:

      My wife and I are considering moving to the Las Vegas area.Before we make that important decision,we would like to rent a furnished apt./condo for about 4 months to determine if we will like the Las Vegas area.We would prefer a senior community as we are both 70+years old.Can anyone help us or give us some apt./condo locations that we can check out.Also,we would like a quiet area.Your suggestions/recommendations are appreciated.This is a major decision for us so we would like to be very careful and thorough.Thank you again.

    46. My question is why in the world do the senior housing have to do a background check on seniors .I know like myself I’ve had problems in the past with credit . & most of it was caused by an ex husband or my late husband. It’s not like we killed anyone or other really bad crimes so come on give us a brake we really need it we don’t have family with whom we could live they don’t have room for us.

    47. I would love to get into a senior living myself . but I’ve have some bad credit that stops me . so I can’t pass their background checks .it’s stuff that happened because I could pay for after my late husband passed away. So tell me how I can’t get into a place without this I’ve always pay rent & utilityes on time. But I’m going broke paying all of them I need a place where ulitilies r paid . please help me . I live in blue springs mo . I want to get into manor heights in raytown mo

    48. aurora teixeira says:

      I have a voughter.for section 8 but cant find a place to rent I only qulify for 1000.00 plese help me

      • Were do you live Aurora? $1000.00 sec 8 voucher is a great thing to have. People wait years to have a voucher…surely if you research your area for low income housing something should come up. I know that there are ethical realtors that are willing to help as well.
        Are you a senior, single, married, have children? I would love to be able to help you along, but I need more information. Your income is another factor.

    49. MONA BECKER says:

      Is there a state wide list of all rentals that are available without a waiting list?

    50. Did you do the research? None of these programs are actually available. No waiting lists, no nothing.

    51. Same pat answers. You don’t go into how long it takes you to get into one of these programs or that you have to get on a waiting list. Then they want to put you in a little box for “living” with same old tired amenities.
      Treat us as if we are old and decrepit and not part of the community at large with still something to contribute.

    52. francisca delgado says:

      I would like to find a place for leaving I am 58 years old and I am on disability from the post office and also receive ssa.I leave in orlando fl and would like to find a place in Orlando or kissimmee fl.need help for all the things about housing authority.

    53. I am retired with limited SS benefits. I need help either to pay rent or subsidise the housing in some other way.

    54. Theresa Whalen says:

      Im 55, and disabled. Im on a fixed income, im only recieving ssi $733 a month. Im trying to find a place i can call home and afford. How do i do this?

      • Hello, Theresa. HUD has contact information for approved housing counseling agencies at http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm . The list is searchable by state and city.

        • Alicia Barnes says:

          This list was not helpful at all. I called the number listed for Marietta, GA and was told there are 3 high rises here for seniors but the waiting list is over a year. I asked if there were more options or resources and was told this is all the have. Not help at all!

          • Pat Weaver says:

            Hate to tell you, but long waits are absolutely normal in this situation, almost anywhere you look. Get on the waiting list but keep looking in case someone has an unexpected vacancy. If you don’t get on the lists, you’ll be in the same situation further down the road. I know it’s discouraging but that’s reality. Be glad you’re not looking for a low-income place for a disabled senior with mental challenges – one place told me the waiting list was 7 years! It’s awful.

      • Leonia Fisher says:

        My income is 735 a month that’s SSI. I’m 65 and looking for a place in East Texas. Tyler or Longview Area. Is it possible to find senior housing there.

    55. Robert Wolfram says:

      Truthful and helpful information. Thanks for digging for us all!

    56. Kathy Bartlett says:

      Hello my name is Kathy Bartlett. I am 57 and in December I’m be 58. I have a husband that is 47. Because I’m looking for a senior apartments, does this mean I can’t qualified for a senior apt. Because of my husband being only 47?

    57. What annual amount is consider low income?

    Trackbacks

    1. […] a resounding no. Even if your house isn’t as affordable as you might like, there’s a dearth of affordable senior living options. Explore your options before you begin planning for a home sale. You might find that your home is […]

    2. […] You might find this article of value in getting started on your search for low-income senior housing: https://www.after55.com/blog/how-find-low-income-senior-housing/ […]

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