Many older people live on a fixed income. Unfortunately, programs like Social Security aren’t always enough to pay for your expenses, including housing. This forces many of these people to look for apartments for those over 55 that are low cost in order to stretch their dollars and make ends meet.
There are numerous housing options for low-income seniors, available through the government and the private market. This article will explain how and where to find low-income senior housing, how to qualify and apply, and the types of housing available.
Types of housing for people over 55 with low income
Most low-income senior housing options are available through four programs subsidized or supported by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and the federal government. Those programs are:
- Low Income Housing Tax Credit Properties: In the LIHTC program, developers and investors get tax credits to buy, rehabilitate, or build rental housing for low-income people. In return, all or part of the apartments are reserved for low-income or fixed-income tenants. Your eligible income and rent will be based on the median income of the area where you live. Many LIHTC properties are operated as 55- or 62-year-old communities or senior apartments.
- Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly: Section 202 housing serves very low-income senior citizens, including the frail elderly, who also need help with cooking, cleaning, and transportation. HUD provides capital advances to private non-profit sponsors to finance properties to be used as nursing homes. HUD also provides rental subsidies for residents. Contact your local HUD office for more information.
- Public housing: They are apartment complexes or tall buildings operated by city or county public housing agencies. Tenants must be low-income, paying about 30 percent of their income for rent and utilities. About 31 percent of public housing tenants are elderly. Contact your local public housing agency for availability and to apply.
- Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8): This voucher program helps low-income families, the elderly, and people with disabilities pay rent on privately owned apartments at market rates. Renters generally pay 30 percent of their monthly adjusted gross income for rent and utilities, with the voucher making up for all or most of the difference. Vouchers can also be used to buy houses. For more information and to apply, contact your local public housing agency.
Keep in mind that “low income” does not mean that the house is in a neighborhood with crime. If the housing units or apartment communities are well designed and managed, plus they are in safe and stable neighborhoods, then you or your loved one will be fine. But nevertheless, Be aware that all of these low-income senior housing programs can have long waiting lists.
Finding Low-Income Senior Housing
Not all affordable senior housing is necessarily government-subsidized housing labeled low-income. The first step in finding a senior housing that fits your budget is to assess the current rental market. Consider your monthly budget, location requirements, and desired home amenities. If you are downsizing your home, consider initially deciding how many rooms you really need.
Additionally, do a home search that targets specific senior communities. Search to see the types of senior housing available in your desired metropolitan area or city. Under “Senior Housing Options” for a particular metropolitan area or city, look for the “Low Income” link to view properties that provide housing for low-income seniors in that area.
If you are looking specifically for government-subsidized low-income senior housing, contact your local public housing agency or HUD office.
Where to find low-income senior housing
The areas below are by meter the most popular for low-income senior housing on After55.com:
- The Atlanta area
- The Austin area
- Central Connecticut
- The Columbus area
- Dallas area
- Indianapolis area
- Denver area
- Las Vegas area
- Miami area
- Milwaukee area
- Minneapolis area
- The New York City area
- Orlando area
- The Phoenix area
- Pittsburgh area
- The Sacramento area
- Salt Lake Valley
- The San Antonio area
- The Seattle area
- Tampa bay
- The Virginia Beach-Norfolk area
- Washington dc
How to qualify for low-income senior housing
Each low-income housing program has slightly different requirements. With age, income and more requirements, it can be difficult to weigh your options and figure out which one is the best for you.
That is why we recommend that you contact your local public housing agency or HUD office. to guide you through the programs you may qualify for. Additionally, these local offices may offer you some options that go beyond federal government programs. These options may include state or local services, assistance with paying utility bills, and more.