Subsidized senior apartments and other types of subsidized housing for the elderly are provided by the federal government. Eligibility for these programs depends on the financial status of the senior. These government programs provide low-cost housing or allow for partial rent payments to landlords.
There are several requirements that applicants must meet to qualify for senior housing. When applying for Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly housing, applicants must be at least 62 years of age, meet certain financial levels and live in specified geographic locations prior to being awarded this grant.
Senior housing benefits include lower monthly rent for homes, apartments and in-group residential settings. No cash benefit is given for additional assistance, only rents are reduced. The government ensures that rental expenses be less than 50 percent of monthly income.
Any individuals who are eligible for this benefit should understand how to get low income housing fast as long waiting lists exist. Continue reading to understand the requirements for low income housing, the benefits of senior living and the type of government housing assistance available.
How to Qualify for Low Income Senior Housing
There are several types of qualifying low income senior housing options available. Prior to selecting the proper living location, each senior citizen should research eligibility requirements. Likewise, senior may consider age-appropriate features, like medical alert devices, when selecting housing.
The government offers two separate low-income housing programs. This includes the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP), previously known as Section 8, and Section 202, the Supportive Housing for the Elderly (SHFE). There are a few eligibility requirements for these programs. They are as follows:
- Age: Anyone 18 years of age or older is eligible for HCVP, while anyone 62 years of age or older is eligible for Section 202 housing.
- Disabilities and health: There are no minimum disability requirements for either program.
- Marital status: There are no marital status requirements for either senior housing program.
- Financial income levels: Typically, the applicant’s income may not be greater than 50 percent of the area’s median income. This is determined at the county level by Public Housing Authorities and it scales based on household size.
- Geographic location: Since every city and state operates differently, eligibility requirements for applicants vary.
Depending on your location, waiting lists can exceed several years until there is availability. If you are planning on retiring in the future, start considering living arrangements. Here are some questions to consider while planning for senior housing:
- Where do you want to live?
- Can you afford to live in your current home after retirement?
- Should you consider downsizing?
- Would you prefer a senior living community with people your age?
- Should you rent or buy a senior apartment?
- Would you like to be closer to family?
- Does your current state of health require special living arrangements?
- Can you afford additional home health assistance?
Depending on your current or future financial needs, you may find downsizing your cost-of-living to be appropriate. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs could help in reducing overall costs and provide assistance for those who qualify for low income senior housing.
Note: Seniors with Medicare looking for home health care services may have a portion of the cost covered by the federal program but nursing care living arrangements are typically not part of the HUD program.
Learn About Senior Apartments & Independent Living
There are great benefits when considering senior apartments for independent living in your area. This is especially important for seniors with low incomes. As a senior, the cost of health coverage does increase and make it difficult to sustain affordable housing.
The senior housing provided by the U.S. government alleviates financial duress and stress surrounding the loss of a home. These housing benefits provide inexpensive monthly rent payments for homes, apartments, and in-group residential settings with on-staff aides.
These rental payments come in the form of a reduction, not a cash benefit. By reducing senior apartment living, most seniors can reduce their rental expenses to less than 50 percent of their monthly income. Other benefits include:
- Decent and safe rental housing.
- Affordable living.
- Allowing other funds to be applied for living necessities. This includes other medical needs, food, health insurance and more.
- Reducing financial duress.
- The ability to live independently.
It is important to note that not all housing for seniors is subsidized by the government, so seniors should keep that in mind when looking for apartments or other housing options in their area.
About the Types of Government Subsidized Senior Housing
Over 23 federal programs exist for government subsidized senior housing. Whether or not these are available would depend on your geographic location. But these programs are administered by Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Housing and Urban Development. They are split into three different categories:
- Senior housing programs for the elderly
- Housing programs for the elderly and those with disabilities
- Programs that provide special features for the elderly
Special features may include higher seat toilets for those with or treating arthritis. In general, the HUD any USDA target families with low income levels. This means families and elderly individuals with incomes as follows:
- Extremely low: Income up 30 percent of area median
- Very low: Income up to 50 percent of area median
- Low: Income up to 80 percent of area median
When discussing senior housing, the HUD would primarily be responsible for providing decent and safe living spaces for those who qualify. The two main programs this would fall under are:
- Section 202, SHFE: This is considered a rental deduction providing capital advances or grants to nonprofit organizations or cooperatives. This aids the landlord to fund construction and rehabbing certain locations to ensure safe senior housing.
- HCVP: While most seniors may qualify for this Section 8 program, availability may be more difficult to achieve. This program is open to anyone 18 years of age and older and meet certain requirements.
In addition to senior housing, there are several other government programs that assist seniors with mortgage assistance and insurance.
How to Apply for Senior Housing
If you meet all requirements for senior housing, you must apply to the correct program. While all geographic locations are different in the way they administer applications you must:
- Determine eligibility, fall within the program’s income limits and be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
- Apply for the program by:
- Contacting your local public housing agency.
- Complete an application via online or in-person. This application is extremely detailed and inquiries about income and banking information. The housing authority will verify information needed for the application.
- Be prepared to have certain documents readily available. This includes financial documents, photo ID, birth certificate and tax returns.
In the event that the waiting list is closed by your area, continue reaching out to your local public housing agency. They are responsible to reopening the list when available.