Housing Options for Low-Income Seniors

Housing Options for Low-Income Seniors

Living on a fixed income isn’t easy. No matter how well you prepare for your golden years as a senior citizen, trying to stick to a limited income and strict budget is challenging. And for many seniors, the financial burden of rising costs and increased housing prices can be especially difficult. If you’re finding it difficult to afford your living expenses – like rent – you need a solution that works for your fixed income. Fortunately, seniors can take advantage of low-income housing options that are available just for adults age 65 and older. Search online to discover what types of low-income senior housing exists. 

If you’re in need of a low-income housing solution, it’s time to take action. There are a number of different options available, both in your local city and nationwide. No matter what kind of low-income housing you’re looking for, seniors have options. Search online to find low-income senior housing in your local area.

The following are some of the available housing options for low-income seniors. 

Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Properties

Certain properties are low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) properties, or properties that are part of the LIHTC program. This program gives real estate developers and investors for buying, renovating, or building rental housing that’s intended for low-income individuals. A portion – or all – of the rental units are then set aside for low- or fixed-income renters. 

Seniors who are considered low-income or who live on a fixed income can qualify for LIHTC housing. You’ll need to meet eligibility requirements, which include income verification, but once you qualify, you’ll pay a rent based on the average income in your area.

A number of LIHTC properties are actually operated as 55-plus or 62-plus communities and apartments. You can search online to see the LIHTC options in your area that are just for seniors. Or, you can search for LIHTC properties available to low-income residents of any age.

Section 202 Housing

If you fall into the “very low-income” category or have needs that you cannot meet by living alone, you may qualify for Section 202 housing. 

Section 202 housing is designed specifically for very low-income seniors. It also includes the frail eldery who need assistance with activities like cooking, cleaning, and transportation. The program is operated by the Housing of Urban Development (HUD), which gives capital advances to nonprofits to create properties just for seniors. 

Under Section 202, seniors may also be able to qualify for rent subsidies.

To find out what’s required to qualify for Section 202 housing, search online to learn more. You can find information from your local HUD office and learn about the options available in your area just for seniors.

Local Public Housing

In some cities and counties, seniors can also take advantage of public housing. 

Typically, public housing includes apartment complexes or high-rise apartment buildings that are operated by your city or county – specifically, the local public housing agencies. You’ll get to pay a lower rent of about 30 percent of your income, and it’ll cover utilities too. In order to secure an apartment in one of these buildings, you must be low-income.

To see what public housing is available in your hometown, search online. You’ll be able to find local public housing agencies, learn about availability, and even apply right from home.

Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)

You’ve likely heard of Section 8 housing before. Open to anyone who falls into the low-income category – including families, disabled individuals, and senior citizens – Section 8 is also called the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

And the Housing Choice Voucher Program can help you pay your rent. It’s designed to help reduce your rent costs by subsiding it, all while you live in a privately-owned apartment. You’ll pay approximately 30 percent of your monthly adjusted gross income in rent and utilities. You then use a voucher to cover most, if not all, of the remaining cost. 

Search online to learn more about this program and how the vouchers can be used to secure more affordable housing.

How to Qualify

In order to take advantage of low-income housing for seniors, you’ll need to meet eligibility requirements. Each program and type of housing has different requirements, so it’s important to know which options are the best fit for you, your needs, and your financial situation.

Most of the programs mentioned here are operated either through local public agencies or HUD. Your city and county may set different eligibility requirements than HUD. However, low-income is generally considered to be an income that’s less than 50 percent of the median income in your local area. That’s also the guideline for federal low-income housing programs.

Keep in mind that some programs and housing options may be available only for very low-income individuals. Some may require you to have an income that’s 30 percent or less than the local median income. You may also qualify but not receive the full subsidy or as large of a voucher; it just depends on the program and its eligibility requirements.  

It’s also important to know that all income is considered when you’re applying for low-income senior housing. When you apply, agencies and programs will look at your Social Security and any disability benefits as income, along with pensions, annuities, and retirement funds. 

Search Online to Find Options in Your Area

If you’re a senior who needs a more affordable housing solution, you have options. You can take advantage of special housing programs designed specifically for low-income individuals. There are even some reserved just for the elderly, giving you the chance to lower your expenses and continue living comfortably.

Search online to see what your options are. Look for local public housing agencies and options as well as federal and state solutions. You can also compare low-income housing for seniors online so you can assess all of your options in one place with ease.