Senior Housing Assistance

There are a variety of programs that provide senior housing assistance with the most popular being the programs provided by HUD.

In fact, HUD has mandated goals to provide more housing programs for seniors in the future such as making affordable senior housing more available for the elderly, increasing the number of seniors living in federally assisted senior housing and increasing the overall satisfaction of the seniors renting Section 202 apartments.

There are at least 23 distinct federal senior housing programs that are geared towards providing the elderly with assistance with two that are intended for seniors only and the latest data shows that seniors occupy over 1.3 million units thanks to government programs.

These two programs are the Section 202 program provided by HUD as well as the USDA’s Section 504 Rural Housing Repair and Rehabilitation Grants program.

While these programs offer much needed senior housing assistance they may fall short in that they are not required to provide any support services to the elderly. To help compensate for this HUD links to programs like Service Coordinator and the Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency (ROSS) program that match up local community resources with seniors in need.

Senior Housing Assistance Grants

Additionally, the Congregate Housing Services Program provides grants for much needed services such as meals and non-medical services for the elderly in multifamily and public housing properties and the Neighborhood Networks program helps establish on-site computer centers for the residents.

HUD will pay up to 40 percent of these costs with the grantees paying at least 50 percent and the seniors paying the remaining 10 percent.

Of course, there are always local services as well as private organizations that often help seniors in need of clean, safe housing but the first place to begin looking for senior housing assistance is with the Federal government, specifically HUD.

Senior Low Income Housing

Elderly people with low incomes might do well to check out the Senior low income housing programs that are offered by the U.S. government’s HUD department.

The most popular low income housing option for seniors is the Section 202 program that provides rental assistance for senior with a low income such as an individual living entirely off of their Social Security checks.

How the Section 202 senior subsidized housing program works is that if you fall within the income range established by the government you can subtract any approved medical expenses from your income and then pay 30% of that towards rent and utilities and the government pays the rest.

Senior Low Income Housing Age Requirements

You also have to be at least 62 years old and able to pretty much live independently even though some communities do provide a certain level of services like meals and transportation free or at reduced costs.

These rental units are usually part of a designated senior citizen community and while often small they can be quite comfortable, well maintained and reasonably priced. A plus is that you can choose which community you want to live in.

The downside is that these rental units often fill up quickly and it is not uncommon to be on a waiting list that could exceed two years so it might be a good idea to start looking ahead of time before you actually plan on moving.

Another thing to consider is that many of these Section 202 communities will run a credit check so you want to be sure your credit report is good.

If you need help in applying for one of these Senior low income housing programs the HUD site has an excellent set of resources as well as contacts for anyone needing help or counseling.

Plans For Helping Seniors With Their Rent

As people get older it can become increasing difficult for them to pay their living expenses since they are often living on a pension or Social Security with little or no savings.

The sad fact is that many of our senior citizens need help and it is a good idea for family members to make plans for helping seniors with their rent before they get in trouble financially. Sadly, most people wait until the last minute before doing any planning and by then they are in trouble.

You should sit down with them early on in their retirement and help them draw up a plan that will allow them to live a dignified life in their golden years.

The first thing in the plan is to document all of their income. This could be from savings, bonds, stocks, pensions and social security. Many of our newest seniors will also have IRAs and 401Ks to draw from.

Next come the expenses, list all of them and compare to the income. With any luck their will be a surplus and they should be in good financial shape. Know that the government lets seniors deduct any approved medical expenses from their income before applying their eligibility rules so you want to check what the approved expenses are before doing the math.

Many times though they will be running a deficit and it is relatively easy to see how long their money will last and unfortunately it usually isn’t very long.

Plans For Helping Seniors With Their Rent – The Government Steps In

The federal and state government has many programs that subsidize senior housing costs so the elderly can pay their rent without fear of becoming homeless.

These programs are income based and only available to the truly needy. They work by looking at a person’s living expenses and then using a simple formula they calculate how much they will contribute to the rent with the senior responsible for the remaining portion.

Because of these programs many seniors have been able to find clean, safe and affordable housing to live out their golden years in peace and comfort around others their same age. In fact, many communities have activities and programs designed to help seniors keep fit both physically and mentally.

Not all programs are the same so you will need to do some investigating to find the best program for helping seniors with their rent and don’t be afraid to ask for help because the government has people specially trained to assist the elderly and they are only a phone call or office visit away.

Like everything else in life early planning will often give you the best options and reduce the stress of having to make last-minute decisions that could be costly. Also, if you are thinking about possibly getting housing for seniors on social security you will find many helpful articles on this site specifically written for those on Social Security.

If this simple exercise is done early in their retirement sound plans for helping seniors with their rent can be drawn up in plenty of time so they do not end up trying to make spur of the moment life decisions.

Government Subsidized Senior Housing

For many seniors living on fixed incomes like Social Security government subsidized senior housing is the only option they have to live on their own as opposed to living in a nursing home.

This also means that these seniors must be able to take care of themselves and do not require any outside assistance or supervision and can also qualify for assistance by being able to show that their income levels are low enough to be eligible for subsidized housing.

One of the most popular senior housing programs is the Section 202 program that is administered by HUD whose stated purpose is:

The Section 202 program helps expand the supply of affordable housing with supportive services for the elderly. It provides very low-income elderly with options that allow them to live independently but in an environment that provides support activities such as cleaning, cooking, transportation, etc.

Besides providing interest-free funds to not-for-profit, private entities to help develop affordable housing for senior citizens Section 202 also helps subsidize the rents by paying the difference between the approved rents and the senior’s contribution.

Government Subsidized Senior Housing Qualifications

In order to qualify for this type of senior subsidized housing a household has to have a very low income as well as at least one individual who is 62 years of age or older. These income levels vary by geographic location and the income must be in-line with HUD published guidelines which can be checked on the HUD website.

The actual rent amounts for the HUD Section 202 program are calculated by subtracting any approved medical expenses from the applicant’s income and the person then pays 30 percent of that amount towards their rent and utilities with the program paying the remaining rent due.

Using the government subsidized senior housing is a good solution for any senior living on a low fixed income get the help they need to live out their golden years in a clean, safe environment while still maintaining their dignity by contributing towards their monthly rent payments.

How Government Subsidized Housing Works

The assisted household generally pays 30 percent of income for rent, but the voucher makes up the difference between the household’s contribution and the market rent. In addition, the federal government pays a fee, estimated by the GAO to be about 7 to 8 percent of the rent, to the public housing agency that administers the voucher program locally on HUD’s behalf. Thus, under the voucher program, GAO’s formula for total cost of the program is:

Total Costs = Rents + Administrative Fee

Note that in this formula, rents include contributions by both the federal government and the assisted households.

Under the production programs, such as Section 202, the federal government provides development subsidies for new construction or substantial rehabilitation and frequently also provides rental assistance. State and local governments or private entities may provide additional development subsidies. In Section 202, the federal subsidy is a capital advance, essentially an up-front grant, if the housing remains available for 40 years to the low-income elderly. The subsidies help to lower the rents while also providing additional services and amenities. The Section 202 resident generally pays 30 percent of income toward rent, and the government makes up the difference.

Long Waiting Lists For Subsidized Housing

Waiting lists for Section 202 facilities are long, especially when compared to the number of units becoming vacant each year. The relative dearth of vacancies each year means that applicants frequently wait over two years for a unit. Of facilities reporting in 1999, 83.9 percent reported having waiting lists that are exclusive to their facility. The description of waiting lists in 1999 was similar to that of 1988. The share of projects with no waiting list, an indicator of projects with low demand, increased only slightly, from 7.1 percent in 1988 to 7.8 percent in 1999. Most of these projects are the oldest projects, concentrated in the first phase of the program.

Affordable Senior Housing

The primary means of getting affordable senior housing is to use the various Federal and State programs that are specifically designed to help the elderly procure clean, safe housing.

While there are some private organizations that provide senior housing assistance the government run programs are usually easier to qualify for and are encompass the entire country while private programs might be specific to a certain geographical area and require applicants to be a part of a specific religious or fraternal organization.

One example of such a government subsidy aid is the HUD 202 program which should not be confused with other HUD programs like public housing that offers rent assistance to any seniors that can meet the requirements of the program.

Affordable Senior Housing Requirements

This is primarily based on a senior’s adjusted gross income which is their current income less any approved medical expenses. One the AGI is computed a senior typically pays 30 percent of that towards their rent and any utilities.

Further requirements are that the applicant or their spouse be at least 62 years old and have income consistent with HUD guidelines meaning seniors with substantial incomes or assets probably will not qualify.

While these Section 202 communities do not pay for any additional services they usually offer things such as transportation, meals, health care and activities for the residents thanks to on-site service coordinators that match up a senior’s needs to local community based services as well as various charitable organizations.

Those seeking help finding affordable senior housing should first look at the various options provided by HUD as well as any organizations they might be a member of that offer housing programs for the elderly.

Be sure to research each option and make a short list of those communities you are interested in and then make an appointment to visit them in person before making any commitments.

It is also a good idea to check on the Internet for any reviews of the communities by residents to find out if there are any issues that might cause you to not want to live there.

Affordable senior housing is out there, you just have to do a little bit of research but it can be well worth it in the end.

HUD Senior Housing

Many of our elderly need help with living expenses because they are living off of fixed incomes like Social Security and have little in the way of savings.

To help those in need the government has set up the HUD senior housing program which is formally known as the Section 202 program and anyone that meets the eligibility requirements can participate.

In fact, the government has taken the issue of senior housing so seriously that it has amended housing laws to permit the exclusion of families with children from designated senior communities.

How Do You Qualify For HUD Senior Housing?

To qualify as senior housing HUD must have made the determination that the dwelling is designed only for senior citizens under a any level of government program or only people aged 62 or older live there or at least one person is 55 or older in at least 80 percent of the units that are currently occupied while also adhering to a policy that shows that the dwellings are intended for those aged 55 or older.

The HUD senior housing program also provide money to firms to construct, acquire and rehabilitate buildings for the purpose of serving as housing for low income seniors besides providing rent assistance to the elderly.

Bu doing this more affordable senior housing becomes available with many offering support services for the elderly. This allows elderly people deemed very low income with more options to live independently while also providing services like cooking, cleaning and transportation.

To qualify for subsidized senior housing assistance the applicant or their spouse must be at least 62 years old and classified as having a very low income.

This determination is based on median income levels for every state and county taken from continually updated tables that are maintained by HUD. If, after subtracting any medical expenses approved by HUD, the applicant’s income is less than half of the median income for their area they qualify and only have to pay 30 percent of your adjusted income for rent with Section 202 picking up the rest.

As the program grows and more people reach retirement age the HUD senior housing program has to be able to grow as well to meet the needs of our ever-increasing senior population.

Low Income Required For HUD 202 Housing

Hud 202Persons are eligible to apply for assistance if their incomes are very low, which is generally equal to 50 percent of the area median family income, adjusted for household size. Residents are predominantly elderly women living alone with incomes between $5,000 and $15,000. The median 2006 income of about $10,000 is well below the income eligibility limit for the program.

The 1974 Housing Act established a new mission for Section 202: to serve persons with low incomes, defined as households at or below 80 percent of the local median income.

Low Income Senior Housing

For anyone over the age of 62 living on Social Security low income senior housing is probably the only option when looking for a place to live.

Low Income Senior Housing Can Be Very Nice

Despite the images of dreary, run-down, bug infested apartments most low income senior housing is actually quite nice and undergo regular inspections.

Many residences are apartment buildings with activity centers and planned events such as trips to the local stores and some have meal services available as well. In fact, you have probably seen a group of seniors getting out of their shuttle bus at the grocery store.

Some subsidized senior housing will also have staff that can assist a senior that has mobility issues and some units are designed with this in mind with step in showers instead of tubs, etc.

Yes, there are some poorly maintained units in large cities but for the most part the subsidized senior housing is clean, safe and a fun place to live.

As I stated earlier if you or your spouse is at least 62 you are eligible for housing assistance as long as you do not have any children living with you.

The next step is to check your income which is calculated by subtracting any approved medical expenses from what you get each month and this adjusted gross income is compared to a table that the HUD department maintains.

This table has median income levels for every state and county and your income must be less than the 50% mark which is considered Very Low Income. This table changes due to inflation and cost of living adjustments so you need to make sure you are looking at the most current version.

If you qualify you only pay 30% of your adjusted gross income and the government’s Section 202 program pays the rest.

One thing to note is that if you are planning on applying for rent assistance for a particular senior community you should ask if there is a waiting list because many of the more desirable properties have long waiting lists and applying early before you need to move into subsidized housing improves your chances of getting in.

This is especially true in larger cities where the waiting lists can be several years long for the better units.

No matter which low income senior housing units you choose you want to make sure that the property is well maintained and in a safe neighborhood.

Talking to residents can give you a good idea as to whether or not you too would be happy there and be sure and ask them about any problems they might have had.

Read over your leasing agreement and if there are any items that you don’t understand have your lawyer explain them to you. It is in your best interest not to sign any papers until you have a thorough understanding of what you are signing.

If you plan ahead and choose a nice property you will find that living in low income senior housing is not the nightmarish dead-end place to live that so many people believe.

It can be very cheerful, fun and rewarding with lots to do to keep you busy in your golden years.

Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program Information

The Section 202 Program is provided by private, nonprofit housing and service-oriented organizations that have received capital advances from the government to finance the construction and rehabilitation of structures. These structures serve as supportive housing for very low-income elderly persons. The Section 202 program provides rent subsidies for the projects to help make them affordable. Supportive services provided under the Section 202 program include meals, transportation, and accommodations for residents with disabilities. Contact the local housing authority (see above). Eligibility: The program benefits low-income residents age 62 years or older. –

Many Using Low Income Senior Housing Assistance Are Over 80

Low Income Senior HousingHouseholds of the very aged renters, who are 80 years and older, comprise about a third of the very low-income elderly renters. Nearly half pay more than 50 percent of their incomes for housing. About one third live in central cities. Nearly two- thirds are women living alone.

There are an additional 8.9 million elderly homeowner households with very low incomes. About 1.3 million of these households subsist on incomes that are less than half of the official poverty level. Nearly two-fifths of elderly homeowners with very low incomes have priority housing problems, paying more than 50 percent of their incomes for housing or living in severely inadequate housing, with nearly all suffering from high cost burden. About 23 percent of elderly homeowners with very low incomes live in central cities. Single elderly women comprise 43 percent of very low income elderly homeowners.

Subsidized Housing For Seniors Living On Social Security

For many retirees subsidized housing is the only choice they will have because of their low income levels which makes it impossible to afford traditional housing or a retirement home.

The good news is that subsidized housing for seniors living on social security does not have to be all that bad.

Yes, there is some subsidized housing that is not all that great but for the most part senior housing is clean and safe and many subsidized housing complexes have activities to keep seniors active and healthy.

Subsidized housing needs to be approved by the government and owners must follow strict guidelines in order to keep their favorable status with the government agencies. This helps to make sure that the housing is in good shape and livable.

Anyone living primarily on Social Security will probably qualify for senior housing as most people do not get that much each month but they must be able to pay a part of the rent out of their check because the subsidized housing programs will only pay a portion of the rent based on a formula that takes into consideration the actual rent, utilities and things like a senior’s medical expenses.

Seniors living on social security do not have to worry about the age requirement which states that you need to be at least 62 years old in order to qualify for housing assistance but one thing to note is that they must be a citizen of the United States in order to be accepted into the program.

Although Social Security is a federal program there are also many states that have subsidized housing assistance for seniors needing help in paying their rent so you will need to check with your state to see what they have to offer in the way of assistance.

Before signing a lease it is wise to check out the property in person to make sure it is clean and in a safe neighborhood because once you sign the lease it can be difficult to break it. Also, talk to your family attorney if there is anything in the lease agreement that you do not understand. That way, you will not find out later that you agreed to something that you were unaware of.

Like all major life decisions a little planning and investigating before making a final choice will make the transition to subsidized housing for seniors living on social security a lot less stressful.

Senior Subsidized Apartments

Many of our elderly choose senior subsidized apartments to live out their golden years for a variety of reasons but for most the primary reason is economic.

Thanks to various federal and state government programs that assist the elderly with low-incomes seniors can continue to live an independent lifestyle without having to deal with the on-going maintenance costs of home ownership.

In order to qualify for one of the government senior subsidized apartments you will need to fall within specific income guidelines set forth by the HUD department and anyone with an income outside of this range cannot qualify for rent assistance.

If a person does fall within the approved range they must next take their income and deduct any approved medical expenses to give them an adjusted gross income that becomes the basis for calculating the amount of the rent subsidy they will receive.

Currently, this is set at 30% which means someone with an AGI of $1,000 per month would receive $300 a month from the government towards rent and utility costs.

You need to also keep in mind that you must live in an approved complex and in highly populated areas there can be a multi-year waiting list so if you think you will qualify for government assistance when you retire you might want to search for and apply to the place where you want to live ahead of time.

For the HUD Section 202 program you or your spouse needs to be at least 62 years old in order to receive rent assistance so keep that in mind when doing your planning.

Some senior subsidized housing also have restrictions that might preclude you from living there. One example is that you must be able to live on your own without needing any outside assistance.

Senior Subsidized Apartments Services

On the plus side is the fact that many of these complexes offer additional services that are wholly or partly paid for by local government agencies or charities and can include transportation, meals and curricular activities.

If you or anyone you know is thinking about living in senior subsidized apartments spend a little time on the HUD web site and talk to a counselor about your housing options before making any decisions.

Low Income Senior Apartments

Senior ApartmentsMany of our elderly living primarily off of Social Security are in serious need of affordable housing and this is where low income senior apartments can help.

Older people often have difficulty maintaining a large home both from the physical aspect as well as financially and often decide to downsize to an apartment to save money and simplify their life. Smart seniors will begin planning this move well in advance and have all of their ducks in a row prior to moving.

Unfortunately, many seniors cannot afford a luxurious condo or high-priced apartment and must instead look at lower cost alternatives.

People with very low incomes will need help and thankfully there are federal and state agencies in place to help seniors find affordable housing that is clean and safe.

Government subsidized senior housing allows anyone 62 or over that meets the low income threshold based on where they currently live enjoy the freedom of independent living by paying a portion of their rent each month.

Low Income Senior Apartments – Most Are Nice Places To Live

While there are some low income senior apartments that are in disrepair or located in unsafe neighborhoods the majority of the subsidized apartments are clean, safe and actually nice to live in.

Some have additional services like assistance for those that need a little extra help getting around. Transportation services as well as physical activities are common and there is usually plenty to keep the seniors occupied.

In fact, you probably have seen the little shuttle buses from some of these communities in front of the mall or grocery store.

Some apartment complexes have regularly scheduled activities and a senior center that is usually staffed. There might even be a pool, tennis courts and shuffleboard available!

Before signing any lease on an apartment do a little checking around to see what other residents think about the building. Try to make a night visit to make sure there is adequate lighting and no undesirables are hanging around. Many people don’t think about this but I did this before i moved into an apartment complex and I can tell you that you definitely get a different perspective when you make a night time visit.

Understand the lease terms of your low income senior apartments leasing agreement and if there are any parts that are unclear have a lawyer look it over and explain it to you fully before signing any papers no matter what the leasing agent tells you.

There Is A Huge Demand For Low Income Senior Apartments Nationwide

Data from the 2005 American Housing Survey indicate that, of the 12.5 million elderly households with very low incomes, an estimated 3.8 million are renters (see Table 1-14, at the end of this chapter). About 737,000 of elderly renters subsist on incomes that are less than half of the official poverty level.

Nearly half of elderly renters with very low incomes have priority housing problems, meaning that they pay more than 50 percent of their incomes for housing or else live in severely inadequate housing, with nearly all suffering from high rent burden. Slightly more than two-fifths of all elderly renters with very low incomes live in central cities. Fifty-five percent are women living alone.

There are an estimated 3.8 million very low-income elderly renters and 8.8 million very low-income elderly homeowners nationally who are unassisted. Of these 1.4 million renters and 3.2 million owners have priority housing problems

The Section 202 residents are somewhat older than the elderly served by other programs with a median age of 74 years. The median age of those receiving vouchers is 69, and 70 for those in public housing. However, for those in other multifamily housing, the median is also 74.

People who needed public housing faced waiting lists of several months and difficulty finding an accessible apartment or house.

About half of elderly persons who are admitted to Section 202 housing move from a private house or apartment, and an additional one-quarter were previously living with family or friends. Just under a fifth move from other types of assisted housing, including other Section 202 projects. Less than five percent move from institutional or rehab care.