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.

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.

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.