Many older adults find themselves searching for affordable housing options. In recognition of the difficulty an older adult may face keeping up with costs of housing on a fixed income, there are several programs that fund reduced rents for older adults. The age limit to qualify for these programs is usually either age 62 and over or age 55 and older (one household member meets this requirement). Income requirements vary by program but low-income seniors earning less than 60% of median family income ($30,780/1 person) can find reduced rent through one or more of these programs. Most have waiting lists of 1 to 2 years. Because of the wait, it is usually a good strategy to get on many lists as it is difficult to tell how fast you will move up on them. Most typically, housing is provided through Public Housing, Section 8 housing vouchers, HUD 202 program, and tax credit developments.
Public Housing: Units are owned and operated by a Housing Authority. Some may be designated for older adults or people with disabilities. A Housing Authority may give priority status to people over 62 or who are disabled; ask when enquiring. Those who apply for Public Housing are not guaranteed a senior complex.
Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Housing: Provides eligible low-income persons with a voucher paying a portion of rent. The recipient must find a home or apartment that will accept a Section 8 voucher as partial payment. Due to demand and limited vouchers, the ability to apply is limited.
Subsidized, HUD 202: These complexes are built with subsidies from HUD. There is not centralized place to apply for these, you must apply at each complex.
Senior Tax Credit Developments: Rents can be below market rates for those who qualify. Level of subsidy varies by complex but typically residents should have at least $1,100 per month in income. Some complexes accept Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8 voucher).