How to Find Affordable Housing for Seniors
As people age, one of the most important things they need is a comfortable and safe place to call home. Unfortunately, the cost of living is often high, and finding affordable housing for seniors can be a challenge. It can be especially daunting for seniors who are living on a fixed income. In this article, we will discuss different strategies and resources that can help seniors find affordable housing.
What is Affordable Senior Housing
The definition of "affordable" varies. In the context of housing for seniors, however, it generally means housing that is within the financial means of low-income seniors or those with a fixed income. It’s recommended that seniors, and anyone else for that matter, aim to keep their housing costs below 30% of their income. When housing costs exceed this threshold, it’s referred to as a housing cost burden.
How to Find Affordable Senior Housing
To find low-income housing, you can reach out to your local HUD public housing authority (PHA) which can guide you through the application process and talk through local housing options.
Learn more about how a PHA can help you.
Another option is to contact your local government, which provides assistance for basic needs such as housing, healthcare, food, and transportation.
You can also find suitable housing options by conducting an online search with your city name and housing type, such as "low-income senior housing in Chicago."
How to Apply for Affordable Senior Housing
First, you have to be eligible for affordable housing. This is determined based on your annual gross income. Also important will be whether you qualify as elderly or a person with a disability, or a family, as well as your citizenship or immigration status. Income limits depend on your area.
Once eligible, you should contact your local housing authority to either fill out an application or have a housing authority representative help you. Here is the information they generally collect in this application:
- Names, relationships, and other relevant details of everyone who would be living in the unit.
- Your current address and telephone number.
- Characteristics like being a veteran or living in poor conditions might qualify the family for tenant-selection preferences.
- Contact information of your current and previous landlords to get a history of your family's suitability as a tenant.
- An estimate of what your family anticipates earning in the next twelve months and the sources of that income.
- The contact information of employers, banks, and any other information that could be helpful to verify your income and deductions.
- The PHA also may visit you in your home. If this happens, they will conduct an interview to see how you manage the upkeep of your current house.
Your name will go on a waiting list if you’re eligible. Your local housing authority will provide information on the next steps.
Arthur has been in real estate for over 15 years. He started his career as a real estate agent and then started investing himself. Arthur has experience navigating many different financing options, multi-family and single-family rentals, commercial real estate, and restoration projects.
April 19, 2023 (Updated April 20, 2023)