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How to Get Senior Low Income Housing for Yourself or a Loved One

by Jonae Fredericks

If you or a loved one are 60 years of age or older, and have an income that does not exceed 185 percent of the federal poverty level, you are considered a low-income senior. This means you are part of group that likely is struggling to make ends meet. Grappling with high housing costs and a low monthly income can have detrimental consequences. If this scenario sounds familiar, a senior housing program might be available to ease your burdens.

HUD

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development uses federal money to offer housing programs for seniors who meet certain financial criteria. Elderly residents with a household income that does not exceed the specified median income for their locality might qualify for public housing at a reduced rate through Section 8 or another federal grant program. Applications for public housing are available at local HUD field offices and housing agencies.

State Vouchers

State-funded, low-income housing programs are another option for seniors who do not fit the income criteria for federally backed programs. Some states, such as Massachusetts and Virginia, offer project-based and mobile-based voucher programs that assist low-income senior citizens with monthly rental payments. While project-based vouchers require applicants to choose an apartment within a specific housing development, mobile-based voucher systems allow seniors a wider array of housing options. Applications are available at State Housing Consumer Education Centers.

Department of Aging

Seniors who do not qualify for low-income housing through a state voucher system or HUD might wish to apply for services at the county level. The Department of Aging within each state has parameters that help provide qualifying seniors with affordable housing. Each county within a state maintains an approved list of affordable housing for eligible senior residents. Applications are reviewed first-come, first-served and income verification is necessary.

Assistive Services

Community-based services are also available for low-income seniors. Transportation, emergency services, recreational activities and food delivery all help to improve quality-of-life. While many of these services are need-based, programs such as food delivery might require proof of income. For low-income seniors who require personal support and health services, community-based, assisted living facilities are an option. Information about these facilities is available by contacting community organizations directly.

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