Dallas Low-Income Senior Housing

Housing prices and apartment rental rates in Dallas are rising every year, thanks to the continual stream of new residents moving into the city and its suburbs. That’s great news for homebuilders and apartment companies, but not so great for anyone who needs a place to live on a limited budget. However, many seniors may qualify for low-income housing assistance, even if they think their income is too high.

How “low-income” and assistance eligibility are defined for Dallas

The Housing and Urban Development department calculates eligibility requirements based on the local median income in each major city. In fiscal year 2015, HUD defined “very low income” for the Dallas metro area as $24,650 for a 1-person household. That’s 50% of the local median for one person, and it’s the income threshold for Section 8 housing program eligibility. (You can use the HUD calculator to see income thresholds for other metro areas as well.)

Even if you fall into the very low income category, you may have to wait to even join a waiting list for local public housing or a housing voucher program (more on that below). However, your income may qualify you for other types of housing help, like sliding-scale rental rates at non-profit senior living communities.

Fast facts about low-income senior housing

28% of Texans who get federal rent assistance are seniors.

A total of 278,000 Texan families with low or very low incomes get rent help from the federal government.

More than half of Texan households that receive rent assistance get it in the form of housing choice vouchers.

20% of the households helped by Dallas Public Housing Authority programs are headed by adults age 62 or older.

Nationwide, 9.6 million adults over age 50 spend more than half their income on housing, reducing their ability to pay for food and healthcare and the save for retirement.

Who provides low-income senior housing in Dallas?

The Dallas Housing Authority oversees traditional public housing complexes and housing choice voucher programs. The DHA’s mixed-population housing communities are set aside for seniors and disabled adults of all ages. However, the waitlists for both public housing and vouchers are long and not always open to new applicants. As of January 2016, both lists had estimated wait times of 3 to 5 years and were not taking new names.  

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs funds its own low-income housing around the Metroplex, including units in 16 properties in Dallas. They include Tuscany at Goldmark, Hillside West Seniors, and other communities with senior-friendly amenities like swimming pools, workout rooms, planned social activities and more. The department keeps a searchable database of low-income housing units for seniors across the state; you can search for your area and then contact the senior housing communities directly to inquire about vacancies and eligibility requirements.

Some non-profit groups in Dallas also provide affordable senior housing. These include the Fowler Christian Apartments for seniors who need accessible living quarters, the Dickinson Place high-rise in East Dallas, the award-winning Grace Presbyterian Village, and Buckner Retirement Village.

You can also log in to SeniorAdvisor.com to search by price for communities in your area.

Where to find help in Dallas and other Metroplex cities

Residents of the City of Dallas can contact the Dallas Housing Authority for information on municipal housing help programs. You can also get a referral to local housing and other senior services at the Connect to Care Dallas website. Connect to Care is part of a network run by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Administration on Aging, and it can help you find long-term care, transportation and more help in addition to housing.

Dallas residents, people living in other Metroplex cities and those looking for affordable housing in the region, including Frisco, Garland, Irving, and Mesquite can find links to city housing programs through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

You can also find information on the state’s Project Access Section 8 housing program at the TDHCA website. The program is intended to help disabled and elderly low-income people transition from nursing homes and institutional care to independent living in affordable housing.

Finally, HUD has a list of approved agencies that are trained to help seniors with housing issues including reverse mortgages, rental housing, and fair housing law assistance. In the Dallas area, approved agencies include Catholic Charities of Dallas and Transformance of Dallas.

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