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Senior Apartment Industry Terms

If you're on the market for a senior apartment, here are some common terms it will be helpful for you to know and understand as you begin your search for the best complex for you.

Fair Market Rents (FMRs)

FMRs are gross rent estimates including utilities used to determine standard payments for the Housing Choice Voucher program. HUD sets FMRs to provide adequate supply of rental housing in metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas.

Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)

HUD’s primary rental assistance program enables low-income seniors, disabled individuals, and families to choose and lease privately owned housing that meets program requirements.

Income limits

Income limits set by HUD and used by local housing agencies to determine rental assistance eligibility. Limits range by program from 30% to 80% of the median family income (MFI).

Independent living

On the continuum of care, independent living is for the most active seniors who can still care for themselves. These communities, often made up of apartments or cottages, typically offer social activities to promote socialization and active, healthy lifestyles. There is also a wide range of freedom in what services the resident chooses to utilize. Sometimes used interchangeably with the term senior apartments, independent living is an umbrella term used to describe all living communities designed for seniors who can still live independently and take care of themselves, regardless of their income level.

Low-rent apartments

These are privately owned multifamily housing for low-income senior citizens, those with disabilities, and individuals and families.

Public Housing Agencies (PHAs)

PHAs or housing agencies (HAs), are federally subsidized state and local agencies that manage low-income housing programs.

Senior apartments

Age restricted multi-unit housing for older adults who are able to care for themselves. Additional services such as meals or transportation are typically not provided.

Total Tenant Payment (TTP)

The public housing program defines your rent as TTP, which is based on adjusted gross income minus deductions, including a $400 elderly income exemption and possible medical and disability exemptions.

For help finding the senior apartment that's the best fit for you or a loved one, visit and read the reviews.