Low-income senior housing is geared to independent seniors and provides an affordable alternative to a retirement community. Housing options vary from apartment buildings to townhouses to single-family homes. Senior citizens, families, and individuals with disabilities may apply for HUD rental assistance programs, including government-owned public housing, privately owned low-rent apartments, and Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8). Many people depend on these programs. To put a number on it—approximately 1.2 million households live in public housing units—and that’s just one program.
Rental assistance for senior apartments is provided by local Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) through HUD funding. Rents vary depending on your income, location, and whether it’s a metropolitan or non-metropolitan area. For instance, an apartment in San Francisco County, CA will likely be more expensive than an apartment in Fresno County, CA. Additional details:
PHAs use HUD income limits ranging from 30% to 80% of the median family income (MFI) for your area to determine program eligibility. Income limit areas are based on Fair Market Rent (FMR) areas.
Income limit adjustments may be made for areas with high or low incomes relative to housing costs. Your local PHA can provide income levels for your area.
It may be useful to apply to more than one PHA, because income limits vary by area and you may be eligible at one PHA but not another.