Living in a big city like New York often means paying more for things like rent and housing. This can be difficult for people like seniors who have a limited or no income. It can also be difficult to find housing that meets their physical needs and allows them to move around freely without risk of falling or other accident. Luckily, if you meet the requirements for low-income, you can receive assistance with housing costs or even find affordable housing.
Each city throughout the United States has their own threshold when it comes to being categorized as low-income. The Housing and Urban Development (HUD) department looks at the median income for each area and calculates income status based on those numbers. For the 2016 fiscal year, a very low-income for a one person home in New York is $31,750. This calculation includes all the seven major boroughs and counties located in the New York Metro area.
Meeting this threshold means that you earn 50% less than the median income level and you are eligible for public housing and Section 8. Both of these options come with a long wait list, so you might not be able to find a home for months or years depending on how many people are ahead of you. However, there are other options when it comes to housing and financial assistance.
By 2030, 1 in 5 people will be 65 or older, and by 2040 1 in 8 will be 75 or older.
Of all the homes using federal rental assistance in New York, 69% are at the extremely low-income level and 37% are elderly.
219,400 people use housing choice vouchers, which are the most used form of housing assistance in New York followed by public housing and then Section 8 housing.
904,500 low-income renters in New York pay more than half of their monthly income on housing.
Seniors will cut back on other necessities like food and clothing in order to pay for their housing.
The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) takes care of over 320 public housing developments throughout the five major boroughs of the New York City area. It is also in charge of the Section 8 housing district which currently serves 235,000 residents. There are over 400,000 residents currently getting housing assistance through the NYCHA. Since there have been significant budget cuts and a large amount of people who need housing, there is a significant wait list for both public housing and Section 8. You can still apply for public housing, but Section 8 has been closed until further notice.
Through the New York City Housing Preservation and Development, you can find NYC Housing Connect. This program helps you learn how you can apply for affordable housing as well as apply and search housing in the area. You can also find the Mitchell-Lama program that gives affordable rent to moderate and middle-income families. There are certain requirements you have to meet and various waitlists that will depend on your income and the severity of your needs.
The New York City Housing Corporation is another place that can provide affordable housing for low-income seniors and they have their own set of eligibility requirements based on income before taxes and family size. The New York Department of Aging offers affordable housing services and resources specifically for seniors. You can also find housing through non-government groups like New Destiny Housing. This organization offers a variety of different resources for affordable housing like rent subsidies and emergency shelters.
While the waiting lists for public housing and Section 8 might be long or closed, the New York City Housing authority still has a lot to offer low-income seniors. They have counseling services, educational and art programs, transportation, and retirement services that you can take advantage of. The New York City Rent Guidelines Board also has a senior division that can handle things like rent freezes for qualified citizens.
The New York City Department of Aging has a resource guide on housing specifically for seniors and you can use it to find the different types of housing available, subsidy programs, numbers and websites for all senior resources, and your rights as a tenant. If you are 60 or older, you can use the New York Foundation for Seniors home sharing program which allows adult hosts who have extra space share with adult guests in need.
HUD is also a good place to go for help as they list all approved counseling agencies in the area like Harlem Community Development Corporation or Greenpath Debt Solutions. They also have a resource site for each state that can help you find services for rental assistance and resources specifically for seniors.
Find assisted living in New York near you.