Senior citizen housing is a federally funded program that aims to offer housing assistance to elderly people who are having a hard time looking for or affording a decent home. Most housing programs in the US are supervised by Housing and Urban Development or known as the HUD. Specifically, there is an imposed law that focuses on giving housing assistance exclusively to senior citizens. A law that is known as Section 202.
The Section 202: Housing Vouchers and Subsidized Rental Assistance for the Elderly
In Section 202, senior citizens can avail of a housing voucher program that will provide them subsidies for housing expenses and provide a place to live for those who are struggling to get settled. Additionally, housing vouchers are also available for independent individuals or elderly people who are in need of a healthy and supportive living environment. The funds that are used for Section 202 also came from the federal government under the supervision of HUD. You can apply at the program’s local state agency for free if you need assistance.
How it Works
The senior citizen housing program under Section 202 works as financial assistance to qualified senior citizens and does not serve as a charity program. This means that the senior citizen housing program involves paying a certain percentage of the tenant’s monthly rental fees and the rest will be paid by the tenant. The amount of subsidy to be given will be determined by assessing the tenant’s sources of income such as pensions, retirement claims, and benefits from the SSI. Usually, in section 202 the tenants are required to pay 30 percent of their total monthly income towards housing expenses.
Benefits of Senior Citizen Housing Programs
The benefits that qualified applicants will receive include affordable and less expensive housing. This means that the program is responsible for paying a certain percentage of the tenant’s monthly rental fees. Usually, the program pays more than 50 percent of rental fees and the rest will be paid by the tenant.
Although, the only downside in applying for Senior Citizen Housing is that, there is a high possibility that being on the waitlist might take years before your application is acknowledged. According to a recent report from the AARP, the average waiting duration before receiving benefits increased from the previous 9 months to an average of 13 months.
To be eligible for a senior citizen housing voucher, below are the general eligibility requirements that you should meet:
- Must be an elderly aged 62 years or older;
- Can be elderly with a disability;
- Income must be below 50 percent of the state’s median income (the specific amount depends on the state you live in);
There might be additional eligibility requirements in some states or counties in the US. Also, take note that eligibility requirements in terms of financial aspects vary from state to state. If you are a senior and want to know more about housing programs for the elderly, it is best to visit the local agency of the program in your state or area.
How to Apply for Senior Citizen Housing
Planning to apply for Senior Citizen Housing Program? Here are the steps that you should take when applying:
- Before you proceed to the actual application process, first, you should assess if you or your loved ones meet the eligibility requirements set by the program in your state or area;
- Next, locate a residence that is right for you or your qualified loved ones. Make sure that the residence you choose accepts housing voucher programs. Find places that accept voucher programs using the HUD’s apartment locator.
- After finding your desired residence that accepts housing voucher programs, you should inquire about the availability of program slots and waiting lists.
Other Resources on Senior Citizen Housing
There are other resources you can find that offer assistance to the elderly in terms of housing such as the following:
- Eldercare Locator - This program provides available resources and options for the elderly in finding affordable housing, residence, or apartment.
- Housing Choice Voucher Program - This program focuses on poor families, people with disabilities, and senior citizens wherein it offers help in finding affordable housing in the private market.
- Supportive Housing for the Elderly - This program provides subsidies to qualified seniors. The subsidies are used to assist with their housing expenses. Moreover, Supportive Housing for the Elderly also offers services such as transportation, food preparation/cooking, or cleaning. This is under the supervision of HUD.
- Public Housing - This program fits more seniors who can still live independently and do not necessarily need care assistance. Further, there can be an option for qualified members to choose their preferred housing unit. Although this program is not relevant to the majority of seniors who have the lack ability to live independently, this is still not a bad choice for others.
Housing Assistance for Older Veterans
Not all veterans and retirees easily get settled after years of employment or public service. Thus, there are also available resources that elderly veterans of retirees can avail themselves of, especially those who need living care assistance, housing assistance, and retirement homes.
- If you are a retiree or a veteran, you can look for available living care services or assisted living services by visiting Nursing Home and Residential Services.
- If you prefer to have an in-home care service, you can talk to the Veterans Affairs Health Care Benefits by dialing this number: 1-877-222-8387 or visit the Veterans Affairs (VA) official website.
Are There Any Costs When Applying?
Keep in mind that you do not have to pay anything such as application fees or initial fees upon your application for the Senior Citizen Housing programs like Section 202, Housing Choice Voucher Program, or other housing programs for the elderly.