Many seniors are not as financially prepared for retirement as they
would like to be.Therefore,there are several Housing and Urban
Development-sponsored programs to help seniors,creating
affordable senior housing for citizens across the country by funding
programs for rent assistance,home ownership,and assistive services
for seniors and the disabled.
There are 55+ Communities,Independent Living and Assisted Living
communities which offer one of several different government
assistance programs designed for low-income seniors.Income
restrictions generally apply,and individuals must meet certain
criteria to qualify for low income senior housing assistance.
The two most common senior housing assistance programs are the
Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program and Low-Income
Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC)program.
Types of low-income senior housing
The two most common programs are the Section 202 Supportive
Housing for the Elderly Program and Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program:
For seniors who wish to live independently but may need
assistance with activities of daily living,consider the Section
202 program.As the only program to exclusively provide
housing to senior citizens, common features of these
communities include housekeeping, transportation,referral
services and counselling,though exact services and amenities
vary by housing community.With this program,HUD provides
loans to private,non-profit organizations to finance the
construction of supportive housing for very low-income
seniors and often provides rent subsidies.
Type of housing to expect:
Generally,seniors should expect one-bedroom apartments
with a kitchen and bath, plus assistance features such as
ramps and grab bars. Other features include housekeeping,
transportation to health care and home-delivered meals.
Are you eligible?
In order to be eligible for Section 202 supportive housing
seniors must be 62 and older with very low household income
(50 percent of area median). The average resident age is 79.
The average yearly income is $10,018.
How do I apply?
For more information and to apply for Section 202 assistance,
contact the individual senior housing community you are
interested in.You can find housing by state
here: http://www.hud.gov/apps/section8 Make note that
waitlists are usually at least a year. Preferences for admission
include those currently paying 50 percent of their income in
rent, those who have been involuntarily displaced and those
living in substandard housing.
Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC):
Many LIHTC properties are designated as senior housing or
housing for the elderly. Owned and managed by for-profit or
not-for-profit organizations, this tax credit program is
overseen by the Internal Revenue Service(IRS).
Are you eligible?
Each affordable senior community has its own specific
eligibility requirements, which are typically dictated by age
and income. Usually,an LIHTC community will have a
minimum age of 55 to 62.Most LIHTC community residents
must have a limited income, usually 60 percent of the area
median income, however some can be as low as 30 percent
or as high as 80 percent.
What about my assets?
You may still meet an LIHTC’s requirements even if you have
assets or currently own your home. Eligibility is determined
on income,including income generated from your assets.
During a stay at a LIHTC community,you may use your home
as a form of investment,however you may not live there.
What is a LIHTC community like?
LIHTC communities usually include one-bedroom or two-bedroom
apartments. They usually come unfurnished.The
apartments are built specifically for seniors, and many
communities include common spaces and community events.