Affordable housing for seniors
Senior housing can be extremely expensive, leaving seniors with no option but to spend the majority of their retirement savings on rent.
Luckily, there are affordable housing programs that can help you find the best quality of care for yourself or a loved one without breaking the bank.
Here are three Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs with a silver lining.
Option 1: Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC)
While not specifically targeted towards senior living, the goal of this federally-funded program is to ensure there is enough low-income housing to meet the needs of the population.
According to HUD, which created the LIHTC, an average of 105,000 units were made available each year from 1995 to 2011.
The building owner chooses how many units will be set aside for low-income residents. Owners accept the rent amount specified by HUD to participate in the program and be eligible for tax credits.
A senior who meets the HUD income criteria can research their local area for HUD-approved dwellings that offer the housing tax credit.
Option 2: Housing Choice Voucher Program
Commonly known as Section 8, this affordable housing option enables low-income residents to rent “safe and reasonable” apartments or other accommodations.
Under Section 8, landlords accept 30 percent of the family or individual’s income as a full rent payment.
To be eligible, your individual income must not exceed 50 percent of the median income in the local area. Section 8 is not a senior-specific low-income program.
Option 3: Section 202 Supportive Housing Program
Also HUD-funded, the Section 202 Supportive Housing Program is specifically geared toward adults aged 62 and older who meet the “very low income” requirement.
It’s the only government-subsidized affordable housing program offered exclusively for seniors. Section 202 currently funds over a quarter million senior living units. Section 202 is similar in structure to Section 8.
Participants pay 30 percent of their income for rent, with the HUD subsidy making up the balance.
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