Finding Low Income Apartments for Rent

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Finding Low Income Apartments for Rent

Staff Writer · Jan 11, 2010

There are many ways to find an apartment but finding low income apartments for rent takes patience, organization and a lot of legwork.

What Is Low Income Housing?

In a rental application, the specifics vary state to state and county to county but generally speaking, about thirty percent of a person’s monthly income is applied toward rent. The Federal Government covers the rest of the rent after determining the fair market value for each unit. This is usually entitled as Section 8. Being able to prove your income or lack thereof is essential to obtaining one of these units.

Poverty Line

It is important to know where a person stands financially when applying for low income housing. The poverty line for a single individual runs at about eleven thousand per year, gross and/or net income depending on the organization considering that person’s application. That number goes up about thirty-seven hundred per additional family member and can fluctuate year to year.

Am I Eligible?

There are many factors that determine whether a person is eligible for low income housing. Obviously, a low earning history is one. If someone is at or near the poverty line they should be eligible for low income housing. Also, if someone is a person with a disability but still self-sustainable and within the income limits they too are eligible. In addition, struggling families with children are a big consideration. Deductions are also taken into consideration to determine the rent paid. It varies but each dependent including an elderly family member is allowed a four to five hundred dollar deduction. Notification of eligibility will come in written form and if eligible a person’s name will be put on a waiting list or, if available, housed immediately. A lease is often required and should be reviewed with the HA to make clear the tenant’s and landlord’s responsibilities and requirements.

State Assistance

Most states have Housing Agencies (HA) that deal with low income housing under The Department of Housing and Urban Development or HUD for short. For the best website to find out about a HUD office nearest you go to: nhl.gov/renting/phprog.cfm or you can call: (800) 569-4287 or (888) 466-3487. The website has an excellent search option by state and county to find available public and private housing available.

There are 3 determinations that HUD takes into consideration for low income housing:

  1. annual gross income
  2. whether a person is elderly, disabled, or a family
  3. citizenship

Be Prepared

Although there is often help available on the state and/or county levels, it is in a person’s best interest to be prepared with documentation of proof of income (usually needed directly from your employer to avoid falsified info), tax records, birth certificates of everyone who will reside in the space, phone numbers, additional addresses, bank info and specifics regarding the personal situation (ie: limited employment, needy children, disability, etc.). A good rule of thumb is to be over prepared with any documentation available. These organizations often have long lines and a slow processing pace so the last thing a person wants is to have to come back and do it all over due to lack of info.

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