How to Apply for a Subsidized Apartment

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How to Apply for a Subsidized Apartment

Staff Writer · Jun 21, 2010

Subsidized apartments are residences owned by a private individual or entity that are made available to individuals or families in need. Typically, a recipient of such a benefit is entitled to find an apartment on their own or even remain in their current residence and the government will make payments directly to the landlord. Receiving subsidization for your residence, though, is a complicated process that requires applying and often an extended period of waiting. Unfortunately, even after this you may still not receive benefits. Below are the steps on applying for a subsidized apartment.

Investigate Your County’s Requirements

Each state has government administrations governed by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These state administrations have local housing departments with several office locations. However, each state creates its own guidelines and requirements for those seeking subsidized housing.

The first step in applying for a subsidized apartment is to determine what your local office requires to be considered for benefits. You local housing office should be able to provide you with detailed instructions on how to apply.

Follow the Directions

The key to obtaining housing benefits is to follow the housing authority’s instructions. Usually, you must complete an application that will provide the government with your general information including your name, social security number, employment and income and the same information for any other residents that will be living in the subsidized apartment. Note that benefits can only be awarded to United States Citizens or those immigrants who are able to obtain citizenship status. This does not mean, however, that all residents must be citizens, only the one receiving benefits.

Most likely, you will also be required to provide proof that you live or work within the county and make less than the area’s average income. The income level you must prove differs based on the area and so will change depending on location. If you are requesting assistance because of a disability or you are a senior citizen, you must also provide documentation of these claims.

It is a good idea to also provide any and all contact information for those individuals or entities that can confirm your income, disability or age. This will reduce the amount of work the housing authority must do to investigate your application, meaning you may receive a faster response.

Ask Your Landlord

If you desire to use the government subsidy for rent on your current residence, you must first obtain your landlord’s agreement to abide by the program’s rules. It is advisable to ask your landlord about their willingness to agree to the program’s terms and, if acceptable to him, obtain his agreement in writing. Include this with your application.

Keep a Copy for Your Records

Prior to turning in your completed application, you should make a copy for your records. This will ensure that, should the housing authority ask for more information or claim they do not have required documentation, you will be able to easily provide them this information.

Wait For a Response

Unfortunately, it can take weeks, if not months to hear from the housing authority about your application. Even then, you may find that while you have been approved to receive benefits, the waiting list has been closed or is several years long. While you should not contact the housing authority every day for an update on the processing of your application, if you have not heard anything in a month you should call to check that they do not require further information or documentation from you. You can also call to confirm receipt of your application a week or two after sending it.

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