Subsidized Housing Options for Seniors

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Subsidized Housing Options for Seniors

Staff Writer · Jul 8, 2010

The government offers specially designated subsidized housing for seniors. In fact, often there are more residential options for seniors, making it easier for seniors to find available housing and receive government subsidy benefits.

Subsidized Housing Explained

Subsidized housing differs more than public housing. Public housing units are owned directly by the government and offered free or at extremely low rents to low-income individuals and families. In contrast, in subsidized housing the government pays a portion of rent to a private entity or landlord that owns the building or apartment. The subsidy program is often referred to as “Section 8”, and is governed by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The HUD has set specific rules to be eligible for subsidy benefits which can be found on their website or at your local housing authority office. An individual must be over 55 to be eligible as a senior.

Option: Individual Apartment

All eligible subsidy beneficiaries are eligible to find and rent a privately run apartment, provided the landlord agrees to abide by the program rules. Seniors are not exempt from this option, meaning that they can choose to find a new apartment willing to receive the government subsidy or ask their current landlord and stay in their residence. The HUD website offers a search tool free of charge to locate privately owned subsidized apartments available throughout the country. You can narrow your search by state and city to make it more precise. Your local housing authority should also have a list of properties.

Option: Accessory Apartments

An accessory apartment is a unit that has been created inside or added onto a single-family house in which the senior’s living quarters are separate from the main house. These units permit a senior to live independently but have assistance or even family members nearby. These units are not available in all states and often require special zoning.

Option: Adult Family Care Homes

Adult family care homes offer seniors unable to live on their own the option to live with a caretaker. The senior is able to make determinations about their lifestyle and care received and still maintains a degree of independence. The home itself is typically sponsored and managed by an agency licensed by the local department of senior services.

Option: Assisted Living Residences

Assisted living facilities, sometimes called “Continuing Care Facilities” are residences licensed by your state’s department of health and senior services offering a mix of living and healthcare services. Residents of these communities are sometimes able to live in their own apartment but receive care and assistance according to their needs. Similar to these facilities are comprehensive personal care homes, in which residential units are often occupied by more than one resident. Your local department of senior care and maybe your housing office may be able to provide you with a list of government approved residences.

Because of the common need for health care, there are often more options for government subsided apartments for seniors. If you are or know a senior searching for one of these units, contact your local department of senior care to obtain a list of senior-specific subsidized housing.

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