Affordable Housing Options for Low Income Seniors
With the high cost of living, many seniors with fixed incomes find it hard to shelter themselves.
Seniors need to find housing in the right community where they are free from stress and live happy lives.
This article will shed some light on the various types of low-income housing solutions that seniors can leverage.
There are many available low-income options for seniors, like government initiatives and cheaper alternatives to the traditional housing programs.
However, as a low-income senior, the requirements for the housing solution might be different. The good news is that there are a lot of assistance programs and financial help that you would be able to take advantage of.
Let’s begin with the six low-income housing solutions that seniors can leverage to their advantage.
Virtual Retirement Communities
If you’re low on cash and still prefer to live in your current location, you need to take advantage of virtual retirement communities.
The virtual retirement community is a digital platform that offers you affordable senior living services like the following;
- Home repairs
- Pet care
- Lectures and assemblies with senior service providers
This virtual retirement community isn’t focused on low-income housing solutions.
However, it’s geared towards offering you the rewards and benefits of traditional retirement homes without paying the ridiculous sum that it attracts. Think of it as paying the normal rent for a home, but then getting all the benefits of a retirement community at a significant discount.
This is a form of housing solution that seniors widely accept because the program allows you to purchase shares in the company that owns the building, thereby becoming eligible to lease a unit in the building.
With property owners actively looking for how to improve the lives of senior citizens, the co-op housing plan has been a fantastic program that seniors love.
According to the Senior Cooperative Foundation Board, more than 125 co-ops offer 7,700 units to about 10,500 seniors.
As a senior, it can be a good idea to buy into a co-op home. You purchase shares from the organization that owns the structure to become eligible to lease a specific unit.
Furthermore, your shares could reap 1% or 2% annual dividends as time pass by.
Also, as a resident of the co-op housing scheme, you’re eligible to apply for a membership that offers voting rights to seniors to decide how the organization will manage the building.
Additionally, as a resident of the co-op, you’ll be saving money by sharing amenities with other residents instead of purchasing yours.
Many co-ops are focused on affordable living for seniors and cap your rent at a maximum of 30% of your fixed income
Low-income seniors are eligible for the public housing plan.
More than 1.2 million families are living in public housing units and these homes come in various residential styles like;
- High-rise apartments
- Single-family houses
- Low-rise apartments
You can stay in the public housing unit for as long as you deem fit. However, you must be compliant with your lease.
Public housing solutions allow seniors to maintain close contact with their peers because around 31% of public housing apartments are filled with seniors.
It’s cost-effective compared to retirement homes because costs are determined by the following;
- 10% of your monthly income
- 30% of your monthly income excluding deductions
- Your welfare fee, if applicable, or,
- A set aside sum by the housing agency that is between $25 to $50
For more information about public housing solutions, get in touch with your local public housing agency.
Housing Choice Voucher
This is an alternative for those who don’t want to live in a public housing environment.
The housing choice voucher is a federal program suitable for seniors and low-income families who need assistance paying off their monthly rent.
This program allows you to choose your residential area.
Your income should not exceed 50% of the median income in your residential area to be eligible.
The voucher you’ll get will differ from senior to senior.
Meanwhile, your local public housing organization will determine the level of housing assistance available to you.
Also, the landlords need to give consent for seniors to be allowed to rent under the housing choice voucher program.
Section 202 Supportive Housing
This housing solution is designed for the elderly population to make housing and supportive elderly services affordable.
Section 202 supportive housing has two primary functions and they are listed below;
It provides funds to non-profit organizations to build, rehabilitate, or get supportive housing for seniors with meager incomes.
It provides project rental assistance contracts that settle the difference between the reduced rent that qualified seniors need to pay and the operating cost of a specific development.
The communities that are built from the above funding will differ.
It can help seniors live an independent life while getting support related to cooking, transportation, cooking and other relevant lifestyle needs.
To become eligible, you must have a 62-year-old senior or older as a member of your family.
Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC)
LIHTC is a federal program that ensures that there’s an adequate number of low-income housing to meet the market’s demands.
Between 1995 and 2017, LIHTC created 107,000 units.
Housing units were set aside for low-income earners by the building owners for a stipulated rent amount specified by the federal government to participate in the scheme and become eligible for tax credits.
To take part in LIHTC as a senior, you need to apply in your community.
Check out low-cost housing websites that run the LIHTC program to get a unit.
When it comes to housing, you’re faced with numerous options. For low-income seniors, there are a lot of housing solutions that you can leverage and live comfortably.