Safe, Affordable Housing for Senior Citizens

Fortunately for many of America’s low-income, elderly individuals, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) considers housing for seniors to be one of its most important functions. HUD works to make safe, affordable housing a reality for senior citizens.

Like participants in its other programs, however, those who wish to participate in HUD’s senior housing program must meet certain qualifications.

Criteria for acceptance

Applicants to HUD’s senior housing program must apply for housing that meets at least one of the following requirements:

It must house only occupants who are at least 62 years of age,

Its design must be specifically intended for elderly occupants, or



Four of every five units must house one or more people over 55 years of age.

As you might suspect, senior housing usually is found in apartment or neighborhood complexes. Many people are familiar, to some extent, with such senior living communities.

For certain elderly individuals, personal care homes might be an option. Personal care homes are intended for seniors who need daily assistance, but do not require hospitalization. HUD may provide financial assistance to enable an individual to live in a personal care home, assuming they are 65 or older and have very little income for the area (as determined by HUD).

The perks

It goes almost without saying that the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s program is a huge financial relief for many elderly people. The burden of paying a full rent or mortgage is simply too much for many seniors without any significant source of income.

The program adjusts its financial requirements depending on where an individual lives, allowing seniors to find housing in their local rental market.

For seniors benefitting from the use of personal care homes, the advantages are even greater. Day-to-day living becomes less of a chore and quality of life skyrockets. The financial stability of the reduced rent is just another benefit.

Getting in

In addition to the general criteria listed above, there are other considerations which must be accounted for if one is to secure senior housing. The first is urgency. The lower one’s income, the more likely he or she is to receive assistance.

Qualified applicants fall into one of two categories: low and very low incomes. Low income describes seniors whose income equals 80% or less of the median income of the county in which he lives. Very low income describes seniors whose income falls at or below the 50% mark. Applicants are required to supply supporting documents verifying these financial numbers.

The second consideration is suitability. HUD may actually schedule a series of interviews to ensure that an applicant and the applicant’s family will behave appropriately.

Things worth knowing

Even if you seem to be a prime candidate according to every other consideration, you may be denied senior housing if you plan to move into the home with non-seniors, such as adult children or grandchildren. This exception is permitted by The Fair Housing Act.

Seniors who have a rental or homeownership history full of disruptive behavior could also be denied housing based on that fact alone.