If the cost of renting a home or apartment has escalated beyond your ability to pay for a place to live, it could be time to consider low income housing. If you're on a fixed income, it's good to start looking for low income housing before you're in a financial crisis because you could be on the waiting list for years, especially if you live in a city where rent is becoming unaffordable. Here are some types of low income housing that might be available.
Section 8 Housing
You may be familiar with Section 8 Housing, but it is now known as Housing Choice Voucher Program. The benefit of qualifying for this type of low income housing is that the assistance is assigned to you personally. That means you can move to any apartment or home that you like as long as the landlord participates in the program. You might get payments every month for rent or the money might be sent to your landlord. The assistance might cover the entire rent or just part of it. If the whole amount isn't covered, then you'll be responsible for the rest. This program gives you peace of mind knowing you won't lose your assistance if you have to move.
Public housing projects work a little differently. In this case, the assistance goes directly to the community. So, if you have to move or get kicked out, then you'll have to start the search for low income housing all over. There are communities for seniors and families. Some cities are adding new public housing buildings in response to the rent crisis, and others are revitalizing existing communities to make them safer. There may be more people applying than there are apartments available, so it's good to get on a wait list as soon as you need the help. Also, you'll want to get prequalified based on your income, age, or disability so you know before you wait if you'll be accepted.
Contact a housing authority or social service agency for help where you live. Programs exist for seniors, those with disabilities, families with small children, rural residents, and those in metropolitan areas. A community organization can connect you with resources available locally that help with emergency housing, assistance with rent, and programs available for low income housing. Low income housing is based on your income, but different programs have different requirements, so look into everything available to get the right type of assistance and to get help as quickly as possible.Share