Charlotte, North Carolina Low Income Senior Apartments
The American population is getting older and many of those aging baby boomers are on looking for a place to live in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. It is expected that when the last of the generation of baby boomers reaches the age of 65, the senior population in the US will have reached 22 percent. This means that there will be one senior citizen for every 5 Americans. However, with the increase in the senior population comes a pretty big housing problem. While about two-thirds of the seniors own homes, nearly 21 million seniors rent.
Since the number of seniors that rent versus owning their housing has increased, it has had a profound impact on real estate. In addition, there is an increase in the movement of senior adults into secondary cities to be near establishments and health care facilities to meet their daily needs. One of the cities that has seen the rise of senior migration is Charlotte, NC.
If you or a loved one is an aging adult that is searching for a low income place to live in Charlotte, read on through the following sections to find out more information:
- Why Are Aging Adults Moving to Charlotte, NC?
- Is There Low Cost Senior Housing in Charlotte?
- How to Look for Senior Housing Options in Charlotte, NC
- How Charlotte Seniors Can Pay for Low Income Senior Housing
- How to Qualify for Low Income Housing
- How Do I Find Low Income Senior Apartments in Charlotte?
There has been a steady increase in the need for Charlotte low income senior living apartments within the city and surrounding suburbs. This increase is not surprising since Charlotte, North Carolina, has been consistently included in Forbes's best places for people over 55 to retire. Likewise, Charlotte is filled with facilities, magnet hospitals, and fitness centers that cater to the senior population.
On top of that, Charlotte is attracting an influx of seniors because the medical costs in Charlotte are 5% lower than the national average. As a result, Charlotte is a great city to live in for seniors because of more affordable medical costs and easy access to senior health care facilities.
For real estate developers, the influx of seniors moving into Charlotte means more housing needs to be to be made available. Many of these seniors do not have the ability to purchase a home and many that can purchase won’t because of the upkeep involved. There are a great number of seniors that have retired and depend on a single fixed income so affordability is of great concern to them. Of course, since affordability is relative, what is affordable to one senior in terms of rent may not be affordable to another.
Seniors tend to have increasing medical expenses as they continue to grow old, which can cause a financial burden that must be considered when looking for affordable living options. This burden can seriously limit the amount that seniors can afford for rent payments.
Typically, when there is an increase in demand for something prices will rise. This is especially true with real estate. So, seniors moving into an area with an increasing population may find it necessary to hunt for low cost senior housing in Charlotte.
Charlotte is not the only city that is seeing an influx of its senior population. As a senior’s medical needs rise and their capabilities diminish, seniors tend to move into more populated areas that have better supporting services and medical providers. But more populated areas also come packaged with a higher cost of living, including monthly rent payments. Fortunately, the US Government has developed a few subsidized living programs that cater to the needs of the elderly for Charlotte low income senior housing options.
Low cost senior housing properties are typically community-based apartments with reasonably-priced monthly rents made available for lower-income seniors. The main purpose of low cost senior housing is to allow the elderly to have enough money left to pay for other monthly expenses such as medication, grocery and other things like durable medical equipment.
Low cost senior housing is usually a result of a collaboration between the government and qualified housing providers. The rent seniors have to pay is usually determined by the resident's monthly adjusted income. While the elderly resident will only pay a small, pre-determined portion of the actual rent, the government will pay the remainder of the rent to the housing provider so that they receive full market value for rent each month. This helps to incentivize developers of multifamily units to create low income living spaces for the elderly in and around Charlotte.
Looking for senior housing can really be a challenge, especially if you are on a tight budget. Cities, like Charlotte, with higher populations tend to quickly run out of housing units to offer because of the popularity of the services and amenities that are available in the area. Seniors that have more flexibility in location can search for living options available in other cities that are nearby. If a senior performs a search for “Charlotte low income senior living near me” on a search engine they can expand their search radius of the results presented to see a list of other options available outside of Charlotte city center.
Seniors that have limited incomes can also search for available options online through government websites such as HUD.gov. Likewise, senior living search websites such as Senioridy.com can help older adults find affordable housing options in and around the Charlotte area.
Seniors may also call a local Public Housing Authority (PHA) for information on available housing options within the authority's area of jurisdiction. Senior adults who live in an area with overlapping counties should call the housing authority of each county for information about low income senior housing within each specific county.
Many options are available for seniors to help with their housing payments from government programs that have been created specifically for senior residents. Here are three of the most popular housing programs that low income seniors can check out:
Housing Voucher Program
The Housing Choice Voucher program (HCV), originally known as Section 8 of the 1937 Housing Act, is the US Federal Government's largest rent assistance program which seniors can take advantage of. Any resident over the age of 19 who meets the income requirements can apply for the HCV program. So, if a senior resident finds a low income apartment in Charlotte that costs $800 per month, that senior may only have to pay $300 or $400 toward rent and the voucher will cover the rest. Then, the property owner turns the voucher in to be reimbursed for the rest of the rent.
Unlike other subsidized housing programs, the voucher goes to the renter and not to the housing property owners. Each voucher is given directly to the qualified resident, giving them the option of relocating and choosing from any of the Charlotte low income senior housing communities that accept housing vouchers. With the Section 8 program, the voucher goes where the tenant goes allowing the elderly to select the best property available for their needs.
Property owners in Charlotte who wish to join the housing voucher program should have properties that meet the public housing authority's health and safety standards. However, it is still the choice of the voucher recipient to accept or reject a PHA-certified rental property. The down side of the housing voucher program is that it can take years to qualify for a voucher, leaving many seniors in a bind when an immediate need arises.
Section 202 Affordable Senior Housing
Section 202, also known as the Affordable Senior Housing Program, expands HUD's Section 8 program with the additional provisions of supportive services for the elderly. In addition, this section provides non-profit community housing developers the ability to apply for extremely low-rate senior apartment development loans from the federal government. This program aims to give qualified housing developers incentives to build more affordable housing options for the increasing elderly population.
Another component of Section 202 is to subsidize rents for the elderly tenants who live in a Section 202 property. HUD contributes the rental subsidies directly to qualified landlords to supplement the rental payments. The senior tenants will shoulder only a small part of the rent, which is usually about 30% of their Monthly Adjusted Income or MAI. So, if fair market value for a rental unit would be $900, the senior only pays a small portion of that rent while the federal government pays the property owner the rest. The nice thing about Section 202 apartments is that applying for the program is quite easy. Usually a senior only has to call a property they are interested in to go through the qualification process.
The third component of HUD’s Section 202 Program is that senior residents in Charlotte can usually benefit from an on-location Service Coordinator. The function of the Service Coordinator is to help the senior resident find services and programs to help supplement the senior’s care needs.
How the Low Income Housing Tax Credit works for Seniors in Charlotte
The Low Income Housing Tax Credit or LIHTC is a tax credit program that gives non-profit and for-profit housing developers tax credits in exchange for allocating a portion of their development units for low income residents and for low income senior resident. The tax credits are an incentive for developers to build new housing or acquire and rehabilitate existing housing units to help give housing options to low income households.
The LIHTC program is the most federally funded housing program in the United States, representing approximately 90% of all low income housing units available in the US. Therefore, a senior resident who is looking for a Charlotte subsidized senior housing unit can probably find one under the LIHTC program.
However, program applicants should understand that a community that accepts LIHTC residents is not necessarily exclusive to seniors. The community owner has the choice of designating which units to set aside for seniors and which units to rent at full prices. Therefore, seniors that choose a LIHTC program should expect to live in a community with a mixed age group. It is important to carefully evaluate a unit to ensure that it is a safe option for a senior that may have physical challenges.
The LIHTC program is different from the other programs because its rent is not based on an elderly adult's income. Instead, the rent for a LIHTC unit is based on the number of bedrooms and the income bracket designated to the unit. Therefore, community owners under the LIHTC program can designate different units and assign them to specific income brackets. Rent for each unit is preset and applicants must match the unit’s low income qualifications. If a unit is set aside for a household that lives in the very low income range, the rent will be set at a fixed amount for that income bracket according to income levels specific to Charlotte, NC and the resident applying must not exceed that bracket’s income level.
The LIHTC program assigns income brackets by establishing the Area Median Income (AMI) for each area in the country and assigns income brackets, ranging from 30 to 80 percent, to specific housing units. This bracketing system means that a household that falls within a higher income bracket can choose only units they qualify for or choose to pay the fair market rental value for a unit that is in a lower bracket.
Qualifying for low income senior apartments in Charlotte will differ based on the housing program applied for. For example, housing programs that are offered only to senior tenants will have more stringent eligibility requirements. Nevertheless, a senior tenant who wants to be eligible for low cost housing programs should meet the following criteria.
Housing Choice Voucher Program Eligibility
Elderly tenants who want to qualify for a housing choice voucher should enroll with the area's Public Housing Authority. However, the PHA will only release a notice of enrollment if it assesses that there are enough units available and has a very low waitlist. In many areas of the country, especially those areas that have a high population of lower income families, enrollment only opens every three of four years and then only for a month or so when it does open.
One of the eligibility requirements for a housing choice voucher is to have a household income less than 50 percent of the area's mean income (AMI) within that area, so senior tenants must make less than 50%. For example, the area mean income of Charlotte, North Carolina in 2019 was $62,817.00. The eligibility income to qualify for a voucher must be below $31,408.50 per year, which means that any person or household with a total combined income that exceeds this amount will not be qualified.
To determine the authenticity of the application, PHA staff will interview applicants and look for legal documents proving the applicant's identity, banking information, source of income, age, and any other pertinent background information.
The eligibility requirements for a Housing Choice Voucher Program are not senior-specific, which means that any household with a head over 19 years old can enroll in the program. However, senior tenants with a greater need may be give more priority in getting a voucher if the need is determined to be more immediate.
Section 202 Senior Housing Eligibility
Applicants must be 62 years and older and must be classified as having a low income. However, income classifications are dependent on the AMI of each area. Some states define low income as having a total income (based on a four-person household) less than 30 to 80 percent of the AMI.
In North Carolina, the definition of low income is when a household's total income is below 30% of the AMI of the state. For example, based on the available data, the AMI for Charlotte, NC, is $62,817.00. Therefore, for seniors to be eligible for Section 202, the household's total income must be less than $18,845.10 per year.
North Carolina also requires a household member to be either a US citizen or a naturalized alien resident. In addition, seniors applying should not have a criminal record. Any criminal activity are grounds for a resident to be evicted from their unit, and this includes Charlotte Low Income Apartments for Senior Citizens. Tenants that are found to be ineligible for Section 202 program can reapply after three years.
LIHTC Program Eligibility
Applying for the LIHTC program is different than the housing choice voucher but similar to the Section 202 process in that community property owners and property management will handle the application process. Eligibility requirements of having household incomes below specific percentages of the AMI are strictly followed for the unit the resident is applying for.
The property owners will set the number and type of units that are available for senior-only tenants and tenants applying for these units typically must be at least 55 years of age or older. LIHTC Program eligibility is based on the size of the housing unit and the income bracket assigned to that particular unit so a single elderly tenant is likely to only be eligible for a one bedroom unit.
The rent that each household will pay will not be based on the household's Monthly Adjusted Income. Instead, the unit's rent is based on the size of the unit and the income bracket the unit is associated with. If a unit is assigned to the 50% bracket, a senior applying for the unit can’t make more than 50% of Charlotte’s median income.
The rent amount that has been assigned to the unit’s income bracket will stay fixed for one year regardless of whether or not the household's income increases. However, property owners will re-assess whether the household will remain eligible for the unit they are in every year.
While there are numerous programs and millions of units on the market specifically for low income seniors, finding those units can be challenging. Because there is such a high demand for the spaces and so few search platforms available, locating and securing low income senior housing in Charlotte, NC can be a time consuming process.
For seniors that can afford to pay a premium for a place to live, there are all kinds of resources and referral agents that will do the searching for them. But for Low Income seniors, that simply is not the case.
Fortunately, the Senioridy.com platform offers seniors that have low or fixed incomes a good place to search for and find low income senior housing options. Senioridy is an online search platform that is free to use, requires no sign up and it allows seniors and their loved ones to search for whatever type of unit they need.