How To Obtain Section 8 Low Income Senior Housing
The steps to obtain Low Income senior housing can be riddled with difficulty if you don't know where to look. The fastest and easiest way to get into an Affordable Senior Apartment on a fixed income is to contact Section 202 Senior Apartment complexes directly.
However, if you are interested in going through HUD's normal channels you can always follow the steps below:
In order to obtain financial help for HUD's Affordable Senior Housing (low-income senior apartments), seniors must first be verified as an eligible low-income or very low income household by applying at a Public Housing Authority (PHA) in the same area where the low income senior apartment is located.
Enroll To Verifiy Eligibility
The application process requires the senior to be interviewed by an officer at the Public Housing Authority to verify eligibility. But the interviews are by appointment only and all senior applicants will be placed on a waiting list and have to wait to be called in for the interview. The waiting list is also referred to as "Enrollment".
The enrollment (the waiting list) can be closed if the number of seniors on the list is so great that there is no room for new applicants. When the waiting list has been closed it is known as "Closed Enrollment", once the waiting list is opened up to new applicants it is called "Open Enrollment". Large metropolitan areas are more prone to closed enrollment and, in some cases, only have Open Enrollment every two or three years. Meaning that in some places it can take a few years just to get on the waiting list.
Enrollment Participant Selection for Interview
The PHA will select one of the seniors from the waiting list and ask them to come in to the office for an interview. Once a senior is enrolled on the verification/qualification waiting list they must wait for the PHA to call them for an interview.
The enrollees are selected from the waiting list based on need and circumstances, not on the order received. This means that there can be extremely long waits for seniors that are seeking financial assistance for Low Income Housing. For many it can take years to become qualified as eligible after waiting years to just get on the waiting list.
The Housing Choice Voucher Program Pays Some of The Rent
Once a senior has been interviewed the PHA will let them know whether or not they qualify for the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP). The PHA will find what the rent is that is being charged by the apartment complex then determine the amount of the rent the senior is responsible for paying. The HCVP will pay the difference between what the rent is and what the senior pays (paid directly to the apartment). So if the Apartment costs $800/mo and the PHA determines the senior can only afford to pay $400/mo the HCVP will pay $400 to the apartment to cover the cost of rent the senior couldn't afford.
Selecting An Affordable Low Income Senior Apartment
Once a senior is approved for the Housing Choice Voucher they can then select a Section 202 Affordable Senior Housing Apartment. It is important to know that there are also waiting lists for those low income senior apartments so it is also important to get on as many waiting lists as possible.
Keep in mind that the Affordable Senior Apartment must be within the same area as the Public Housing Authority that is providing the voucher. For example, if a senior enrolled in the Boaz Public Housing Authority, and is accepted in the HCVP through the Boaz PHA, the apartment must be an Affordable Senior Apartment located within the area that the Boaz PHA covers.
More Helpful Information:
Housing Choice Voucher Eligibility Requirements
Section 202 Eligibility Requirements
Understanding Section 202 Affordable Senior Housing
Affordable Senior Apartments Have Perks