One: Learn About HUD
If you have not already done so, it’s a real good idea to learn a little about How HUD Apartments Work
Two: Start Searching
Three: Find Everything
If you select to see ALL resources you will be shown a mix of different options:
🌸 Elderly and disability HUD apartments – These are often very affordable and very nice. If a house is marked elderly, be sure to call and ask if they also accept younger people who have a disability. They very often do. These are commonly one bedrooms and efficiencies, though a small number of two bedrooms are sometimes available.
🌸 Multifamily HUD apartments – These are a mix. Some are good, but many are generic public housing that are not as safe or well maintained. The way the HUD site is set up, it’s very difficult to tell the difference between the elderly housing and the multi-family housing. You may have to call and ask.
🌸 Low Income Tax Credit apartments – These are often (but not always) nice. Despite the name, some of them are not for actual low income. Some are cheap and some are pricier.
🌸 Group Homes – These are houses where people with disabilities live together and some care may be provided. They are often geared towards mental health or developmental disabilities.
🌸 Housing Agencies – These are local resources where you can call or visit their website to ask what other housing programs they have available.
Four: Broaden Your Horizons
🌸 You may have greater success if you search widely.
🌸 You can press the “plus” or “minus” button to zoom in and out on the map.
🌸 You may find it worth relocating if you find a great HUD apartment.
🌸 Some HUD apartments are clean, safe, quiet, well-maintained and have VERY low rent. If you find a place like this, it may be worth relocating.
Five: Start Calling
🌸 Start making calls! Be persistent! You may have to call back 5 times before someone answers the phone. You can also try leaving a message and see if someone calls you back. Sometimes they do.
🌸 You can also try to inquire by email. Many HUD apartments have emails that you can find by doing a Google search online. Sometimes this works, sometimes not.
🌸 Different buildings have different rules. Some will run credit checks and criminal background checks. Even if you have bad credit or a criminal background, you may still be eligible, depending on the circumstances. You may wish to inquire about this to find out more about where you will be eligible.
Six: Inquire About Rent
🌸 Rent will vary. In HUD apartments, rent will be 30% of your income. If your disability check is $900, your rent will be $300. Live-in aides live for free.
🌸 Even though this is the HUD map, not everything listed is a HUD apartment! Some charge higher rents. If you are looking for an apartment that charges 30%, be sure to keep calling and ask everywhere.
Six: Get Your Documents Together
🌸 It is possible that at some point you will come up on a waiting list, or you will be contacted by a housing agency, and you will be given very little time to get them your documents. Like “You have 5 days to get us these ten things!”
🌸 Start gathering together: birth certificate, social security card, recent social security and ssi benefit statements, pay stubs and income records, recent bank statements, proof of food stamps statements, driver’s license or state ID, and any other records related to your income and assets. Make sure your birth certificate is a vital records birth certificate not a hospital birth certificate.
🌸 If you don’t have all these things yet, you can still apply most places. It’s helpful to start putting them together for the future though.
🌸 Apply for as many waiting lists as you can.
🌸 It’s a great idea to take a few minutes to learn the rent regs. In some cases, certain regs can mean lower rent.
🌸 Some may require that you apply in person. If you are unable to do this because of your disability, you can request a disability accommodation.
🌸 If someone refuses your disability accommodation and insists that you must come in person to apply, you can try one of these Magic Sentences That Can Change a “No” to a “Yes”
Eight: Keep Looking
🌸 HUD apartments are one great housing option. But there are lots of other good options out there too! Check out USDA housing, Section 8 Housing Vouchers, intentional communities and a bunch more options here: Lots more housing options.
Nine: The Wait
🌸 After you apply, call to confirm your application was received and you are now on the waiting list.
🌸 If you move, make sure to give them your new address and then confirm that the new address is in their system.
🌸 It’s a good idea to call periodically to make sure they have your correct contact info and you are still on the list.
🌸 If you go out of town, try to have someone check your mail. You may get notices with deadlines to respond.
🌸 Some HUD apartments have no wait list and are available immediately. Others are 3+ years. If you apply several places, your chances will be better.
🌸 Be patient. In time you will find something great!!!