How to Search and Apply for a HUD Apartment

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Artwork: Robin Mead

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

Go to this map to search. If you are unable to use the map you can Go to this site to search, but the map is much better and will show you a lot more options.

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.

🌸 Multifamily HUD apartments – These are a mix. Some are good but some are not as clean and safe. 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). 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.

Six: Apply

🌸  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, you can request a disability accommodation.

Seven: 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, intentional communities and a bunch more options here: Lots more housing options

Eight: 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.

🌸  It’s a good idea to call periodically to make sure they have your correct contact info and you are still on the list.

🌸  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!!!

 

 

4 thoughts on “How to Search and Apply for a HUD Apartment”

  1. Subsidized housing is also available in rural counties and is funded through the USDA’s Rural Development Rental Assistance program. Many of these projects have shorter wait lists. I got into my current apartment in 3 months because there was a local preference. https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/multi-family-housing-rental-assistance

    In both HUD and USDA projects all costs associated with your service or emotional support animal and medical expenses, along with income, are used to determine your monthly rent.

    Many people don’t realize they meet HUD’s definition of homelessness. If you are in a housing situation that is expected to last less than 10 days, or doubled up (couch surfing) you may meet HUD’s definition of homelessness, which opens up more options for housing. Many people erroneously think you have to be out on the streets or in a shelter to be considered homeless. There are also housing programs for people who are fleeing domestic violence.

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    1. Thank you so much for this fabulous post Lisa. This will be very helpful.

      I’d love to know more about your experience with usda house. What is the house like? do you like it there? any tips for anyone else applying for USDA?

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      1. The United States Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (USDA) funds several types of housing programs and can also help with loans for home ownership in very rural counties. I have a nice one bedroom apartment in a small rural town. It is well managed, safe and quiet, but health care and other services are limited. Also, the local grocery store doesn’t deliver. The apartment complex is for low-income elderly or disabled single people. It is managed by a non-profit and the local housing authority. It was built with a loan through the USDA and rents are subsidized through the USDA’s Rural Development Rental Assistance program. I pay roughly a third of my income for rent and utilities are included. If you want to find a subsidized apartment in a rural area or find out about their home loan programs you could contact your state’s USDA Rural Development officer at https://www.rd.usda.gov/contact-us/state-offices. Basicly, it is similar to getting an apartment in a HUD funded apartment project, just in a very rural area.

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