Housing tip # 1:
Here is a list of 12 different places you can search for housing if you are disabled and/or low-income (in the US)
Housing tip # 2:
If you would like to learn more about communes, eco-villages, cooperatives, land trusts, and other groovy ways of living, check out this Guide to Cooperative Living on a Disability Income (international)
Housing tip #3
If you are on SSI, it’s important to learn the SSI housing regs and make sure you are paying the right amount of rent. If you pay the wrong amount, your check will be lowered. Some people discover that they have been getting a lower check for the last ten years! (Note: This is for SSI only. It does not matter for SSDI.)
Housing tip #4
HUD offers very affordable housing programs. Some people avoid HUD and Section 8 because they think they will have to live in a Housing Project. No, no, no. Almost any landlord can accept Section 8. You just have to talk them into it. HUD also offers apartments in certain buildings, and many of them are quite safe and nice – look for buildings geared towards the elderly, and then call and ask if they will accept a younger person with disabilities. Learn more about HUD apartments. And then learn more about Section 8.
Housing tip #5
I had so many tips on How to Find Wonderful Housemates & Caregivers that I had to create a whole separate page just for that topic.
Housing tip #6
There are articles on Electromagnetic Free communities here and here. A list of housing for Multiple Chemical Sensitivities is here and here and a website about tiny houses for people with chemical sensitivities is here.
Housing tip #7
There are several Facebook groups for people seeking Spoonie roommates: here’s one for CFS/ME/Lyme/Fibro and Invisible Illnesses, here’s one for Environmental Illness and here’s another one for Environmental Illness and here’s one for Lyme Disease. This is the Facebook page for DFEND, is a new nonprofit group with a goal of creating housing where patients with ME and other chronic illnesses could live in non-toxic, quiet, healing environments.
Housing tip #8
If you are unable to care for yourself, check out: How To Be Homebound. You may be able to find a way to get a caregiver, which can give you more options for ways to live.
Housing tip #9
Even housing that does not accept pets, will often allow animals with a doctor’s letter stating that this is a disability service animal or an emotional support animal. In some cases, they will be legally required to allow this. (No joke: I just read a story about a woman in California who got to keep her psychiatric pig)
Housing tip #10
Some housing programs for low-income seniors will also allow people with disabilities or people who are almost seniors. They don’t tell you this. You have to call and ask. Housing programs for seniors and people with disabilities are often nicer, safer, and quieter than general low income housing for families.
Housing tip # 11
Many of the programs above have waiting lists. Long waiting lists. Get on as many as you can. Get on some in different cities, counties or states. Get in wherever you can, and then you can start to upgrade as others open up. I know one woman who waited fifteen years. She’s got a great place now though!
Housing tip # 12
Try getting on waiting lists in other areas. It can take decades to get housing in some areas, and just a few days in others. Look in surrounding cities, counties, and states. Waiting lists in rural or isolated areas may be much shorter than big cities.
Housing tip # 13
Sometimes waiting lists are closed. Especially for Section 8. If the waiting lists are all closed, don’t give up hope, just get scrappy. Keep calling. They will open eventually, and then close again. Sometimes they open for FOUR DAYS. Climb through the window in the moment you can.
If you live in Massachusetts, attorney Ken Casanova has written this excellent article on how these different housing programs work along with info on how to apply.
Please share your spoonie housing tips below. Also: Please tell us if any links on this page stop working.