Housing Tips For Spoonies

Art: Robin Mead

Tips to make life more livable and housing more hospitable for people with chronic illness and disabilities

Housing tip # 1:

Here is a Long list of different places you can search for housing if you are disabled and/or low-income. If you don’t want a long list, try this instead: How to Find Open Waiting Lists the Easy Way (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

If you live with a caregiver or live in aide, there are many extra benefits that may help you. In some cases, this will apply if your aide is a friend or family member: Extra Special Benefits for People with Live-In Aides or Caregivers

Housing tip #5

Section 8 is the most affordable housing program for many disabled people. Some people don’t apply for Section 8 because they think they will have to live somewhere unsafe, or they think that it is impossible to get on Section 8. Don’t give up hope! It is possible to get Section 8, and there are many nice Section 8 apartments for people with disabilities. Section 8 Guide for the Disabled and Plucky

Housing tip #6

Housing marked “elderly or disabled” are often the nicest. Make sure to call all places that say “seniors only” and ask if they can take younger people with disabilities.

Housing tip #7

Many people try to apply for Section 8 by calling just two or three places and then giving up. It’s nearly impossible to get on section 8 that way. How to Actually Get on Section 8 (even when the wait lists are closed).

Housing tip #8

We had so many tips on How to Find Wonderful Housemates & Caregivers that we had to create a whole separate page just for that topic.

Housing tip #9

Facebook groups for people with chronic illness and disabilities looking to find roommates or improve their housing scene: Housing for Spoonies Facebook Groups If you are living in affordable housing (or want to be): HUD and Section 8 Disabled Residents & Family Members

Housing tip #10

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 #11

Even housing that does not accept pets, will often allow an Emotional Support Animal with a doctor’s letter. Learn more: Rosemary Gets an Emotional Support Animal

Housing tip #12

If you think subsidized housing can’t be nice, we’ve made a little slide show to change your mind: Can Affordable Housing Be Nice? (See for yourself)

Housing tip # 13

If you are currently living in subsidized housing (or applying) there are many accommodations that may be able to help you: Section 8 Secrets for People with Disabilities

Housing Tip #14

If you are currently living in subsidized housing (or applying) and run into a problem: How to Get Help or File Complaints for Housing Problems

Housing tip # 15

If you are looking for housing, 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 # 16

If you are disabled and live in some forms of subsidized housing, your rent can be lowered if you have medical expenses. A home aide can live with you for free, if this is medically necessary. Expenses for support animals can also be deducted. How to Calculate Rent in HUD Housing

What Do You Think? 

Updated July 2018. Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working. 

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