Pansy Finds a New Home Through USDA

Art: Robin Mead. Page Updated: June 2019

If you live in a rural area (or want to) you may be able to find affordable housing  through the USDA’s Rural Development program. Many of these programs have shorter wait lists than other housing programs. See links below for where to apply.

Pansy’s Story

I got into my current apartment in 3 months.

I have a nice one-bedroom apartment in a small rural town. It is well managed, safe, quiet and very affordable.

The downside is healthcare and other services are limited. Also, the local grocery store doesn’t deliver.

My apartment complex is for low-income elderly or disabled people. You don’t have to be both elderly and disabled, just one. 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 so it is affordable for people who are low income. It is similar to getting a HUD apartment, just in a very rural area.

Here’s a slide show of a few places across the country: USDA Housing Slide Show


I pay roughly one-third of my income for rent and utilities are included. If you have medical expenses or a service animal, make sure to list these costs as this will lower your rent.

The rules for rent are similar to the rules in HUD housing: How to Calculate (and sometimes lower) Rent


Some buildings are for elderly or disabled, and some are for everyone.

If a place is marked “elderly,” always call and ask if they accept younger people with disabilities. Many will.

The USDA guidelines on qualifying for “disability” housing are not strict. They do not specifically state that you need to be approved for Social Security or another form of disability. Am I “Elderly” or “Disabled”?

Where to Apply

🌷 Here’s where you can find a map of USDA apartments.

🌷 Or you can go to this Search by Zipcode page. Tip: If you type in just the first three numbers of your zipcode and you will be shown more opportunities in surrounding areas.

🌷 Once again, if a place is marked “elderly,” always call and ask if they accept younger people with disabilities.

More Options

🌷 The USDA funds several types of housing programs and can also help with loans for home ownership in rural counties.

🌷 At some point, the USDA had a housing voucher program. It’s unclear if this program is still going on. Please comment below if you know more.

🌷 More housing options: Section 8 Guide for the Disabled and Plucky

What Do You Think? 

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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10 thoughts on “Pansy Finds a New Home Through USDA”

  1. I am disabled 100% and on disability. And found myself having to move because of finances. My biggest problem is the insurance. What I have is not the preferred insurance here. P P O verse H M O. There is no doctor out here that takes H M O’S (that is my insurance). Was referred to the Doctor ( N P ) next closest town about a 1/2 hr away. With my condition this very hard on me and I am unable to drive round trip so I must stay over night at my own expense. I wish I had known that my insurance would not be excepted here in this small town. And I am having many problems with the N P. He has none of my medical records though I signed a release form. He wants to start from scratch. Wants to change one of my medication but won’t answer my question on the side affects of the new medication and talks to me as if I where a child I am 57. So It has been decided that in July I would return to my old doctor 76 miles away ( July because I had no one to drive me there till then). Called up about my refills (22’nd of the month gave them 4 days notice) and was told that my N R was on vacation and I would have to wait until the 25 ( though he told me he would and could send them electronically and yes I question him on that to). and no one in the office could help me. I have been in touch with my insurance company and filed a grievance and with the State. Right now I’m basically on hold. Be careful when you move make sure that your insurance is excepted.


  2. When applying for a Voucher whether its Section 8 or HCV, Veterans Voucher, the LGBT voucher, other help agency, Salvation or Red Cross, USDA or County Voucher. Be truthful, get your affairs in order before applying. You dont want to be waiting on a former in-law, partner or other ne’er do well when applying for benefits. Get your medical receipts, utility bills, divorce papers, Insurance payments, Medically necessary items, & all documents ready. Get your Doctor to sign each year for your medically necessary items. I do food stamps & housing all at the same time. They both require almost the exact same docs. Lastly Don’t worry, give that over to God.


  3. I live in the Sacramento ca area we are screwed here if disabled and elderly any ideas of area to try outside of here


  4. Thank you for writing about this. I want to clarify that Usda loans are in areas that Usda calls rural but aren’t rural. I have a Usda loan live in part of Asheville North Carolina. My location is stellar, close to grocery, upscale neighborhoods and shopping with Ymca and REI, a mile from interstate, some of the best schools in city,etc. not I’m a rural area, but the Usda calls it rural.
    USDA rural housing loans have very odd boundaries. If you’re interested in a particular area, you can go to the Usda website for specific maps of which areas qualify for a loan.
    I’m in sect 8 and bought a house using a voucher to get a Usda subsidized loan.
    Usda subsidized loan will deduct out of pocket disability and doctor expenses.
    Sect 8 has a family self sufficiency program that’s available for single people as well aimed at helping buy a house.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sharon, Do you know if the USDA home loan program is available for disabled people living on SSI? In 5 years, I will be switched over to permanent retirement automatically at age 62, I believe. Wondering if SSI qualifies for their program. Thank you.


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