If you are searching for subsidized housing, you may be surprised to discover that some “low income” housing is pretty expensive. Plus they won’t accept actual low income people!
If you are an actual low income person, the best type of housing to look for is:
- HUD Apartments and
- USDA Rural Rental Assistance
If you get into one of these types of housing, you do not need a voucher! Your rent will be really cheap no matter what.
Rent is set to be 30% or income. Let’s say your household income is $800 per month:
- If landlord pays utilities, your rent would be roughly $240.
- If you pay utilities, your rent would be roughly $100.
What If I Have No Income?
If you have no income, rent will be $0. They may also mail you a check for utilities. Some housing programs charge a minimum fee of $50/month, but it is sometimes possible to request a hardship waiver.
Tips for Calling
🌷 You can try calling or emailing. You may have to try each place several times to reach someone.
🌷 Some places won’t tell you that they have apartments that are subsidized. When you call, they will just tell you a flat rate rent. It’s helpful to ask “Do you have any apartments that are funded by HUD? Do you have any apartments where rent is set at 30% of income? How can I get on the wait list for just those apartments?”
🌷 If it’s a “senior” building, make sure to ask “Do you accept younger people with disabilities?” Many will accept as long as there is one disabled adult (they may not accept children).
How to Find Places to Contact
Go to the HUD map. If the HUD map makes your head explode, here’s a few Tricks for Using the HUD Map Without Losing Your Mind
- ORANGE = Buildings where some or all apartments HUD (super cheap).
- DARK GREEN = Buildings where all or some apartments are Rural Rental Assistance (super cheap)
- PURPLE = Buildings that may be more expensive, but it doesn’t hurt to call and ask the rent.
- YELLOW = Housing Authorities that usually have several buildings that are all HUD apartments. They may also have waiting lists for Housing Vouchers.
Hate The HUD Map?
This is a different option that may leave some things out, but is still good. Go to AffordableHousingOnline:
- Look for any buildings labeled “subsidized” or “project based section 8” or “usda rental assistance” or “project based vouchers”
- Some buildings are mislabeled, so if you want to be really thorough, call everywhere and ask if they have any subsidized apartments.
- Type in your zip code. Then try zip codes in surrounding areas.
Bonus Rent Rules
🌷 Good news: If rent is 30% of income, this means your rent will be the same no matter how many bedrooms are in the apartment. A three bedroom will cost exactly the same as a one bedroom (but they won’t let you move into a three bedroom unless you have the right family size).
🌷 Bad news: Even if your rent is $0 per month, you still have to pay the full deposit for the full value of the apartment. Some buildings will allow you a discounted rate or to pay in installments. Sometimes local nonprofit programs can assist. You may also need to pay deposits to utility companies. Again, sometimes local groups can assist.
🌷 If you want the extreme nitty gritty detail: Exactly How Much Rent Will I Pay?
THANKS FOR READING
🌷 This page is part of the free online guide: Section 8 Guide for the Disabled and Plucky
🌷 Page Updated: 8/1/19. 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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