A Long, Long, Long List of Places You Can Call to Find Affordable Housing

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Art: Robin Mead.

If you think there are no nice, affordable housing opportunities for people with disabilities, it may be that you haven’t made enough phone calls yet.

Some of our readers report that it takes 200-300 phone calls just to find the nice places with open waiting lists. And some have chosen to relocate in order to find somewhere that meets their needs.

If you haven’t made 200 phone calls yet, don’t give up hope. We have heard from many people who kept persisting and eventually found safe, clean, disability-accessible and affordable apartments.

What To Say?

Special Tip Before You Start!

If your household includes at least one disabled adult, start by calling all the places that are “senior” or “elderly” and ask if they accept younger people who are disabled. These places are often nicer and easier to get into. Will allow other family members, but many don’t allow kids.

HUD Apartment Search

Here’s where you can find the HUD Low Rent Apartment Search. If you want to see just the best ones with the shortest waiting lists, click on “elderly” in the search, and then call and ask if they accept younger people with disabilities. Warning: This list is woefully incomplete. It’s a good place to get started. UPDATE: This page is down for renovations. Please keep checking and comment below to let us know when it comes back up.

HUD Map

Here’s where you can go to the The HUD map and search your area. It is much more comprehensive, but also a lot more confusing. Many of our readers have found that it is the most comprehensive and helpful tool once they get used to using it.

Affordable Housing Online

Here’s where you can Go to Affordable Housing Apartment Lists to search. This page is fantastic, but the search results can be a bit wonky in some areas. You can find zip codes in your surrounding area by checking this zipcode radius tool. Update: This site now charges charges $5/month to view phone numbers. Searching is still free.

Rural Development

USDA has apartments available for people who are low-income and wish to live in rural areas. 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. You can also read Pansy’s story of living in USDA Housing

Volunteers of America

Volunteers of America offers VOA affordable housing in various locations. We’ve heard from a few readers who reported that the housing there is clean, safe, and well-maintained. If anyone else has experience with VOA housing, please comment below.

ArtSpace

ArtSpace has 30 buildings for artists across the country. These centers offer living spaces and studios for low-income artists. Rents vary by location.

Section 8

Section 8 is an affordable housing program where rent is set based on income. For people with low income, rent can be very low. For someone with no income, rent can be $0! Section 8 can take persistent and patience, but it is possible to find decent, clean, safe, affordable housing through Section 8. Don’t listen to people who say it is not possible! Section 8 Guide for the Plucky and Disabled

Section 8 Vouchers in Other States

If wait lists in your area are closed, you may be able to apply in other areas, move there for 12 months, and then return (with your voucher) to your current area. This site has a list of Section 8 Voucher Open Waiting Lists. Warning: This list is very incomplete. It’s a good site to see a small selection of what is available around the country. It is not a good way to find all the waiting lists where you live now.

Mercy Housing

Mercy housing is a nonprofit organization that provides affordable housing in more than twenty states.

National Residences

NCR communities offers affordable housing in 27 states. They provide housing to seniors, people with disabilities and/or people who have been homeless. If you see something marked “seniors” be sure to ask if they accept younger people with disabilities. Run by National Church Residences, but open to all religions and backgrounds.

Housing Authorities

Contact all of the Housing Authorities listed below. Make sure to contact each one separately. They may each give you totally different information.

  • State housing authority
  • City housing authority
  • County housing authority
  • Housing authority for nearby cities
  • Housing authority for nearby counties

Housing Authorities (try again!) 

Don’t give up too easily. For each place listed above, make sure to keep calling until you actually reach someone. Don’t expect anyone to call you back. Call back every month and ask when each list will open.

Housing Authority Websites

For each of the Housing Authorities listed above, also check their website. There will often be a page that lists (some but not all) affordable housing opportunities in the area

Intentional Communities

If you are community minded, there are many groovy, interesting, creative communities out there of every size, shape and flavor – including eco-villages, communes, land trusts, cooperative houses, collective farms, spiritual communities, and many more Intentional Communities.

State Resources

More housing programs in

Property Management Companies

Don’t forget to call everywhere marked “elderly” and tell them you are younger and disabled.

Gene B Glick manages 54 affordable housing communities in the Southeast and Midwest.

Hallkeen manages properties in CT, FL, ME, MD, MA, NH, NY, NC, RI, VT and VA. Many (but not all) are dedicated to people who are seniors or disabled and low income.

Stewart Properties manages more than 100 affordable housing properties in New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and Massachusetts.

Wallick Communities manages subsidized and low income apartments in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Kentucky.

Hodges Companies affordable apartments in NH and one in MA

SK Company – affordable apartments in CT, MA, NH, RI, VT

Wayfinders – properties through Massachusetts

EAH Housing – in California and Hawaii

Nonprofits

Many communities have nonprofit programs that help low-income families buy or rent houses. Dial 2-1-1 on your phone and ask what is available. Also check community based mental health centers, veteran’s agencies, and disability organizations.

Secret Vouchers

Sometimes Community based mental health centers, domestic violence programs and homeless agencies have housing vouchers. These are often unadvertised or secret. Even their own staff members may not know they exist! Ask to speak directly to the person who manages housing opportunities.

Catholic Workers

Catholic Worker communities are committed to nonviolence, voluntary poverty, prayer, and hospitality for the homeless, exiled, hungry, and forsaken. Some provide housing. You do not need to be Catholic to participate.

Facebook Groups

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 or applying for affordable housing: HUD and Section 8 Disabled Residents & Family Members

Supportive Housing

If you have a mental health diagnosis and history of homelessness, many Supportive Housing programs are great! Try contacting homeless resource programs in your area.  Also, try Googling the name of your state or city and the words “Supportive Housing” or “Supported Housing.” Here is an example of supportive housing in Virginia. Also, ask at your local Community based mental health center,

Persistence

Keep at it! Dandelion made more than 200 phone calls when looking for good housing. She found a great, super cheap, clean, safe, disability-accessible place in just four months. If you haven’t made 100 phone calls yet, don’t give up hope! Dandelion Gets Nice, Affordable Housing QUICKLY

Social Workers

In some cases, a Social Worker or Case Worker may know about more housing opportunities, or may be able to help you get on waiting lists. You should still look on your own as well! There may be many more opportunities that your Social Worker does not know about: How to Get a Social Worker

Local Agencies

Homeless or At Risk

If you are at-risk for homelessness, contact homeless resource centers. Try both state and local agencies.

You do not have to be living on the streets to be considered homeless. Many programs will consider that you meet the definition if you do not have a fixed living space, or you are sleeping somewhere not normally used for sleeping.

Also: whenever you speak to any program on this list, be sure to tell them you are homeless or in danger of homelessness and ask if they have. priority for homelessness or know any programs that do. Be sure to ask if any of them know of programs for housing vouchers for the homeless.

Nursing Homes 

If you are unable to care for yourself, Medicaid covers nursing homes in all states. You may be eligible even if you have too much money for Medicaid. Some private nursing homes set aside a certain number of “Medicaid beds” and these may be nicer then standard Medicaid nursing homes.

Assisted Living

In some states, Medicaid will pay for assisted living, which may be a small apartment along with meals and other services onsite. Learn more about states where Medicaid pays for assisted living

In some states Medicaid will pay for Adult Care Homes – These may be small private homes where 2-5 people live and food and care is provided for people with disabilities. See link above for more info. Here is an example of Adult Family Care Homes in Florida.

Avoiding Nursing Homes

If you would like to avoid a nursing home there are many programs that may be able to assist you with staying in your home: How to Get Home Services to Avoid a Nursing Home.

If you are already in a nursing home, some state home aide programs have special funds available to help you with costs to transition back to the community.

Foster Care

Many states have programs available for housing for young adults transitioning out of foster care.

Developmental Disabilities / Intellectual Disabilities

Please look into Medicaid waiver programs in your state. The waiting lists are long (often 10+ years), but they can provide housing plus many other support services that can give you support and independence for many years to come. This page for kids waivers also includes many programs open to adults: Waiver programs.

Short Term

Peer run respite centers can provide shelter and mental health support for short periods. Usually a week or two. These programs are run by people who have experienced mental health crisis themselves.

Learn More

🌸 Facebook Group: HUD and Section 8 Disabled Residents & Family Members

🌷 Having problems? How to Get Help or File Complaints for HUD Housing

Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working. If you found this page helpful, please share it with others by pressing one of these magic little buttons: 

20 thoughts on “A Long, Long, Long List of Places You Can Call to Find Affordable Housing”

  1. I’m having to pay application fees just to get on waiting lists. This is not wise financially. And not just the money spent on fees, but every time my credit is checked equals a hard inquiry on my credit record, bringing my score down even lower, which was not so great to begin with. Anyone else running into this? Any advice or suggestions?

    Like

    1. You can ask every place if they have any subsidized/section 8 units. This is different than vouchers.

      If they do, apply for the waiting list for subsidized units only. They cannot legally charge an application fee if you are applying for only the subsidized units. Some housing workers do not know this rule.

      If you look on the HUD map link above, call everywhere that is orange colors. All of those should have at least some subsidized units.

      Hope this helps.

      Like

      1. Thank you so much! After applying to all open county and city voucher/subsidized lists in my state, as well as section 42 (LIHTC or Low Income Housing Tax Credit), most had waiting lists 2-5 years long. I broadened my search out of state and found a brand new section 42 complex that was barely half full. Just moved in and my rent is 33% of my income. I highly recommend looking out of state, if at all possible, to increase your chances of finding decent affordable housing.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I was so upset when I went down to housing to apply the lady told me to not even bother applying for section 8 and told me for city housing it will take years too. I am a single mother only receiving only supplemental security income for mental issues. I’ve been trying to see if I can get a little more money for having my daughter. She has speech issues and has been on an iep for a couple years now. Any advice on housing?

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    1. Your local housing office is a good place to start, but there are probably many many more places you can contact. The more places you apply, the better your chances. Hope it goes well.

      Like

  3. Thank you for making this list to help me find a home. Sometimes it’s all so scary and overwhelming that my mind closes down on me and I can’t think clearly. This list really helps me to have hope and a plan so I don’t give up. One of the hardest parts about losing everything is how ashamed and alone I feel. This list makes me feel less alone–like someone else has been there and cares what happens to me. Thank you. May our heavenly Father reward you for helping those who have nothing.

    Like

  4. Thanks so much for your awesome resources.

    I found this list of areas that use a neat widget (list is on the widget developer site) to do a housing search that help you look for things like accessibility features and transit availability. Of course one would want to verify, but it would help decide where to call first.
    http://emphasyshls.com/

    Like

  5. Your information is amazing and so detailed . Just wondering if you’ve ever thought of researching and posting links for Canada and the UK. ?

    You’re so very good at it …so it wouldn’t be a huge stretch . Just curious ….

    Hugs ,

    Like

    1. Thank you so much Annette. I wish I could do other countries, but I just can’t do everything. I have to hope someone else will come forward to do more research for other countries. 💕

      Like

  6. I am having such a hard time finding housing. Everywhere I call they are telling me they will not allow anyone under 55 to move into senior places. I am disabled. Looking to live in Maryland, California, or Georgia. Any suggestions? I am in desperate need of a housing voucher or to at least get on a list somewhere. I am on a fixed income too.

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    1. Don’t give up hope. Keep calling. If you are willing to go to three different states, you will be able to find some open waiting lists.

      Some senior places take younger people with disabilities (make sure to tell them you are disabled) and some don’t.

      Call at least 100 places. If the list is closed, call back every month and ask when it will open.

      I hope it goes great for you.

      Like

  7. I’m amazed at the devotion to make this list! I worked in social work before getting ill and made lists of supports for my clients all the time. I know how much brain power it takes! What you’re doing is so important! And I’m so in awe of it 🙂

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  8. Thank you for helping so many people out with this. The whole process seems so overwhelming and this site made it possible for me truly.

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  9. I just found out that apartments built with LIHTC (low income housing tax credits) are required to accept Section 8 vouchers. I didn’t realize you could combine a voucher with an apartment in a LIHTC financed property. It cut my neighbor’s rent from $400 to about $100 (plus utilities – electric).

    Like

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