Thinking of applying for housing somewhere outside your hometown? Here’s a few things that might help you to know:
🌸 You can apply anywhere in the country.
🌸 You can also apply a few places outside the country including American Samoa; Guam; Northern Mariana Islands; the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, as well as Hawaii (warning: you may not be able to get Medicaid or Medicare or some other services on in these areas. Also, SSI is not available in all of these areas. SSDI is still available.)
🌸 You can put in as many applications as you wish and be on as many waiting lists as you wish. you can be on the waiting lists all across the country. There is no limit.
🌸 Here’s where you can find waiting lists and places to apply. There are literally thousands of options all across the country. How to Find Affordable Housing the Easy Way
🌸Many programs require you to apply in person. If you are unable to do this because you are disabled, you can request a reasonable accommodation to apply long distance by mail and email. Here’s how to do this: Apply For Housing Long Distance
🌸You can also request the same accommodation if you are caring for someone else in your household who is disabled, such as a parent or child.
🌸Many applications have online pre-application that are very simple. It may only take 10 minutes to fill out. This is great! And so easy! However, these applications get a lot of applicants, so they are likely to be a longer wait. If you are looking for a shorter wait, you might focus some of your time and attention and places that are harder to apply for.
🌸Waiting times vary quite a lot. If you look widely, it’s highly likely that you’ll be able to find something available in six months or less. Some readers have moved into places in three months or less.
🌸The more places you apply, the more likely it is that something will become available more quickly than expected. For example, if you find five waiting list that each estimate1-2 years, there’s a good chance that at least one of them will actually open up within six months.
🌸Buildings that are designated for a “elderly“ or “disabled“ are often the fastest. They are also often the nicest. In order to be eligible, there must be at least one adult in your household who is either elderly or disabled. It does not have to be both. Also, “elderly“ often starts at 55. learn more about these buildings here: How To Find HUD “Elderly” or “Disabled” Apartments
🌸There is a website called affordablehousingonline.com that publishes an email newsletter and a Facebook page which lists current deadlines and openings. You can find them here: https://affordablehousingonline.com/sign-up
🌸The website listed above is a great resource. However, it is also very popular. Anything listed there is likely to get hundreds or maybe thousands of applications. It is very competitive. This is a great place to start looking, but it’s a good idea to also look elsewhere and apply other places as well. Once again, here’s where you can find your own places to apply: How to Find Affordable Housing the Easy Way
🌸If you get a voucher in another state, you can go and live in that area for 12 months. After that you may have the right to take your voucher and move back to your hometown.
🌸 Warning: Sometimes people are turned down when they request to move with their voucher. This can happen if your housing authority has special funding restrictions. If this happens to you, you may be able to request an exception to the rules if you are disabled and you need to move for disability or medical reasons. Or if you need to be closer to family and support who can help you with your care. You can also make the same request on behalf of someone else in your household, such as a disabled child or parent. You can learn how to do this here: request to move your voucher as a disability accommodation
🌸It’s very difficult to use a voucher long distance. If you are applying in another area, you will probably find it much easier to apply directly to buildings. Vouchers are a huge amount of work and it’s very hard to find a landlord. If you apply to directly to a building and get approved, all you have to do is show up and move in.
🌸Keep applying. Don’t give up hope. Many of our readers have found that keeping an open mind and being willing to relocate has brought them great new housing opportunities.
🌸Here’s an advanced level trick that some readers have used to get a housing voucher. In some specific circumstances, you may be able to move into an apartment and then after one year magically turn your apartment into a voucher. Learn more: How to Convert an Apartment into a Voucher