How to Find Yourself a Nice, Affordable HUD Apartment (for People with Disabilities)

Art: Robin Mead

HUD Apartments for “Elderly” or “Disabled”

HUD has special apartments that are just for people who are either elderly or disabled.

You don’t have to be both elderly or disabled. Just one. If even one adult in your household is elderly or disabled, it is possible you might qualify.

Many of our readers report that they were able to find housing that was quite nice, affordable, and disability accessible. The waiting lists can also be much shorter than other types of housing.

Where Can I Find Buildings to Apply for?

Take a look here: How To Find HUD “Elderly” or “Disabled” Apartments

What Are These Apartments Like? 

These are usually small, comfortable apartments that are one bedrooms or efficiencies, though some buildings have two-bedroom units. Most properties are apartment buildings, but some are different types of housing: rows of duplexes, clusters of cottages, converted school buildings, renovated historic hotels, etc.

Is Your Family Too Big? 

If more than one person in the household is “elderly” or “disabled”, you can apply separately. You can live next door!  Elderly = Over 62 some places. Over 55 some places.

Are the Apartments Nice? 

They are all different and some are quite nice. Don’t just take our word for it, see for yourself: Can Affordable Housing Be Nice? (photo slideshow)

Does Everyone Have to Be Disabled or Elderly? 

No. As long as one adult is either disabled or elderly, many buildings will allow you to apply. Learn some special rules for this: Can My Family Apply for Disability Housing if Only One Person is Disabled?

How Much Is the Rent?

There are two different kinds of apartments.

One kind is “income restricted“. It may just be called “affordable housing“. Rent will be based on income, but it might not be that cheap. For example, you might pay between $500-$1000 for a one bedroom apartment. Depending on your area, it might still be a good deal.

The other kind of apartments are “subsidized”. These are sometimes called “project-based”. Rent can be quite cheap. If you have no income, rent can be $0 dollars. As an example, if your income is $900 per month… Your rent will be about $150 plus utilities.

Some buildings have a mix. They may have two different kinds of apartments. The apartments will look exactly the same but some will be the super cheap kind and others would be just moderately priced.

Do They Accept Children?

Many of these properties do not accept children under 18, but some do. Call and ask.

Am I Eligible?

Each property has its own rules. In many properties, at least one adult in the household must be either “elderly” or “disabled.”Am I “Elderly” or “Disabled”?

Some properties do not accept children. Some properties will only accept seniors. Some will accept a person with disabilities of any age. Some will accept any person of any age, as long as one household member is elderly or disabled.

Some properties call themselves “senior buildings” but will actually accept younger people with disabilities. Call and ask.

Do I Need a Voucher?

No. You do not need to have a housing voucher. You can just apply directly to the building or property where you want to live.

How Long Does it Take to Apply?

Waitlist time varies. 1 to 3 years is typical, however some of our readers have found wait lists of just a few months or even no wait at all.

Sometimes waitlist move more quickly than expected, especially in elderly buildings. For example, if you apply to five different buildings and each building has a wait list of 2 years… There’s a chance that at least one will open within six months.

Is it Hard to Apply?

Many of our readers report that this type of building was much easier to navigate than housing vouchers. Housing Voucher can have a long wait, be difficult to apply for, and be difficult to find a landlord. This is especially a big problem for many people with disabilities.

Do I need to be elderly?

Maybe. Many apartments will accept disabled people of any age. But they will not tell you this! These apartments are often listed as “senior” buildings. You can call and ask if they accept younger people with disabilities.

Does everyone in my family need to be elderly or disabled?

No. In most apartments they will accept your family, as long as one person is either elderly or disabled. This person usually will need to be an adult.

What is “elderly”?

Some apartments start at 50, some start at 55, some start at 60. Some will accept disabled people of any age.

Will they accept children?

Sometimes. Some buildings will not accept anyone under age 18.

How to Apply for Your New Home

🌸 Once again, take a look here: How To Find HUD “Elderly” or “Disabled” Apartments

🌸 Apply as many places as you can. Even if something is not perfect, still apply. It will give you options!

🌸 Here’s How to Apply and How to Get Approved

🌸 Subsidized elderly or disabled buildings will not have an application fee. But they may still have security deposits and utility deposits. Here’s How to Escape Move-In Fees

One Bedroom or Two Bedrooms?

🌸 If you live with another person, you may be able to apply for the waiting list for both one bedrooms and two bedrooms.

🌸 Some places do not have two bedroom apartments. If they don’t exist, you obviously can’t apply for this.

🌸 For buildings that charge 30% of income: If you have a live-in aide, there is no extra charge for the second bedroom. The income from your live-in aide will not affect your rent.

🌸 For buildings that charge 30% of income: If you are living with another person who is not a live-in aide, you can ask what their policy is on who can live together. There is still no extra charge for the second bedroom. However, the income from your other household member will affect your rent.

🌸 Depending on the building, they may let you apply for two bedroom easily, or you may need to  request a disability accommodation.

🌸 Warning: In some areas, there are not very many two bedrooms and wait list may be much longer.

More good stuff

🌷 Here’s some secret special rules that help people with disabilities. No one will tell you these rules, which is why it’s great that you are about to read them yourself: Accommodations and Benefits for People with Disabilities in Section 8 Housing

🌷 A few more ways to lower rent and a few more things you might like to know: How to Calculate (and sometimes lower) Rent in Section 8

🌷 Here’s a bunch more info and handy things to know on how Section 8 works: Section 8 Guide for the Plucky and Disabled

🌸 Facebook Group: HUD and Section 8 for People with Disabilities (and family)

🌷 Even though Housing Vouchers can take forever, it’s still worth getting on the waiting lists. Here’s How To Get in Section 8 Housing (Even When the Waiting Lists Are Closed!)

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13 thoughts on “How to Find Yourself a Nice, Affordable HUD Apartment (for People with Disabilities)”

  1. Hi i am an elderly woman on SSD and right now ineed help with finding a one bedroom apartment to live where can.
    I get help our Landlord has given us notice to live his place cause he’s selling the House


  2. If you are on Sect 8 you can not go to school even if your disabled. You have to have had it before November 2005 to be able to bypass this rule otherwise your out of luck . A lot of people get kicked out of the program and lose housing of their landlord finds out which is easy for them to find out. Please post this so people know. It’s a sad new law that got enforced back in 2006. People need to know this so they dont lose their housing.


  3. My years rent has ended,not enough money,I have no help and alone,I am semi-handicap I am in my seventies and self sufficient.I have three cats that sleep all the time and very neat and clean-fun cats.Please help, I too am neat and clean.Thank you.


  4. This is a great page! I remember coming across it a long time ago and reading through it, but I never could remember where I had found it.


  5. All of the writers here are amazing. Thank you for all the help so far, you may have just saved my life. That is not hyperbole.THANK YOU for your valuable time.


  6. Can you please tell me if there is section 8 for people with disabilities that I can apply for now, I’m really in need of a place to live


    1. there is something call SRAP that i know i applied for in the past as a disabled adult. its basically subsidized housing for people who are disabled from what i understand, and that goes for mental disabilities as well. I’m sure you can find the program available in your state or area or something under a different name but similar. call around to state agencies and ask about S-RAP or a housing assistance program for people with disabilities. i know when i applied at the time i was told it could take anywhere from 3 months to a year, but i ended up receiving my section 8 housing choice voucher after being on the waiting list for 6 years. and i am disabled so i can only imagine how long it takes for others. but in the meantime it’s good to get your name on the section 8 waiting list as soon as possible so during the time you are seeking other options you are already on their list. hope this helps.


        1. Hello,If anyone could help me find a place with a 2 or 3 bedrooms that will really work for me. I am Disabled and over 60yr.Thank you all in Advance for your help!
          Have a wonderful and Bless week.🙏🏼😇


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