How Rent and Bedrooms Work if You Have a Live in Aide

Robin Mead

If you live in Section 8 housing, USDA housing or certain other types of subsidized housing, and you have a live-in aide, your aide’s income won’t be counted when the rent is calculated. You can also request an accommodation for more living space for your aide. Here’s an example.


Scilla lives in Section 8 housing in a one-bedroom apartment. She is disabled and cannot care for herself and does not want to move into a nursing home, so she asks her sister Jasmine to move in with her and take care of her. Jasmine and Scilla each have income of $1,000 per month, for a total of $2,000. Here’s two different arrangements that might be possible:

Jasmine and Scilla (Household Members)

Scilla contacts her housing authority and requests the forms to add a new household member. Scilla and Jasmine fill out the forms. The request is approved. Scilla has a monthly payment of $300 and Jasmine has a monthly payment of $300. They have a one bedroom apartment. Section 8 pays $200 and the landlord receives a total of rent of $800 for a one bedroom. Note: Housing Authorities have different policies on bedroom size for families. Some Housing Authorities will give them a one bedroom apartment and others will give them two bedrooms.

Jasmine and Scilla (Live in Aide)

Scilla contacts her housing authority and requests the form to add a live-in aide. Scilla and her doctor and Jasmine all fill out forms. The request is approved. Scilla pays rent of $300 and Jasmine pays $0. They have a two bedroom apartment. Section 8 pays $700 and the landlord receives a total of $1,000 for a two bedroom. Note: Housing Authorities will all give a two bedroom to accommodate the live in aide.


For Section 8 and some other housing programs, the amount of rent you pay is equal to 30% of your household’s income. If you have a live-in aide, all of the aide’s income will be excluded. Learn more about How to Have a Live-In Aide in Affordable Housing


According to this document, a live-in aide must be given their own bedroom and cannot be required to share a bedroom. If you are approved for a live-in aide you will automatically be granted an extra bedroom. Your monthly payment will not change. Here’s how it works:

If you have a voucher, you can move to another building or another apartment with more bedrooms.

If you don’t have a voucher, you can move to a different apartment within your same building.

If you don’t have a voucher and all larger apartments are full, your aide can move in with you to the smaller apartment now, and you can get on the waiting list for a larger one.

If you don’t have a voucher and there are no larger apartments in your building, you are out of luck. You can’t move somewhere that doesn’t exist! In this case, you can still have an aide, but you will need to find a way to live comfortably in a smaller space.

Learn More 

How to get an aide: How Do I Get a Disability Aide if I Live in HUD Housing or Section 8?

More stories of disability accommodations that worked: How I Got Disability Accommodations (Affordable Housing)

Lots more good info about how to apply and live on Section 8: Section 8 Guide for the Disabled and Plucky

If you don’t have an aide and wish you did, look here: How to Get a Caregiver

Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working. 

Updated 2019. If you found this page helpful, please share it with others by pressing one of these magic little buttons: 

4 thoughts on “How Rent and Bedrooms Work if You Have a Live in Aide”

  1. Can live in aides have a full-time job? Example, I have a live-in aide who has a full-time job and is only home at night time! Should the aide be paying any rent since they have a full-time job?


        1. There are no HUD federal rules that forbid an aide from having another job. However, some housing authorities create their own additional rules for aides. If your aide is currently approved as an aide, they won’t count her income. Some housing authorities ask aides to recertify each year, so it would be good to find out if your local program has specific rules for aides.


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