The Sleepy Girl Guide to Life in HUD Apartments

Art: Robin Mead

Everything in the world you ever wanted to know (and everything in the world you never wanted to know) about living in subsidized apartments. This page is for anyone living in an apartment that is funded by HUD or USDA Rural Rental Assistance.


Where to look: How to Find Super Cheap Housing WITHOUT a Housing Voucher


If anyone told you that nice affordable housing is impossible, don’t give up. Get plucky: Section 8 Guide for the Disabled and Plucky

After Applying 

Good to Know: Important Things to Do After You Get on a Wait List

Moving In

In some areas it’s possible to find: Assistance with Deposits and Move-In Fees

Run Into Problems? 

Disability accommodations can sometimes help with: Problems with Background Checks and Problems with Credit Checks and Assistance Animals in Buildings with “No Pet” policies

Rent You Can Afford

Rent is set to be 30% of your income. Or is it? Here’s the formula for How is Rent Calculated?  There are special rules for aides: Do Disability Caregivers Pay Rent?

Lowering Your Rent Even More

There are also many special Policies that Can Lower Your Rent. If your income drops: Request to Change Your Rent.  If that doesn’t work: If Your Housing Worker Refuses to Lower Rent. If your rent still seems too high, there may be a different problem. If you can figure out the problem, you might be able to figure out the solution: Why is My Rent So High?


What can make your number of bedrooms go up and down? Are there ways to get extra bedrooms? How Bedrooms Work. In some cases it’s possible to get an accommodation to Request an Additional Bedroom. If your request is approved Will My Rent Raise?

Get Help

If you are having difficulty getting your needs met or your requests approved: How to Get Help or File ComplaintsAlso check out Liam’s Amazing Housing Discrimination Journey


Don’t love where you are? You can always get on the wait list for different buildings: How to Find Open Waiting Lists The Easy Way. In certain situations, you may be able to get a voucher, which will allow you to move out of your apartment and live anywhere. Learn more: How to Convert an Apartment into a Voucher

Live in Caregivers

If you or a family member is disabled: Here’s Three Ways to Get Home Aides. How to Request to Add an Aide to Your Housing. Worked for Jane: Jane Gets a Caregiver


Your housing program will want to make sure no one is living with you without permission. How To Find Your Guest Policy and Seven Tips for Staying Out of Trouble if You Have Overnight Guests

More Disability Accommodations

If you have special disability needs, accommodation requests can make your housing better and your life easier. Common requests include: Assistance animals, additional bedrooms, communication by email, live in aides, deadline extensions, and building modifications: Epic Master List of Disability Accommodation Letters


Success Stories: Bedrooms

Success Stories: Paperwork and Meetings

Success Stories: Life in Subsidized Housing


Facebook Groups

Learn More About Subsidized Buildings