Senior Housing for Low-Income Residents (2023)

If you’re a senior with a modest income, you may find it challenging to pay for housing. Soaring inflation rates and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are only exacerbating the problem. Harvard University's 2022 State of the Nation's Housing report found housing costs rising for the first time in 10 years and significant housing shortages increasing costs even further.

The burden on seniors with low incomes has probably never been greater. Not only have people who are considered poor become more worried about paying their bills because of inflation, but many people who are considered financially stable have also become concerned.

The Elder Index suggests 54% of older women who aren’t officially poor are finding it difficult to pay for living essentials. The figure for men is slightly less, but remains high at 45%. A 2022 Bankrate report found 17% of baby boomers, most of whom are now seniors, worry about money daily when they're supposed to be enjoying their hard-earned retirement.

If you have low income and are worried about meeting your living expenses, this article can provide you with useful information about housing. It goes into detail about how you may qualify for low-income housing and how you can find an affordable home in your area.

What Is Considered Low Income for Seniors in the United States?

Seniors with an annual income at or below the Federal Poverty Guidelines are defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as having a low income. If their income falls below 50% of the guidelines, they're regarded as being in deep poverty.

According to the National Council on Aging, approximately 1-in-3 adults aged 65 and older in 2022 (about 15 million Americans) were deemed economically insecure — a term that applies to people with incomes at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.

The following tables provide the guidelines for small households in 2023.

Contiguous United States and the District of Columbia
Persons in Family/HouseholdPoverty Guideline
(Video) Tour Our One Bedroom Apartment!

Persons in Family/HouseholdPoverty Guideline

How Do You Qualify for Low-Income Senior Housing?

Senior housing is accommodation subsidized by the federal government, sometimes for the exclusive use of adults aged 65+. Depending on the program, rents can be subsidized or cost-controlled or paid through vouchers or credits.

To qualify for low-income senior housing, you need to prove your income and assets are within the relevant program's limits. These vary from program to program. For example,HUD's Public Housing Program sets limits of 80% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines and 50% of the median income for the county or metro area where the senior will live. Consequently, your income may qualify you for one location but not another.

(Video) Life at Presbyterian Senior Living: Affordable Senior Housing (income limits apply)

Low-Income Housing Options for Seniors

Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV/Section 8)

The federal government's Housing Choice Voucher Program makes housing in the private sector more affordable for seniors. It allows you to choose the single-family home, apartment or townhouse you need in an area you wish to live — so long as it satisfies the program's requirements.

Your home of choice doesn't need to be within a subsidized housing project and can be where you already live, so long as it meets theminimum standards of health and safety.

Eligibility and How To Apply

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or a legal immigrant
  • Your total gross annual income can't exceed the guidelines for your area
  • At least one member of your household must be aged 62 or older
  • You can't have been evicted from a property for any reason within the previous 3 years
  • You can't have a criminal record (there areexceptions but if the conviction is within the previous 5 years, you'll almost certainly be rejected)
  • Some PHAs specify the applicant must already live within their jurisdiction
  • Disability isn't a requirement but some PHAs fast-track requests if at least one household member has a medically proven disability

To apply, contact yourlocal public housing agency PHA, or get in touch with your nearest HUD office for more information.

Rural Rental Assistance (Section 521)

The USDA's Rural Rental Assistance Program subsidizes rents in homes whose construction was financed by Section 515 or Section 514/516 loans. If the monthly rental rate exceeds 30% of your income, the program will cover the difference between the two.

TheRural Housing Service pays the owner directly. Rental agreements can be up to 20 years for newly constructed homes and 5 years for existing ones. The program isn't available in every state and county.

(Video) 10 Housing Options For Older Adults - 55+

Eligibility and How To Apply

  • Must live in a Rural Rental Housing project that was financed by the Rural Housing Service
  • Your rent must exceed 30% of your household's monthly income
  • Households mustn't exceed 50% to 80% (depending on their location) of their area's median household income to be considered "low-income"

If you live in an eligibleaccommodation, contact your building's owner or manager to apply for rural rental assistance. To get more information prior to your application, contact your local USDA Rural Development field office.

The Housing Improvement Program (HIP)

The Housing Improvement Program is administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to reform substandard housing in or close to tribal lands and end the problem of homelessness among native communities. Its scope is wider than other programs, as it can pay for several options, all of which must result in the senior living in a safe and secure home. The options are:

  • A modest new home if you don't already own one
  • A replacement dwelling if your home can't be upgraded to building code standards
  • Up to $60,000 to repair and renovate your home to a habitable condition
  • Up to $7,500 to repair issues in your home that threaten your health and safety

Eligibility and How To Apply

  • Must be a member of an American Indian tribe recognized by the federal government or an Alaska native
  • Must live in a tribal area
  • Cannot have an income exceeding 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines
  • Can't have access to other housing assistance resources
  • Present housing must be substandard

To apply for the relevant part of the program, contact your local tribal office or BIA Regional Housing Office to obtain an application form. Both offices can also supply you with more information about HIPwithin your area.

(Video) Low Income Housing for Seniors - Housing for Seniors on Social Security (2022)

Supportive Housing for the Elderly (Section 202)

Unlike those already listed (which areavailable to anyone over age 18), the Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program is specifically designed to help seniors on low incomes who need affordable housing.

HUD provides affordable loans to nonprofits to build homes that satisfy senior-specific requirements, such as grab rails, walk-in showers and easier access for disabled persons. Many buildings also have communal spaces where residents can socialize and eat. Be prepared to join a waiting list if your application is successful.

Eligibility and How To Apply

  • One or more people in the household must be aged 62 or older
  • The household's income can't be over 50% of the area's median income, as defined by HUD

To apply, directly contact the Section 202housing project in which you want to live. Get in touch with your local PHA office to locate the nearest project.

How To Find Low-Income Affordable Housing for Seniors

To find low-income affordable housing, follow these steps:

  1. Go online to Find Affordable Rental Housing, a federal database of eligible homes across the United States.
  2. Search the database to find affordable rental housing where you live.
  3. Contact the relevant agency, office or project responsible for your chosen housing option to begin the application process.

If you want free help from experts in senior living housing, call SeniorHomes at 1-800-748-4024 to speak to an experienced advisor.

(Video) Senior Living for those with No Money


Senior Housing for Low-Income Residents? ›

Low-income seniors in Georgia are defined as those who have a yearly income of no more than $14,580 for a family of one. This amount is based on the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) guidelines. The poverty level increases depending on the number of individuals who live within the home.

What is the cheapest way for a senior to live? ›

Affordable Housing Options for Older Adults
  • Staying in Your Home. This option is ideal if you do not need comprehensive care for your daily living—or just need some caregiving assistance. ...
  • Living with Family. ...
  • Public and Subsidized Senior Housing. ...
  • Assisted Living and Residential Care Options.

What is considered low income for seniors in Georgia? ›

Low-income seniors in Georgia are defined as those who have a yearly income of no more than $14,580 for a family of one. This amount is based on the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) guidelines. The poverty level increases depending on the number of individuals who live within the home.

What benefits do seniors get in Georgia? ›

  • Adult Protective Services. ...
  • Aging and Disability Resource Connection. ...
  • Caregiving. ...
  • Community Care Services Program. ...
  • Elder Rights & Advocacy Programs. ...
  • Georgia SHIP. ...
  • Home & Community-Based Services Program. ...
  • Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.

What city is best for low income seniors? ›

Here are the results of the study, with cities listed in reverse order.
  • Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Fargo, North Dakota. ...
  • Lincoln, Nebraska. ...
  • Midland, Texas. ...
  • Davenport, Iowa. Cost of Living Score: 78.5. ...
  • Killeen, Texas. Cost of Living Score: 80.4. ...
  • Lubbock, Texas. Cost of Living Score: 80.7. ...
  • Shreveport, Louisianna. Cost of Living Score: 76.6. ...
Aug 1, 2023

What happens to senior citizens when they run out of money? ›

Seniors who reside in an assisted living facility and run out of funds will be evicted. Elderly individuals who are unable to turn to family for financial support and have no money can become a ward of the state. This may be the case if the senior develops a health emergency and is no longer able to live alone.

Where is the cheapest place to live on Social Security? ›

Iowa tops the list for best states to live on just a Social Security check thanks to a number of factors. Overall, the cost of living is about 16% below the national average, while one-bedroom rents are about 30% less than national norms.

What is the maximum income to qualify for Section 8 in Georgia? ›

Income Limits for Section 8 Housing in Georgia
Household SizeMaximum Income Limit
1 more row
Mar 28, 2023

What is the monthly income for seniors? ›

What Is the Average Retirement Income? The average monthly retirement income adjusted for inflation in 2023 is $4,381.25, according to a 2022 U.S. Census Bureau report. The average annual income for adults 65 and older in 2023 is $75,254 – or $83,085 when adjusted for inflation.

Who qualifies for GA senior snap? ›

60 years of age or older; ▪ must purchase and prepare their meals together; AND ▪ have no earnings from work. You may file this application by completing your name and address, and by signing the form.

Is there financial help for the elderly in Georgia? ›

Medicaid Programs & Waivers for the Elderly

As with other states, Medicaid in Georgia will cover the costs associated with living in a nursing facility, as well as limited personal care assistance. In addition to the state Medicaid plan, Georgia also offers Medicaid waivers that provide elderly care assistance.

At what age do you stop paying Georgia state tax? ›

Yes. A retirement exclusion is allowed provided the taxpayer is 62 years of age or older, or the taxpayer is totally and permanently disabled.

What age is considered elderly in Georgia? ›

Georgia has special laws to protect residents 65 years of age and older, disabled adults 18 years of age and older who are mentally or physically incapacitated or who have Alzheimer's disease or dementia, and residents of long-term care facilities.

Where is the best place to live on Social Security alone? ›

10 Best States To Live on Just Social Security Alone
  • Montana. ...
  • Oklahoma. 2022 Average Rent: $1,052. ...
  • North Dakota. 2022 Average Rent: $871. ...
  • Missouri. 2022 Average Rent: $1,014. ...
  • Iowa. 2022 Average Rent: $937. ...
  • South Dakota. 2022 Average Rent: $950. ...
  • Arkansas. 2022 Average Rent: $991. ...
  • Kentucky. 2022 Average Rent: $956.

How many seniors live only on Social Security? ›

Only a small percentage of older Americans, 6.8 percent, receive income from Social Security, a defined benefit pension, and a defined contribution plan. A plurality of older Americans, 40.2 percent, only receive income from Social Security in retirement.

Where do most elderly get their income? ›

Today's older adults typically have a number of sources of income. For most, the primary source of income is Social Security. Other sources are income from investments and other assets, pensions and other retirement plans, earnings from work and, for a small percentage, public assistance programs and veterans benefits.

Where do old people go when they can't live on their own? ›

Elderly parents who cannot take care of their basic needs such as cleaning, cooking, bathing, walking, or taking their medications at the right time should move into an assisted living facility. Mental, emotional, or cognitive decline can also indicate that your elderly loved one is no longer safe living alone.

Where is the cheapest place for seniors to live in the US? ›

Rather, Alabama is the most affordable state to retire in, according to WalletHub's “2023 Best States to Retire.” The analysis compared all 50 states across three key categories: health care, quality of life and affordability.

What is considered low income for seniors in the United States? ›

To be clear, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) defines "low- and moderate-income seniors" as those having an annual income of less than $30,000; according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau's United States of Aging Survey, this equates to 40% of seniors aged 60 and over.

What is the cheapest state to retire in? ›

Five of the 10 most affordable states — Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Delaware and Tennessee — rank among the nation's most tax-friendly, according to a Kiplinger analysis. The least affordable states for retirees are clustered on the coasts: Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and California.


1. Low Income Housing With No Waiting List
(Dipayan Roy)
2. 5 Best Senior Housing Options For 2023
(Senior Homecare HQ)
3. Subsidized Senior Housing - Section 202 Low Income Housing for Seniors
(Section 8 Consulting)
4. How to Find Low Income Housing in 2023
(Low Income Relief)
5. Planning and Development Council meeting of August 14, 2023 at 6:30 p.m.
(Town of Oakville)
6. Affordable Senior complex seeks tenants
(KCRA 3)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Tish Haag

Last Updated: 18/10/2023

Views: 5813

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (47 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Tish Haag

Birthday: 1999-11-18

Address: 30256 Tara Expressway, Kutchburgh, VT 92892-0078

Phone: +4215847628708

Job: Internal Consulting Engineer

Hobby: Roller skating, Roller skating, Kayaking, Flying, Graffiti, Ghost hunting, scrapbook

Introduction: My name is Tish Haag, I am a excited, delightful, curious, beautiful, agreeable, enchanting, fancy person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.