A part of planning for retirement includes making certain that you or your loved one will have adequate, affordable housing. This is especially important as part of your planning process if you or your loved one is a senior citizen who is facing increased expenses, reduced mobility, and a limited income. The professionals at Elder Care Direction can help you to plan so that you can make certain that your housing needs are met when you retire or that your elderly loved one will have his or her housing and care needs met.
What should senior housing include?
At a minimum, adequate senior housing should include all of the following characteristics:
- Located in a safe neighborhood with close access to grocery stores, transportation, and health care facilities
- Structurally sound and meets all codes
- Have adequate ventilation, air conditioning, and heating
- Have ramps, handrails, and other accommodations or have the ability to be modified for them
- Cost 30 percent or less of the senior’s income
It is common for seniors to face difficulties finding adequate and affordable housing that meets their specific needs. Among people who are ages 50 or older, there are an estimated 20 million households with people who live in inadequate housing or who can’t afford their housing. Some seniors may have to make cutbacks on their medical expenses, transportation, and food to afford their housing. To address this problem, there are resources that are available to help seniors to locate adequate housing that meets their needs.
Elderly rental assistance programs
Both the state and federal governments offer rental help to low-income seniors through several housing voucher programs and affordable housing. These programs are normally administered by your local public housing authority.
Affordable or public housing is an option that is available to families who have low incomes, including people who are disabled or elderly. Affordable housing may include single-family homes and apartments. In most cases, tenants are not required to pay more than 30 percent of their income for rent. This type of housing is operated and owned by local housing authorities. Seniors must be ages 62 or older and have an annual income that equals or is less than the established lower income limit for the area as published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Housing voucher programs include the program that is administered by HUD that was formerly called the Section 8 program. These programs provide rental assistance for private rentals. The public housing authorities run the vouchers and pay them to the property owners. The residents must pay the differences that are owed. These programs give much more choice for seniors as they can choose where they want to live from the private market if the owner agrees to participate in the voucher program. Seniors must be a minimum of 62 years old and meet HUD’s very low-income limit for the region.
What is counted as income
HUD looks at the following types of income sources to determine eligibility for housing vouchers or affordable housing:
- Salaries, wages, commission, overtime, tips, fees, and bonuses before payroll deductions
- Net business income
- Dividends, interest, and other net income from personal and real property
- Full payment amount from Social Security, insurance policies, annuities, pensions, retirement accounts, disability, or death benefits
- Workers’ comp, unemployment, and severance pay
- Child support or alimony
- Gifts or contributions that are regularly made by people who do not live with the applicants
How to apply
If you need rental help or your loved one is a senior who needs assistance, you can apply through your local public housing authority. The professionals at Elder Care Direction are available to help you through the process so that you understand all of the information that you might need. Contact us today to schedule a consultation so that you can learn more.