Low-Income Senior Housing

senior housing assistance

There are many programs available to help low-income individuals pay for their rent and utilities, but these programs may be oversaturated and have very long wait lists.

Unfortunately, many senior citizens aren’t as prepared as they would like for when their times comes to retire, so, when the time does come, they may need help and may not have the means to wait so long to reach the top of the waiting list.

For this reason, other programs have been created to specifically target low-income seniors and provide them with the help they need. Finding the right option for you or your loved one is important and can sometimes be challenging, so hopefully this article helps you on this journey!

What is Considered Low-income for a Senior?

The federal government defines low-income for seniors as a person that is 60 years old or more, with an income of less than $30,000 a year. This would be approximately $2,450 a month.

Keep in mind that this is the federal government’s definition of a low-income senior, but each program has their own criteria and guidelines, so be sure to verify the income limit and age requirements of the program you are interested in.

Housing Programs for Seniors

  • Section 202 Program – This program was created specifically for low income senior citizens, 62 years old and over who want to maintain their independency. Most facilities include features such as handrails and ramps and offer services such as transportation, meal delivery and housekeeping.
  • Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC) – This program encourages the construction and restoration of low-income housing with federal tax credit. Many of these properties have been constructed specifically for seniors, so it’s a good idea to give them a look as well.
  • Virtual Retirement Communities – Virtual retirement communities are a wonderful option for low-income seniors to remain in their own home, while receiving low-cost access to services such as transportation, housekeeping and social outings. Membership can be as low as $100 a month, but be careful because there are some virtual retirement communities that can be a bit expensive.

Alternative Housing Options for Seniors

If you’re not interested or do not qualify for the options above, there are other programs that, although not specifically targeted for seniors, may be of help to you. Programs such as:

  • Section 8 – Also known as the Housing Choice Voucher program, Section 8 provides very low-income individuals and families housing vouchers for affordable housing in privately owned properties and, in some cases, utilities as well.
  • Public Housing – Public Housing communities are usually composed of high-rise buildings that are run by the city or county’s Public Housing Agency, for low-income people in need.
  • Section 811 – Also known as the Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program, Section 811 was created to provide disabled, low-income people with affordable housing.

How do Seniors Find Affordable Housing?

Unfortunately, Social Security sometimes isn’t enough for seniors to live comfortably, but finding affordable, low-income housing can definitely ease the financial burden a bit.

There are a few ways to find affordable housing for seniors, such as:

  • Online search – Go online and search realty websites like Zillow and ForRent. Type in keywords such as “low-income” or “senior housing”
  • Contact the HUD or PHA – The Department of Urban Development and Public Housing Authority offices usually have lists of properties that are available and even some that are specifically for seniors.

How Much Does It Cost to Live in a Senior Home?

The cost of private senior retirement homes or private at-home care can be frighteningly expensive, and unfortunately, many seniors can’t afford private care when the time comes that they need it.

Private senior retirement homes can cost anywhere between $3,000 to $8,000 a month and may have additional monthly fees if you require extra help.

Private rooms are more expensive, while semi-private rooms, although still expensive, are a little less so. As of now, Alaska and Washington DC have the highest costs of senior care at private retirement facilities.

Private at-home care can be just as expensive, if not more. Private at-home caregivers are usually registered nurses, that are capable of administering medication and monitoring vitals.

Registered nurses usually charge between $200 -$400 a day for at-home patient care, which can be impossible for many seniors to pay, especially if they need care 24/7.

Low-income housing costs are adjusted to your and the people in your household’s income, creating a bit more financial freedom by lowering your expenses. Some programs even help cover some of your utility bills, making it a great option for low-income seniors in need.

By Ashley T

As a professional writer, I enjoy researching Benefit Programs and writing articles and guides that are easy to follow for those who are in need of assistance.


  1. Hello,
    I am writing this now because I am in desperate need of Emergency Housing. I have read about programs that I qualify but I don't know how to apply or where to go for help. O am a 63 year old female senior citizen and I am on the streets of L.A. California. I get very scared out here and have had everything i.own stolen from me and have been physically assaulted, too. Please help me get to the right person . It gets very cold at night and I cry about but can't let anyone see this and I get $585 a month on retirement and will pay all of that for a warm place to sleep.
    Message phone 310-***-****

    1. To apply for emergency housing, visit your local Public Housing Agency (PHA). There, you will get to speak to a HUD-approved housing counselor who will provide you with information on your specific situation.

  2. Looking for senior low income homes or apartment I am disabled but can live alone.
    I've been homeless for 8 months now living with friends off and on in desperate need of a place to stay ASAP thank you.
    I live in Sarasota Florida

    1. To apply for housing for seniors, contact or visit the management office of each apartment building that interests you. To apply for either type of help, visit your local Public Housing Agency (PHA). Some PHAs have long waiting lists, so you may want to apply at more than one PHA.

  3. I would like to apply for a neighbor. He is living in his own house, but the house is falling apart, rain gets in and I'm sure He doesn't have heating or air-conditioned. His health is not good.. He has heart problems. And he is a senior. My son helped him put up part of the roof. I donated some materials to him

    1. Please visit any Public Housing Authority office in your state to talk to a HUD-approved housing counselor for information on how to apply for housing for seniors.

  4. Hi Ashley I have a friend in need of housing , she has been staying in a hotel for months now and her section 8 voucher will expire in 30 . At that point she will lost her section 8 and there for be homeless. Is there any help you can provide?

    1. Hello,

      Your friend must find a rental unit and submit a Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA) before her voucher expires

      1. Yes I am needing to get into my house or apartment if it’s possible with all bills paid I’m 61 years old and I’m looking for a place ASAP thank you

    1. Hello Alia,

      To apply for a Housing Choice voucher, contact a public housing agency in your state. If you need more assistance, contact your local HUD office. You will need to fill out a written application or have a representative of your local PHA help you.

  5. Hello my name is Tracy and i have been trying to find housing. I am 54 years old and i live with an uncle that i have been taking care of because he is sickly. He is doing better but i want to move out of his place..im do not have section 8 or any other low income housing vouchers..I am employed..I looking for senior housing but my dilemma why does senior housing start at 65 years of age..it is so freaking frustrating that i have to be 65 to get into a apt for seniors..thank you

    1. Hi Tracy,

      Please visit any local housing authority near you to get information as regards your specific situation.

  6. I have been on housing connect for over five years even more I have a housing case ***** online now Section 8 waiting list ******
    Asking for one or two bedrooms call me 929-***-**** I really need your help from Brooklyn.

    1. Hi Barbara,

      To apply for an emergency section 8 voucher, and to try to be given priority to bypass a waiting list, immediately call a local public housing authority in your town or county near you.

  7. How do I get my name on the list for Section 8 that has not been built yet. I live in Florida and have heard a section 8 housing is to be built within 2 years on Indrio Rd.(Fort Pierce , FL34951) I am on social security and my rent goes up every year. Living on a very limited income so if you can help me I would appreciate if I can get some help. That you, Marijane

    1. To apply for Florida Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8), you will need to visit your local PHA office. You can find your local PHA on the web using this link

  8. Yes I am homeless I’ve been jumping from house to house for the last 6 months 8 months I’ve been staying in motels which I can’t afford I’m looking for something affordable I get about $700 and $59 a month if there’s anything out there anybody can help me I’d appreciate it I’m looking for a room just a room to rent I can afford $100 a week like I said I am disabled but I don’t need no help I’m 60 years old and would appreciate any help anybody can give me

    1. Hi, to get affordable housing, contact your local housing authority office to be placed on the waiting list for the HUD housing program.

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