How to Determine What Type of Low-Income Apartment You Need

May 7th 2016

Low-income apartments are available through local organizations and sponsored programs through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Individuals and families who meet low-income eligibility requirements or are affected by disability may qualify for rent-controlled apartments.

What Is Public Housing?

Public housing programs, such as Section 8, are designed to provide affordable apartments for the elderly, disabled people, low-income families and individuals in need. The programs are designed to ensure that a safe environment exists for people on the brink of homelessness, if they meet the eligibility requirements. Public housing programs feature a variety of apartments, duplexes and homes for those who qualify. Apartments range from one to three bedroom facilities, and some apartment complexes feature playgrounds for children or gathering areas to promote a community atmosphere.

Who Is Eligible?

Eligibility requirements may vary based on the local housing authority. In most states, individuals and families whose income does not exceed the set income limits qualify, as do the elderly and people with disabilities. Household size is also a factor when considering income limits. For example, in St. Louis, Missouri, a family of four must have a combined household income that does not exceed $53,700 to qualify for public housing apartments. Local housing authorities may also conduct home visits or interviews to determine that the occupants do not possess any qualities that would be deemed dangerous for other tenants, such as a history of drug or alcohol abuse.

What Types of Housing Are Available?

Many private landlords accept payment vouchers and public housing program payments through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Available accommodation ranges from multi-family units and apartments with living areas, multiple bedrooms and full kitchens to studio apartments for single individuals who meet the requirements of the housing program. In addition, assistance with utilities may also be available for qualified occupants who meet eligibility requirements. The local housing authority issues vouchers to assist with rental payments; however, renters are required to abide by their lease agreements in order to remain eligible to live in low-income apartments.

Low-income apartments and housing units offer affordable and viable options for individuals and families in difficulty or need who need immediate or long-term shelter. Government programs are designed to ensure these living arrangements are safe and affordable, and the programs often work directly with property owners to ensure compliance and safety within the area. In many states, local housing authority departments even own properties designated specifically for government public housing programs, although there may be a waitlist for these apartments and housing units.

Sources

portal.hud.gov "Hud's Public Housing Program" http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/topics/rental_assistance/phprog
masslegalhelp.org "What Types of Multifamily Subsidized Housing Programs Are There?" http://www.masslegalhelp.org/housing/multi-family-subsidized-housing
slha.org "FAQs" http://www.slha.org/faqs/

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