What Are Government-Subsidized Apartments?

May 7th 2016

Government-subsidized apartments offer affordable housing to low-income families and individuals. Financial assistance can come in the form of direct mortgage-interest deductions, non-profit housing, public housing and rent supplements. Low-income families or individuals can apply for government-subsidized apartments to help with their cost of living. 

Types of Government-Subsidized Housing

  • Co-operative Housing: Co-op houses are controlled by members of the co-op and run by a board of directors. Some co-ops receive government funding because they offer lower rents to low-income residents. Others are priced at market rate and don’t receive government funding. Certain co-ops are geared toward specific communities, such as seniors, disabled individuals or artists.
  • Housing Subsidies: Housing subsidies are a form of financial assistance for low-income individuals for housing. The home mortgage interest deduction is an example of a housing subsidy. It allows homeowners with mortgages on first and second homes to lower the amount of taxes they owe. Non-profit housing is another way of using government subsidies to support low rents for low-income tenants.
  • Public Housing: This is real property that the government owns and manages. In order to qualify for public housing, tenants must meet specific requirements.
  • Rent Supplements: These are subsidies paid by the government to private landlords who accept low-income tenants. Rent supplements cover the difference between what the tenant can pay and what the actual market rent is.

How to Find Government-Subsidized Housing

Finding government-subsidized housing is simple. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has an online database of government-subsidized apartments. Take a look at their low-rent apartment search page for properties available in any specific area.

Public housing provides safe rental housing for families, the elderly and the disabled and helps to minimize the burden of paying rent or a mortgage. It's available for all sorts of housing, from single-family homes to high-rise apartments. Federal aid goes to local housing agencies to make sure the low-income housing is well-managed, and the rent is kept low.

Qualifying for and Living in Government-Subsidized Housing

You can qualify for rental assistance based on a variety of factors, including annual gross income, age, handicaps and your U.S. citizenship or immigration status. Once you have proven eligibility, your references will be checked to verify your status as a reliable tenant. In order to find out if you’re eligible for government-subsidized housing, visit the HUD website.

Rent for government-subsidized housing is determined by a family’s anticipated gross annual income minus deductions. According to the HUD website, it works out roughly to around 30% of the monthly adjusted income, unless there are other factors involved. 

Once you are living in government-subsidized housing, you are allowed to stay as long as you comply with the lease. When your case is re-examined, if your family is making enough money to afford housing on the private market, the housing agent will decide whether or not you should remain in public housing or make the space available to someone else. 

Government subsidized apartments offer a great solution for those struggling to afford housing. If you need more information about finding or applying for government subsidized housing, visit the HUD website

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