As the aging population in the US continues to increase, so too does the demand for affordable housing for seniors. Many seniors struggle to afford bothCareful.1In fact, about 25% of older homeowners and 54% of renters are burdened with costs (they spend 30% or more on bills each month).Housing).2
Finding affordable housing in old age is crucial for seniors living on a fixed income. It is even more important for those living below the national poverty line. Below, we cover some programs and other innovative solutions to help seniors pay for housing, as well as at-home tips to help you make the most of your money.
- What is Affordable Senior Housing?
- What are some affordable housing options for seniors?
- How do I find affordable senior housing and housing near me?
- How do I pay for senior accommodation?
What is Affordable Senior Housing?
“Affordable” means different things to different people. When we use it to talk about housing for the elderly, we are referring to the housing options that low-income seniors or those living on a stable income can afford. Seniors - or anyone, really - should try to spend no more than 30% of their income on housing costs. Expenses exceeding this percentage are referred to as a housing cost charge.
What are some affordable housing options for seniors?
Affordable housing is scarce, especially for seniors. However, that doesn't mean you're out of luck. With a little research, a little waiting, and an open mind, you can find solutions for seniors that fit your budget. Let's look at some different options.
Residences for the elderly and low-income condominiums
Some condominiums and apartments cater exclusively to low-income seniors. With this option, enjoy your private space at an affordable price; this is usually no more than 30% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). So if your AGI is $1,000 a month, you don't owe more than $300 in rent. Various government programs, non-profit organizations, and other groups subsidize the costs.
Housing for low-income seniorsalso have other advantages. Many offer accessibility features like elevators and showers. Also, age requirements like 55+ or 62+ ensure you live among your peers, which can helpavoid loneliness and depression.
Searching online for "low-income seniors' housing near me" is a great way to find nearby options. You can also contact non-profit organizations. Nonprofit housing organizations that provide housing for low-income seniors include:
- America Volunteers:This non-profit housing association has a network of 484 properties in 40 states and Puerto Rico. Housing options for seniors include housing for low-income seniors,living with assistanceand qualified service. Search the site by zip code to find accommodations near you.
- Society of Good Samaritans: This evangelical Lutheran organization offersreligious apartmentfor older adults on a tight budget. You can apply for a cheap apartment for seniors through the Merciful Samaritans branch in your area. The minimum age is 50 years. You do not need to be a member of a Lutheran church to use these services, but you must provide proof of income.
- humanitarian: This non-profit organization operates 100 senior accessible communities in five states with approximately 8,880 residents. The minimum age is 55 years old. They serve seniors in California, Delaware, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington.
- merciful dwelling: A national non-profit organization, Mercy Housing, provides affordable housing communities for low- and middle-income populations. Seniors are included! Most properties provide residents with services and resources, including health and wellness support, community involvement, and financial stability.
Cooperative Residence for the Elderly
Cooperative Residence for the Elderlyit's not the cheapest option on our list, but it might be cheaper than moving to a retirement community or staying in your own home. In a cooperative, a company owns buildings and land. Senior citizens can buy shares in the company. In return, you can rent an apartment unit and use common areas such as gyms, communal kitchens, laundries and outdoor areas. In addition to buying shares, you will have to pay a monthly fee for the "main" mortgage, taxes, utilities, maintenance, repairs, and so on.
Some older adults prefer co-ops because it's an investment rather than moving into an apartment. However, the purpose of a cooperative is not to make money; Stocks only grow 1 to 2 percent each year. Rather, the aim is to improve the quality of life for all members. Members vote on how the building is run. If you have to leave the co-op, you can sell your shares back to the company or another member. You receive the acquisition cost of your shares plus accumulated equity.
Find senior co-ops withCooperative Foundation for the Elderly website. There are more than 125 seniors' co-ops in the United States.
HUD Life Programs
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers two low-income housing programs that benefit seniors.
Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers
Low-income seniors may qualifyPayment receipts for apartment selectionto help them pay the rent. Local Public Housing Agencies (PHA) distribute vouchers, but you must find your own accommodation. They can be apartments, condominiums, single-family houses or townhouses. However, the landlord must agree to rent under the program. The PHA will pay your landlord directly. Then you pay your landlord the difference. contact herPHA localapply.
There is often a long waiting list for housing at HUD, but immediate housing is generally available for seniors who are homeless or do not have a safe and hygienic place to live.
Article 202 Assisted living in old age
HUD helps fund the creation or renovation of multi-family homes for low-income adults age 62 and older. Section 202 homes are a low-income housing type for seniors. Although designed for independent living, many provide support services such as cleaning, transport and cooking.
Pro tip:Not retired yet? TreasureHow much do you get from Social Securityto better assess your finances in retirement.
When moving to a 202 sectionAssisted living program for seniorsproperty, the state subsidizes its rent. You only owe 30 percent of your adjusted income. To qualify, your family must earn less than 50% of the average area income in the region. In addition, at least one member must be 62 years of age or older.
Virtual Retirement Communities
A modern way for seniors to save money on housing is to stay in their own homes and become a member of a local virtual retirement community. Virtual Communities for Retirees are nonprofit grassroots organizations that provide a variety of accessibility services to older adults. Think neighbors help neighbors. For example, a virtual retirement community might provide transportation, grocery shopping, tree felling, or group outings for members. In other words, you enjoy some benefitslive in a senior communitywithout having to move.
Within a virtual community, members pay an average of $450 per personAlso,3although you can find villages with fees as low as $125. The fee covers staff salaries and expenses for activities and support services. This is one of the lowest cost senior care services available in the United States.
Use oVillage to Village Network-Websiteto find virtual retirement communities near you. You can also search the internet for "virtual retirement communities near me".
Family residences for adults or foster families for adults
A parental home for adults is a kind of foster familyThis is a group of up to six seniors living together in a home setting. Each resident has their own room, but all share common areas such as the kitchen and living room.
These residences must be approved, licensed and supervised by the local Department of Family Services. The home itself is run by paid caregivers and a team of counselors, nurses, nutritionists and social workers. At home, the elderly receive support with their daily needs, as well as accommodation, food and social activities.
Keep in mind that this type of affordable senior residence is for people with a low level of care who don't need specialist medical care. Although it costs more than housing for low-income seniors, it is a more affordable alternative to assisted living. Contact your local Family Services Department to learn more about nursing homes in your area.
live with the family
Only 6% of US adults over 60 live in large families, compared with 38%global.4But just because it's uncommon doesn't mean you should ignore it as an option. Living with one of your children, niece or nephew, adult grandchild or other adult relative is free or low cost. Plus, you have your loved ones close by when you need help.
Before entering this way of life, sit down with your family and talk openly about your expectations and theirs. Discuss what steps, if any, need to be takenmake the house saferand more accessible. For many families, the arrangement is mutually beneficial. Grandparents can help with their grandchildren, and families can have peace of mind knowing that their elderly loved one is being cared for.
Find a roommate
Roommates aren't just for students! In fact, it's becoming more and more common for adults over 50 to live with roommates (aka roommates). If you already have a home you want to stay in, adding a roommate (or two) can help you keep track of mortgages, property taxes, and maintenance costs. Seniors who are interested in living with a roommate also save money compared to living alone. And don't forget the benefits! Regular social contact can help you combat loneliness and social isolation, which are associated with increased rates ofDepression.5
There are a handful of companies and nonprofits that help seniors find other older adults to live with:
- New York Foundation for the Elderly: This organization matches potential roommates with seniors who have a spot in their home. Social workers screen all applicants for the program and oversee "matching meetings" between prospective roommates. The aim is to secure a living situation for both parties that they are comfortable with and that they can afford. At least one person must be 60 or older.
- senior living communities: This free roommate service allows you to advertise your home to attract potential roommates or find a place to live. Best of all, they're all older adults. Simply fill out a personal profile, then find potential roommates. If you're not tech savvy, you can add a "helper" (like your adult child) to your account. Then they can complete your profile for you and help you find the right solution.
- Silbernest: This page helps hosts and renters find and complete shared apartments. Fill out a profile with personal information and what you are looking for in a home/roommate environment. Then look for matches near you. Silvernest offers a paid version and a free version. The paid version comes with a background check, which we recommend for everyone's safety.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION:According to Silvernest, hosts earn an average of $850 per month. And renters save an average of $750 per month compared to renting their own one-bedroom apartment.
How do I find affordable senior housing and housing near me?
If you need affordable housing, get in touch with yourlocal HUD public housing authority. The secretariat will direct you to the next step in the application process. You can also call 211 orVisit the local 211 websiteto talk to someone about your housing needs. 211 agencies help Americans meet basic needs, including shelter, food, health care and transportation.
A quick internet search can do a lot too. Just search for the type of apartment that interests you along with your city. For example, "Philadelphia low-income seniors' housing." Or use ourSenior Directory, where you can search listings by state or zip code to find senior housing services in your area.
How do I pay for senior accommodation?
Even if you manage to find affordable housing, you may still worry about how you're going to pay for it. Older people pay for housing and care in different ways.
Common payment methods are:
- Social Security and Retirement Income:In 2022, retirees received an average Social Security benefit of $1,669 per yearMonth.6Many seniors rely on their Social Security income as well as other retirement income such as a pension.
- Sell or rent house:If you are planning to move into an apartment or seniors community with your family, you can either sell or rent your existing home. Use that money to help pay the costs of aging in your new home or care for someone in a seniors community.
- Apartment vouchers:Nearly half of all housing benefit recipients are elderly or disabledFamilies.7If you qualify for a coupon, pay no more than 30% of your adjusted income toward rent. The state pays the rest.
- Care insurance:Policies vary, howevercare insuranceit can help cover a move to assisted living, memory care or a nursing home.
- Other private funds: Families care for elderly loved onesIn different ways. Sometimes younger family members help with expenses so that seniors can stay in their own homes, even if they have a steady income.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION:Medicare does not cover senior housing or most elderly care costs. The most important exception is short-term home stays following a hospital stay.
Will Medicaid or Medicare pay for housing for low-income seniors?
It's hard to keep upwhat Medicaid and Medicare cover. Unfortunately, Medicaid and Medicare cannot be used to pay your expenses.mortgage, housing for low-income seniors, or food and lodging at an assisted living facility.
However, Medicaid can make moving to an assisted living facility more affordable. maybe you canUse Medicaid to pay for assisted living services, such as nursing and personal care services in a nursing home. You simply cannot use it for room and board. Check with your state's Medicaid program to determine what coverage, if any, it offers, as it varies from state to state.
Budgeting ideas for seniors on a fixed income
Since "affordable" is relative, it's helpful to determine exactly what "affordable housing" means to you. A good place to start is creating a budget. When you have a steady income, budgeting is easy because you know how much money you will have each month. However, your fixed income might not be enough to cover your necessary expenses.
First, write down your mandatory expenses to see how your fixed income can - or will - handle your expenses.
- Health insurance
Of course, your budget can – and should – go beyond mandatory expenses. For example, you might want to add a Miscellaneous category for emergency expenses. Focusing on reducing your mandatory spending is simply a good place to start.
Did you know?There are hundreds of brands offering senior discounts to help you save. visit ourSenior discount guidelearn more.
To do this, take each category and determine the cheapest way to meet that need. For example, when it comes to housing, if you already own a home, it may be cheaper to rent a senior housing orlive in a detached senior residence. Owning a home involves paying maintenance costs, property taxes, and repairs that can be expensive on older homes. Discover affordable housing options in your area, consider getting a roommate, or talk to your family about moving in with them. All of these can help you reduce your housing costs.
If you currently own a vehicle, consider how much you are spending on it.car insurance, gas, maintenance and repairs. Would it be better to sell the vehicle, invest the money in savings and use public transport or virtual retirement? By assessing each of your necessary expenses and looking at ways to cut costs by category, you can create a budget that will help you spend within your means.
If you're budgeting and working to get your finances in order, check out ourFinancial advice for seniors. We cover important financial topics like expense planning and ways to make the most of your money.