How Low Income Senior Housing Rent Amounts Are Determined
For all programs except the LIHTC program, the rent a resident will pay for an affordable senior housing unit is determined by the residents monthly adjusted income. Monthly Adjusted Income is calculated by adding together all household incomes, then subtracting any income exclusions from the incomes. The total of this is called the Annual Income. Then deductions are subtracted from the Annual Income to get the Adjusted Income. The Adjusted Income is what the rent will be based on. HUD uses a specific order of priority in determining how to establish a tenants rent. Please see the What are the Qualifications for Low Income Senior Housing topic to learn what these are.
For the LIHTC Program the rents are determined by an areas median income rates and are tied to each unit as a rent base amount. A units rate is usually between 50% – 60% of median income, divided by twelve. The LIHTC tenant will pay 30% of the rent base amount. One unit may have a higher rate than another unit, depending on its features. Rent is determined by taking the area median rate and dividing it by the units rate. So, if a units rent rate is 50% and the areas median was $75,000, the units rent base would be $37,500. The tenants portion would be 30% of that, so their annual rent would be $11,250.00, which would be $937.50 per month for rent.
Con #2 Lack Of Age Diversity
Usually, at least one person in each residence has to be 55 or older in a 55+ community. However, most people that live in these communities are above that age minimum. If youre looking to be amongst varied age groups over one consistent age bracket, you may want to consider if you would enjoy living in a 55+ community versus living in a neighborhood.
How To Choose A Senior Apartment
When choosing a senior apartment, consider the amenities, square footage, and other unique features it may offer. Ive drafted a few questions to ask yourself when deciding on a senior apartment.
- Does the apartment offer amenities such as community events, gaming rooms, and a wellness center for exercising and group activities?
- Is the apartment pet-friendly? If so, are there breed restrictions?
- Are residents and staff approachable and supportive?
- Is the neighborhood safe and within walking distance of important destinations?
- Is the apartment complex wheelchair accessible? Are there handrails, limited stairways, or grab bars?
- Is the complex rent controlled?
- Are there multiple floor plans?
- Can I have a family member live in the apartment with me?
- Are transportation services provided?
- Does the apartment offer 24/7 emergency assistance or surveillance cameras?
- Are the apartments furnished or unfurnished?
- Does the apartment accept housing vouchers for low-income seniors?
- Are there common areas or on-site laundry facilities?
- Is parking safe and easy to find?
- How far is the apartment complex from other senior amenities?
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Why A Younger Adult Would Live In A 55+ Community
When you are looking for a new apartment or home to move into, you have probably stumbled upon one of these 55+ communities. If youre like me, you have gotten as far as scrolling through pictures and getting excited, just to realize it is a senior living community.
Many of these communities are beautifully designed and have incredible upkeep. But beyond the nice comfy living situation in an aesthetically pleasing and safe community, there are a handful of different reasons why someone under the age of 55 would want to live in a 55+ community.
- Child or Grandchild:
Many people will need to house someone under the age of 55 when they move into these communities. If you are the parent or legal guardian of a child or young adult, you want to find out if and how they can live with you.
- A Spouse or Partner That is Under 55
That is arguably the most common occurrence. Many times, there will be one person in the relationship who is under the age requirement, in which case its essential to know if they will be allowed to live there. Otherwise, it will be a deal breaker.
Are Younger Children Able To Visit
A senior living community will rarely allow children under the age of 18 to live in the unit. If there are outstanding circumstances exemptions may get made but it is rare to find a place that will allow this as a full-time living situation.
Most communities do allow extended visits for children, though. These extended trips tend to be anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks. When you consider the lifestyle and living conditions they want to provide in these communities, it makes sense that they want a quiet and serene atmosphere.
But it is nice to know that you can have your grandchildren visit for an extended period. Time spent with grandchildren helps energize and invigorate seniors. So, allowing up to 30-day visits help create an environment filled with the people you love, while also maintaining a quiet community of seniors.
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Can Family Members Live In Senior Housing
With some of the programs, age is not an issue, so having family members with children is perfectly fine. For the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly, however, most communities will require that family members may only reside with an elderly parent if they are over the age of 18. Once a senior no longer resides in the unit, other household members will be required to leave. Those family members who do reside within a seniors unit must also meet eligibility criteria and their income will be counted toward the seniors household income and may affect the seniors income eligibility. Along with financial and supportive documentation, applicants will be required to show proof of identification regardless of the program they are applying for. However, since program eligibility criteria differs from one program to the next, so do the household tenant requirements.
For the HUD programs , HUD requires all applicants and all household members to verify their US Citizenship or immigration eligibility status by filling in a citizenship declaration form. All household members must be able to provide a social security number or produce records of their immigration eligibility by the time an apartment has been offered or the next eligible applicant will be offered the unit. If they cannot provide this documentation by the time-period set by the community , the applicant may become ineligible.
All household members will be subject to the following criteria:
How Is Your Health
Its important to consider your current and future health. For example, if you have a health condition that makes it difficult to stay active and will most likely worsen with time, its good to consider your options carefully. Its also important to consider the health of your spouse if you are married.
Can you manage the activities of daily living, such washing, showering, and eating? Can you manage your finances? Can you manage medications and doctor appointments?
If you see needing only minor assistance with activities of daily living, independent living may be right for you.
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Types Of 55+ Communities
There are several different types of 55+ communities to choose from. Your choice will depend on what youre looking to get from joining one community over another.
- Luxury communities: You will find larger homes with more amenities and luxury-level features available to residents in this type of community.
- Golf and resort communities: Just like the name suggests, these communities offer a resort-like environment with quality amenities. Whats more of a vacation than living on a beautiful golf course?
- Active senior communities: These 55+ communities are for those who live a more active lifestyle. They offer plenty of recreational activities, such as golfing, swimming and biking.
- Singles only communities: These communities are designed for unmarried individuals. The communities will typically offer events and opportunities for residents to meet and connect.
- Gated communities: This type of community has all the premiums of a 55+ community with added security and heightened privacy.
Program : What Is Huds Section 202 Supportive Housing For The Elderly Program
HUDs Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly is a branch off of of HUDs Section 8 program department of housing. The program works by providing low-rate loans for non-profit senior community developers at a very low cost. Another component to this program is the guarantee of funds in the form of rental subsidies with the requirement that tenant applicants of these communities meet eligibility requirements. Although the Section 202 program has been around since 1959, funding for the development of new affordable senior housing communities isnt often made available by the federal government. In fact, in 2019 a Notice of Funding Availability was released for the development of these communities for the first time in ten years.
Section 202 housing is available for seniors over the age of 62 that meet HUDs Low Income or Very Low Income criteria. The program is unique in that tenant applicants can just call the community directly to set up a qualification interview. Typically, the community manager will arrange the meeting, which is in-person, and the applicant will be required to bring in several pieces of information to prove that they qualify for the unit.
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What Are The Qualifications For The Lihtc Program
Since the LIHTC Program is overseen by each propertys management team, applying for an LIHTC falls in line with a more conventional application process. However, eligibility is still limited to those individuals whose income levels fall below 50% of the areas median income levels.
In addition, the property units will have some set asides that are for senior only tenants. In the LIHTC Program, units set aside for seniors must include at least one member of the household that is over the age of 55.
Because the properties are a mixture of conventional units that are not set aside for low income, and low income units that are, it is often difficult to locate these types of units. However, we have assembled a comprehensive list of LIHTC properties in order to help you with your selection process.
Can My Children And Grandchildren Visit
Of course. While there are tenant restrictions in these communities, there are few, if any, rules that govern your visitors. Kids and grandkids can come and go for visits as you please, as long as they’re relatively short-term.
Some senior living communities even offer amenities that appeal to grandparents, such as playgrounds, splash pads, even kids’ pools . Age restrictions are for residents only.
While the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Housing for Older Persons Act do impose rules about who property management companies can restrict from renting in senior living communities, rules for visitors are subjective.
Child and grandchild visitation rules generally max out somewhere between two weeks to one month but may allow for longer stays. Consult your community rule book to be clear on any restrictions.
This content is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
A.D. ThompsonA.D. Thompson spent the first half of her 25-year career behind the editors desk, including time at Playgirl Magazine. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Orlando Sentinel and a host of other publications, print and online. Now a full-time freelancer, she is the Orlando expert for USA Todays 10Best.com and writes about everything from Mickey Mouse to marijuana-based tourism with equal levels of enthusiasm and occasional bouts of the munchies.
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Can I Buy Home In 55+ Community If I Am Younger
It may be possible for you to buy a home in a 55+ community even if you are not 55 or older. However, make sure to check with community representatives. Due to HOPA, the community may have flexible age limits or be able create a situation where you can buy and obtain the requisite age within a certain time frame.
How Easy Is It For You To Get Around
You may live in an area where you have to drive to attend social activities, visit friends, and shop. If you find yourself less comfortable with driving, you may find yourself relying more and more on public transportation or family and friends to get around. It may be harder to visit others, pursue activities you enjoy, or keep doctors appointments.
As well as onsite amenities, many independent living or retirement communities also offer convenient transportation options to outside activities.
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What Are Senior Apartments
Senior apartments are communities reserved for people over the age of 55 or, in some cases, 62. They are more affordable than other senior housing options, but they are generally smaller than senior townhomes or condos, which tend to have ample space.
There is noticeably less upkeep, yard work, and maintenance involved with a senior apartment, however, because the complex can take care of pesticide control, gardening, sanitation, and trash, among other maintenance. Senior apartments also dont have monthly HOA fees.
Like any apartment building, amenities vary widely from one community to another. Some affordable communities have minimal shared spaces, while more upscale senior apartments may include access to fine dining, senior resident events, day spa services, and even wellness centers.
FYI: Living in a senior apartment can give you the flexibility to travel without worrying about maintenance, water leaks, or other issues. Read my senior travel guide to find your next travel destination.
Why Are Seniors Exempt
Sun City and other age-restricted communities were already established when the Fair Housing Act was passed in 1968. So exceptions were made.
“The 55-plus concept already existed in many communities and was incorporated into the law,” said Lynn Krupnik, an attorney specializing in housing law in Phoenix. “There are no similar types of exemptions for other age groups.”
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In Sun City, the rules allow people under the age of 19 to visit but only for a total of 90 days in any 12-month period.
Living in a community of mostly seniors means that the crime rate is low and residents, especially those who are surviving on Social Security, can avoid paying higher property taxes for schools, according to Morton.
“When people here are on a fixed income, any type of taxes, it puts a strain on a lot of people on what they can do and what they can’t do,” Morton said.
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Can Underage People Live In Senior Housing
Lynn Dover, Esq.
Revised March 2011
This is one of the questions most frequently asked by clients who operate senior housing in California. As with so many questions, the answer is: it depends. The first question that needs to be asked is whether the property is a 55 and older property, or a 62 and older property.
In 62+ senior housing, the answer is simple. No one under the age of 62 is permitted to live there, with three exceptions: 1) a live-in caregiver who might need to live with the senior as a reasonable accommodation based on the disability of a resident 2) an employee under 62 whose duties require that the person must live on the property and 3) underage occupants residing at the property prior to 1/1/85 or 9/13/88 are allowed to continue their tenancy.
55+ senior housing is more complex. The California Unruh Civil Rights Act was amended in 2000 to require that, for all tenancies beginning 1/1/01 or after, at least one member of the household must be 55 or older. There are no exceptions to this rule in non-subsidized housing, which means that underage, disabled residents may not move into a 55+ property by themselves they would have to live with a qualifying senior in order to legally reside in the community. There are some federal subsidy programs which are entitled elderly/disabled. In properties operated under those programs, an exception must be made in order to comply with the program requirements.
Younger Adults At 55 Communities
Always check with the community and find out about their restrictions as well as different state restrictions that may affect your living situation. The good news is that you are not alone. Many people run into the same situation of a partner who is under the age requirement or children who need to live with them. Because it is a common occurrence, many communities offer a way to keep your family together.
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The Supportive Housing For The Elderly Program
This is a special program that was established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for elder citizens who are 62 years of age or older and who need housing support. Older citizens who are about to lose their homes or require housing assistance are qualified for this benefit. Beneficiaries of this program will be living in independent living-type apartments. These apartments provide transportation, food, and housekeeping services for their tenants. The length of the stay differs depending on the current economic situation of the beneficiaries. To learn more, please go to or contact 1 800 955 2232.
Average Cost Of Seniors Residences
The average rent for bachelor units and private rooms that include at least one meal is on average $2,210 per month. Cost of seniors’ residences varies across Canada.
Find out about the cost of seniors housing in your province or territory in the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporations Seniors housing reports.
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Types Of Independent Living Facilities And Retirement Homes
There are many types of independent living facilities, from apartment complexes to stand-alone houses, which range in cost and the services provided.
Low-income or subsidized senior housing. In the U.S., for example, there are senior housing complexes subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for low-income seniors.
Senior apartments or congregate care housing. These are apartment complexes restricted by age, usually 55 or 62 and older. Rent may include community services such as recreational programs, transportation services, and meals served in a communal dining room.
Retirement homes/retirement communities. Retirement communities are groups of housing units restricted for those over a certain age, often 55 or 62. These housing units can be single-family homes, duplexes, mobile homes, townhouses, or condominiums. If you decide to buy a unit, additional monthly fees may cover services such as outside maintenance, recreation centers, or clubhouses.
Differences between independent living and other senior housing
The key difference between independent living and other housing options is the level of assistance offered for daily living activities. If you require round-the-clock help with eating, dressing, and using the bathroom, or require regular medical assistance, other housing options such as assisted living facilities or nursing homes may be a better fit. To learn more, read Senior Housing Options.