Affordable Retirement Housing

Reviewed: September 16, 2015
By FinanceWeb

The national and local affordable retirement housing programs focus on the elderly, disabled elderly, veterans, and low-income individuals and families. One innovative program helps senior homeowners stay in their homes in retirement. By taking advantage of programs designed to assist them, seniors can make a wide range of housing options affordable. In rural areas, government programs provide subsidies to reduce rental prices. These housing programs encourage the private sector to increase the available, affordable housing stock in under served areas.

Senior Home Equity Conversion

Reverse mortgage for seniors is a federal program that helps seniors stay in their homes by using their equity as a source of cash flow. Senior homeowners can use cash or a line of credit to manage their expenses in retirement while staying in their homes. The result is a sale of the home after the agreed time for the loan payments has passed, and this can be a lifetime arrangement.

Apartment Living for Seniors

Subsidized rental for seniors can help make apartment living affordable particularly in markets in which housing sales drive apartment prices higher. The Section 202 program has two elements one for supply, and one for the rental subsidies. The program provides grants and cash assistance to local organizations that develop new housing or rehabilitate existing structures. Once occupied by eligible renters, the Section 202 program offers rental subsidies to make the units affordable to low-income residents. The program focuses on the elderly and physically challenged persons.

Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8)

The main program for increasing affordable housing is the rental subsidy program formerly known as Section 8 housing. This program provides payments to rental providers to cover the gap between affordable housing rates and market rates. Affordable housing is a policy that limits the amount of money an individual or household should pay for housing. The guideline suggests that no one should pay more that thirty percent of their income for housing. The federal and state governments pay the balance in the form of a redeemable voucher that the resident pays to the provider along with their share of the rental price. This program offers the benefit of fitting in with market pricing and with guarantees of payment, it encourages providers to make housing available to low-income renters.

Using Public Housing

Pubic housing is another source of affordable housing in cities, and in rural areas the Department of Agriculture administers the Rural Housing Service, Section 521 program. Public housing includes specialized housing for elderly and frail individuals. Defined as persons who need assistance with three or more daily life functions, these vulnerable residents can get long-term housing in HOPE projects around the country. These supported living communities provide assistance that can build on the existing levels of independence

Finding Affordable Retirement Living

With many forms of Affordable Retirement Housing, seniors in nearly every city or rural area can benefit from the national policy favoring safe and decent affordable housing. HUD and state governments provide housing counselors that can assist persons in need of housing in efforts to locate the most advantageous type of living situation. Independent living, assisted living, and skilled care settings are among the important options to consider when selecting affordable retirement living arrangements. Based on need and physical limitations, the best fit can be affordable with public and private forms of assistance. Sharing living units is an excellent way to reduce the costs of retirement living and make it affordable. Shared living arrangements also benefit many seniors by ensuring some helpful forms of companionship for those living alone.