Applying for senior housing

by the Editor, SeniorInsider | Jun 01, 2011

Senior housing generally falls into independent living, assisted living or residential nursing care facilities, although some senior housing facilities will offer all three within the same complex. Many seniors find this to be particularly appealing, allowing them to stay in the same housing complex, yet receive varying levels of care as their needs increase.

With the rapidly rising senior population, the demand for senior living options far outweighs the current supply, meaning waiting lists can be long.

Low Income Apartments as a Senior Housing Choice

Some low-income senior housing options are available in almost every part of the country. Ask people at your local senior center, check with your local Area Agency on Aging, or ask friends and family who may have information to share or perform a search right here on You can also visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and take a look at the application requirements for low-income HUD housing.

Each locale will have its own requirements, so even if you qualify in one city, you may not in another. Check the age requirements for the specific senior housing you are considering; sometimes the age is 55, while other times it can be 62 or even 65. If you are elderly and disabled, you should be able to meet the application requirements easily.

Determine Your Eligibility for Specific Senior Housing

Once you have located a potential senior housing solution, contact the manager and determine the criteria for eligibility. Ask how long the wait list is at this time also. If you meet the criteria and are able to wait the specified period of time, request your application package now. Carefully complete the entire application—many applications are rejected based solely on missing information, so check it over thoroughly before turning it in. Add any supplementary information, which could be copies of your photo identification, proof of your age or details regarding your assets and current benefits.

Keep in touch with the manager once you have turned in your application. While you don’t want to be a pest, it is true in some cases that keeping your senior housing needs uppermost in the manager’s mind may garner you a housing solutions more quickly than if he or she doesn’t remember you at all. Check the status of your application often, yet continue to look for other alternative senior housing in the event your first choice does not pan out.

Senior Housing Subsidized by Federal or State Government

Affordable senior housing is often subsidized by the government and can come in the form of apartments with a lower rent, housing coupons or a variety of other subsidies. You must meet the monthly financial requirements for subsidized senior housing so assess your specific finances and lifestyle thoroughly prior to deciding on housing subsidies as they often come with certain restrictions.

Privately Subsidized Senior Housing Through HUD

HUD offers a senior housing program in which private apartment owners are given a subsidy to rent to senior citizens with limited finances. HUD maintains a list of all privately-owned subsidized senior housing, and once you’ve identified a likely housing solution, you can apply directly to the landlord. If you look on the HUD government website you will be able to determine whether you meet your state-defined income limits.

Housing Vouchers for Senior Housing Solutions

The housing voucher program is governed by each state’s Public Housing Agency; our government assists state agencies in providing vouchers for rentals for seniors who qualify financially. You must apply directly through the local PHA office, although you can determine your eligibility requirements through the HUD website. Once you have been approved for a housing voucher, you are free to search for any rental property you choose; the rent will be paid directly to the owner or landlord by PHA.

Senior Housing Through State Rental Assistance

Many states offer subsidies for senior housing through the Department for the Aging, or the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. This assistance can come in the form of an exemption for rent increases, or vouchers for your rent. You must apply for this type of program at your state agency, however, most can be accessed through the HUD website. If you are in the market for senior housing, it’s a good idea to check the HUD website. It is filled with excellent information regarding your future senior home.



  • My father had to move out of the retirement community he was living in. I didn’t know what to do. I found a new one in the same city with an opening the very same day on Thanks!

    Doug J


  • I was in need of resources for caregivers and stumbled on your site. You answered a lot of the questions I had about taking care of my aging mother. What a wealth of knowledge, all in one place.

    Lisa Z


  • I saved so much time thanks to your valuable resources on this site. We need more resources like yours on the Internet. I'll be sure to refer anyone who is looking for senior related information to you.

    Jeana M


  • I was having a tough time understanding all the legal issues (probate, trusts, living wills, etc.) until I found You put everything into terms that I can easily understand.

    John R


Connect With Us

If you’d like to receive FREE information on a range of topics of interest to seniors, fill out the form below:

Please send me:

Free Senior’s Guide

Receive a Free Senior Living Insders Guide!

Free Senior’s Guide
Free Newsletter

Receive periodic news relating to active senior living!

Free Newsletter
Money Saving Deals

Get money saving deals and Special Offers for Seniors!

Money Saving Deals