What assistance is out there to help me find senior housing?

by User Not Found | Jun 01, 2011

If you are in the market for senior housing, you should know that assistance is available, both through private grants which you can apply for on your own, as well as governmental housing aid programs. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has established special housing programs for seniors that you can take advantage of and are currently offering a wide array of funding opportunities which can allow you to stay in your home or rent an apartment.

HUD strives to give seniors a feeling of choice and control when it comes to their senior housing options, reacting to a feeling among seniors that often they are simply pushed into low quality home care centers then forgotten.  More difficult senior housing to locate comes in the form of private organizations which make money available to seniors who need financial help for their housing needs. Websites are available which can aid you in the search for senior housing grants, however the legitimate ones will rarely charge you a fee, so be cautious in your search.

Senior Housing in the Form of HECM


If you have lived in your home for a long time, but are having trouble meeting the monthly bills, you might look into a form of senior housing help known as Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) which is operated by FHA, and is basically a reverse mortgage program for seniors. The HECM program allows you to tap into some of the equity in your home, whether in an unchanging monthly amount, a credit line, or a combination of the two.

HECM can also be used to buy a home providing you have enough available cash to pay the difference between the proceeds of the HECM and the selling price of the home you choose. Generally, to qualify for an HECM you must be at least 62 years old, must either own your property or have a relatively small balance on your mortgage, must not be negligent on any type of federal debt, and must live in the property as your principal residence. The mortgage amount will vary, depending on the current interest rate, and the lesser amount of the home’s appraised value or the HECM mortgage limit.

HECM’s don’t require income or employment qualifications, and the lender recovers their principal, plus interest, when the home is sold upon your death. The remaining value of the home will go to your heirs once the reverse mortgage is satisfied.

Senior Housing Communities


Senior housing now offers the opportunity for the elderly to live a comfortable life in a senior housing community which has a full range of medical assistance. The overall goal of a senior living community is to allow seniors to live a normal life, staying as independent as possible while still having the necessary medical infrastructure.  These senior housing communities are designed for seniors who are currently able to live on their own, yet want to enjoy a lifestyle which offers recreational, educational and social activities with their peers. Many of these communities cater to seniors with limited incomes, so it’s important to research the various choices.

Senior Housing Choice Voucher Program


The federal government offers vouchers for the low-income senior which will probably not cover the entire amount of the monthly rent, but will pay for a significant portion. The best thing about the senior housing choice vouchers is that you have the ability to find the home or apartment you want to rent rather than being told where you must live. This coupon or voucher system is operated by public housing agencies who receive federal funding. The only requirement for this senior housing option is that the rental must meet the minimum standards of health and safety.

There are many different forms of assistance for those who need a bit of help finding senior home options. The HUD website is a good resource, as is the PHA website.

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