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Types of Senior Housing Choices
The United States Housing and Urban Development has a number of schemes and programs for low-income seniors and people in similar circumstances.
These programs ensure that seniors get quality housing at a low and affordable cost. They include the following.
Housing Choice Voucher Program
This is for very low-income earning or disabled seniors. It is a safe decent housing that can be obtained with a voucher card.
All you have to do is go out there, find people who want to rent an apartment to you, and that will give you a discount because your income is not enough for you to be able to afford the house.
The coupon voucher is available to seniors with Social Security Disability Insurance and low-paying jobs who cannot afford decent housing.
Rapid rehousing is for seniors that at one point had an apartment, whatever it may be, but lost it in hard times.
The rapid rehousing program typically lasts over two years validity and what happens is after several months of you being in that program they slowly start to reduce the amount you are willing to pay towards rent.
As you are working and making money, they are reducing the amounts of payments until it reaches two years when you are back on your feet.
So when the person gets a job and starts doing well, there will be absolutely no reason to continue to be on rapid rehousing.
Also, there are no preconditions for this program like the housing choice voucher. They don't care if the senior is disabled or a low-income earner.
This program is designed to meet all specific needs because the reason a senior can be without home varies. This means the amount of money the program is willing to pay for your rent over that two-year period is based on how difficult it is for you to get back into housing.
Permanent Supportive Housing
Permanent supportive housing is basically just an intervention for seniors that are without a home or in-between homes.
What this program does is that if a senior lacks housing and such a person shows a track record of not being able to pay the lease or not being able to get a home, they offer permanent supportive housing.
This is a pretty good little deal because they pay up to 100 percent of your rent, your utility bill, and all kinds of things that you essentially need.
They also offer what is known as a wraparound service for seniors with drinking and drug problems. They will urge such individuals to utilize their services and get the help they need. But they will not force it on anyone.
The 100 Dollar Down Program
The hundred dollars down HUD program is a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans scheme. Basically, Housing and Urban Development has taken these homes back from the FHA loans that they once made and are now trying to resell these properties.
Only certain income level seniors are eligible for the hundred dollars down the program. There is a special website HUD puts forth so people search the homes and to find out what is eligible for the 100 dollars down, and what is not. Then a realtor can then compile a list of properties for you to go look at those that are eligible for the program.
However, there are not a lot of Realtors who do this program, so the first step here is to make sure that you find someone who is an expert in the HUD programs and understand which properties are eligible for 100 dollars down.
When it comes to the financing end, it is constructed on an FHA loan and instead of the standard three and a half percent down payment, you can come in with just a hundred dollars down.
This program is one of the only hundred percent financing programs left in the entire country and HUD will pay your closing costs so you can walk into a property one hundred dollars down without payment for the first thirty or sixty-day.
However, many of the properties have a little bit of deferred maintenance and small issues that need to be taken care of before they are eligible for FHA financing. Once the work is completed, then the title company will release those funds to you.
Supportive Housing for Senior Program
This is a housing grant of five million dollars that HUD has out. Anyone can request up to five million dollars to use, to either buy, build, renovate, or reconstruct a multi-family development and house low-income seniors in it.
Multifamily for this grant is defined as a development that has a minimum of five units, and elderly seniors are defined as people who are 62 years old or older.
However, not everyone can apply for this program. There are three eligible applicant types. The first is a 501(c)(3) organization that has obtained a letter to confirm its nonprofit status from the IRS. The next eligible applicant type is a 501(c)(4) that also has a letter from the IRS, and then the final eligible applicant is a consumer cooperative, where the owners are the consumers of the product.
Low Income Housing Tax Credit
Housing tax credits are sold to corporate investors who in turn use the credits to reduce their tax bills and satisfy their regulatory requirements through their participation in the program.
Tax credits are allocated annually to the states by the US Treasury Department and the amount each state receives is based upon its population, subject to a minimum amount.
Each state has a housing finance agency that administers the tax credit program for the federal government. Housing developers apply to the state's Housing Finance Agency to receive an award of tax credits and the Housing Finance Agency awards these credits through a highly competitive process development that best meets the means of the state that receives an allocation of these credits. Credits then flow to a project owner.
Over a period of 10 years, the tax credits are reserved for projects that are both rent-restricted and income restricting. These rent and income restrictions must remain in place for a period of at least 30 years.
Housing developers that receive Awards of tax credits seek to partner with investors to construct, own, and operate the properties. Investors' equity infusions typically fund 70 to 80 percent of the project's cost, greatly reducing the amount of debt needed to build the property. This lower debt amount enables property owners to charge lower rents while still paying all operating expenses and debt payments.
Fair Housing Assistant Program
HUD provides a Fair Housing Assistance Program, also known as FHAP and the state’s human relations department offers help to those in need of the services.
The FHAP office is there to ensure that everyone, including seniors, has an equal opportunity in renting and purchasing a home. Under the FHAP contract, allegations pertaining to racial issues, disabilities, familial prestige are addressed.
In 2016 the United States government reported there were 28,181 complaints dealing with housing discrimination. It is estimated that there are over 4 million instances of housing discrimination annually in the rental market alone.
A lot of them pertain to family status where a landlord will not consider renting to an individual because they have children under the age of eighteen.Many people think that fair housing pertains just to houses or apartments, but FHAP also investigates allegations of discrimination in housing for homeless shelters or temporary housing.
If any senior feel that they are a victim of housing discrimination, or wants to learn more about what counts as a fair housing discrimination issue, call the Human Relations Division of the city where you reside.