If you have spent any length of time researching senior communities or senior housing, then you know how costly it can be. Between buy in rates and monthly fees, the costs can quickly become overwhelming. What are your options if you are on a limited income?
1) A Senior Active Living Community – Depending on where you go, what amenities are available, and the size of the condo or apartment, you could move into a senior community for as little as a $1,000 entrance fee and purchase a residence costing as little as $70,000. This is a great option for someone who can live independently.
2) Non Profit Residential-Care Facilities – These retirement homes are also for those who have little to no medical issues and can perform daily tasks without outside help. If you don’t want to or are unable to purchase a residence, these homes for the elderly are a great option. Costs range from $350 to $3,000 a month. People who qualify for Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid but have little else usually move into these facilities.
3) Assisted Living Facilities – These communities usually offer private rooms, recreation programs, and medical personnel onsite. Residents normally pay rent anywhere from $1,000 to $6,000 a month and usually are responsible for their own medical care. The average cost to live in an assisted-living facility is $2,969 a month, or nearly $36,000 per year.
4) Senior Apartments – These homes differ from a senior living community in that the units are smaller and there are less amenities available, therefore being a more inexpensive option. Most units have kitchens and usually offer dining facilities, laundry rooms, and a library in the building. A one bedroom apartment can run approximately $600 per month (depending on location).
5) Public Housing - Public housing allows eligible applicants to live in rental housing specified to those who are 62 years of age or older. The applicant must meet low-income limit requirements to get help with rental payments. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) subsidizes the unit's rental rate. The tenant is required to pay 30 percent of his income towards rent.
6) Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program - The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program also subsidizes a low-income senior's rent but the rental subsidy is not tied to a specific rental unit. The senior is allowed to take his or her rental subsidy to any rental housing that will accept a Section 8 voucher as a form of payment. The senior still must meet both age and income requirements and the housing authority is then responsible for determining the tenant's monthly rent and paying the owner for HUD's portion of the rent.