Low-income apartments are a type of affordable housing reserved for individuals who qualify for governmental housing assistance programs. The two most extensive housing assistance programs are the Public Housing Program and the Section 8 voucher program. The Department of Housing and Urban Development oversees both initiatives.
Local housing authorities administer the Public Housing Program by renting apartments to low-income applicants. To qualify for these apartments, an applicant must prove that his income is below the program's threshold. Some elderly and disabled individuals also qualify for this program, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The Section 8 voucher program partially subsidizes rent for low-income individuals and families. Participants may use the vouchers for any housing approved by the local Public Housing Agency. Tenants pay the remaining portion of the rent themselves.
Housing assistance income thresholds vary by time and location. To qualify for Section 8 vouchers, applicants must earn no more than half of the median income in their municipality, according to SFGate. The Public Housing Program recognizes three tiers of low-income tenants. Those who earn 50 to 80 percent of the local median income are classified as "low income" program participants. Those who earn 30 to 50 percent are called "very low income" participants, and those less than 30 percent of the median income fall into the "extremely low income" bracket.