The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, has several programs that can assist seniors in obtaining housing. Although these programs are designed primarily for independent seniors rather than those in need of assisted living, HUD provides three types of assistance that can be of benefit to seniors: public housing, multifamily subsidized housing and housing vouchers. HUD helps more than 900,000 seniors through its programs, as noted by Senior Living.
Public housing agencies, or PHAs, can assist low-income seniors in obtaining affordable housing, but the applicant must live in the community where the application is accepted. If one PHA does not have housing available, another one may be able to accommodate the application. The elderly and disabled are typically given preference. The housing is owned and maintained by the local PHA.
The Multifamily Subsidized Housing program, or Section 202 program, is a HUD program that was developed specifically to accommodate the housing needs of seniors. The housing is privately owned, but the rent is subsidized by HUD. The agency also provides loans to qualified non-profit organizations to build housing for seniors.
Housing vouchers provided through the Housing Choice Voucher program, or HCVP, assists renters in the private housing sector. Vouchers are either project-based or tenant-based. Project-based vouchers are associated only with specific buildings and housing units, while tenant-based vouchers follow the renter. Provided that the housing owner agrees to abide by the program's rules, renters are not restricted in living where they wish.