As of 2014, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development sets the low-income limit at 80 percent of the median income for the county in which the person resides. Interested applicants can find a HUD-certified counselor in their state on the HUD Office of Housing Counseling website.
HUD breaks down income limits into four general categories. Moderate-income is defined as an income not exceeding 115 percent of the median income in the county where the person resides. Low income is an income of no more than 80 percent of the median. Very-low income is no more that 50 percent of the median, and extremely low income is roughly 30 percent of the median income or below. The agency offers subsidized housing programs for households in each of these categories; some have age requirements and some do not.
For instance, the eligibility criteria for Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly requires that applicants be at least 62 and have an income of 50 percent or below the median income for the county in which they live. Public Housing offers subsidized rentals to people with incomes of 80 percent or below the median, including the elderly and the disabled. There is no age requirement to qualify. Additionally, the Housing Choice Voucher Program offers subsidized housing to any household whose income meets the low-income or extremely-low income guidelines, regardless of age. Typically, at least one person in the household must be 55 or above to qualify for senior housing.