Q:

What are some low-income senior home options?

A:

Quick Answer

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers many housing options for low-income seniors, including reverse mortgages for senior homeowners and public housing units for independent seniors who wish to rent. Most states also offer Medicaid assistance to low-income seniors who need long-term care in a nursing home.

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Full Answer

A reverse mortgage, or home equity conversion mortgage, offers an option for low-income seniors who own or have substantial equity in their homes. Backed by the Federal Housing Administration, these mortgages allow qualifying seniors aged 62 and over to withdraw a portion of the equity in their homes. Payments are made either as a lump sum, a line of credit or a monthly stipend. This federal program allows many seniors with limited incomes and assets to meet their living expenses while remaining in their homes.

HUD also offers public housing for low-income seniors who meet income qualifications and are at least 62 years old. Applicants for this program typically must have incomes no greater than 80 percent of the median income for the county or metropolitan area where they live. The selection of available units usually is limited, and waiting lists tend to be very long. HUD may give preferred-tenant status to seniors if they are veterans of the U.S. military, disabled or living in substandard housing at the time they apply.

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