The US Department of Housing and Urban Development funds affordable housing programs administered through local housing authorities. These programs are available to anyone who meets the income level requirements, including low income singles. Public Housing and the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program are options for low income households to afford a rent. These programs pay a portion of the tenant's rent in order to keep the cost of living low.
Affordable housing programs allow a tenant to pay 30 percent of his income towards rent, and HUD pays the remaining portion. Also, affordable housing providers are held accountable by federal and state regulations to ensure the housing is decent and safe and tenants are treated with respect. Affordable housing programs benefit seniors who are on a fixed income, college students, and people with disabilities. There is no time limit for receiving rental assistance payments.
In order to be eligible for affordable housing assistance payments, the applicant must meet income level requirements. HUD publishes income limit levels on an annual basis. These levels are based on each county's area median income. The total household income is counted to determine eligibility. Some affordable housing developments are restricted to serve only seniors or people with disabilities. The applicant also needs to provide verification of U.S. citizenship or immigration status.
The HUD website provides a link to local Housing Authorities that can assist low income households with affordable housing options. Applicants can choose to apply for a Section 8 voucher or to a building that charges affordable rents. The Section 8 programs allows the tenant to receive assistance with rental payments at any property that will accept a subsidized rent payment. Public Housing provides rents at an affordable rate, however, once the tenant moves, he will no longer receive rental assistance payments. Applicants must apply for a Section 8 voucher at the local housing authority.
As a participant in a affordable housing program, the tenant will be required to verify income on an annual basis to determine if the household is still eligible to receive rental assistance payments. If the household is determined ineligible to receive assistance, they would be responsible for paying the entire rental fee. If the household's income decreases prior to the annual re-certification anniversary date, the tenant can request an interim certification to have her portion of the rent reduced. The tenant's rent would be adjusted to 30 percent of the new household income.
Davina Price has been writing since 2003, specializing in grant and technical writing for government and nonprofit organizations. She currently is a licensed real-estate agent in Southern California and specializes in working with first-time home buyers. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from the University of Southern California.