How to Qualify for Low Income or Rent-Free Housing

How to Qualify for Low Income or Rent-Free Housing
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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides housing assistance to people struggling with financial or health issues. Low-income housing varies by geographic location. Some HUD departments offer high-rise apartments while others offer single-family homes. People interested in applying for housing assistance need to meet eligibility requirements and submit application materials.

Learn about eligibility requirements. Low-income and subsidized housing is reserved for people with limited income, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Income limits are based on median income in the city where the applicant resides. To qualify, the applicant’s income must be below 50 percent of the median income. For example, if the county’s median income is $40,000 the applicant’s income must be $20,000 or less.

Search for local housing authority contact information. Housing assistance is run by local HUD Departments. Visit the U.S. Department of HUD to find contact information in your area.

Contact the county housing authority. After imputing your state’s information at the HUD website, it will return information for local housing authorities by county. Choose the county where you reside for local contact information.

Call the housing authority and request an application. Complete the required fields and forward the application to the address listed on the materials. Information for other people living in the home also needs to be included, such as date of birth and relationship to you (e.g. spouse, child, etc.). The application will require a summary of why you need housing assistance as well.

Agree to a home visit. HUD will schedule a home visit after reviewing application materials. The HUD employee will talk with all family members. The purpose of the on-site interview is to ensure the family is a good fit for HUD assistance. Applicants can also ask questions of HUD employees.


  • Application materials will require references. Unfavorable references could jeopardize your ability to secure this housing. HUD is looking for individuals who fit harmoniously within the community. People who create a hostile or unhealthy living environment may be prohibited from participation.


  • The demand for housing assistance is high. Expect a waiting list to secure housing. The length of wait varies by county.