What Is Section 8 Housing for Senior Citizens?

What Is Section 8 Housing for Senior Citizens?
••• house image by Brett Bouwer from Fotolia.com

Social Security benefits and other fixed-income programs don't provide enough financial support for many senior citizens, causing them to search for ways to reduce living expenses such as finding affordable housing. Under the Housing Choice Voucher Program, or Section 8, federal housing is available for low-income senior citizens.

What Is Section 8?

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is a national organization that manages the Section 8 program. It administers housing vouchers to low-income senior citizens to find privately owned rental housing. This assistance comes in the form of rental subsidies, limiting the monthly rent payment of the recipient.

How Much Will Section 8 Pay For?

The owner of the property, or landlord, is usually paid the difference of 30 percent of your household income, or a determined payment between 80 to 100 percent of the fair market rent (FMR). Your rental unit must be reasonable, according to HUD guidelines. However, you may choose a rental higher than the FMR and pay the landlord the difference.


Your household income must not exceed 50 percent of the median income for the county or metropolitan area in which you live. This amount varies by location.

Where Do You Apply?

To apply for Section 8, contact the local public housing agency in your city.

When to Expect Voucher

The demand for affordable housing assistance is high, and resources are limited, causing long waiting periods. Your name will be added to a waiting list. Selections may be made according to need, depending on whether you're homeless, living in substandard housing, paying more than 50 percent of your income for rent or other criteria. Each locality's selection process is different.