Section 202 is a low-income housing program for the elderly. The program provides affordable apartment housing, with a system to support the elderly in activities such as cooking, cleaning, transportation, and others.The apartments used for this purpose have rental assistance attached to them. That way, participants of the program only have to pay 30% of their net income for rent.
With this program in place, elderly members of society that are 62 years and older can live independently and for a more extended period. Non-profit organizations often own properties used for the Section 202 program with support from the federal government.
Due to the impacts of COVID-19 on the elderly it is now even more vital to extra precaution when selecting which type of housing is suitable for our seniors.
We wrote the article below as a guide that will walk you through the steps of applying for section 202.
Eligibility for Section 202 Housing Program
The following basic requirements must be met to be eligible for the Section 202 program:
- The total income of the household must be meager. What this means is that the income of the household should be as low as 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI) where they are applying to live.
- One member of the household or more must be at least 62 years old.
No documentation is required for United States citizens or non-citizens with eligible immigration status.
Application Steps for Section 202 Housing Program
Application for this program requires the following steps:
Step 1: Check Eligibility
Before beginning the application for a Section 202 housing program, it is essential to check for eligibility. Ensure that all the requirements are met.
Once you are sure at least one member of your household is at least 62 years of age, you can then calculate your household income to ensure your household meets the income limit.
The income of a household is determined by subtracting taxes and other expenses from money received. Income earned by members of a household below 18 years of age does not count.
Note that the income limit in specific areas may differ, so it is crucial always to confirm.
Also, check for any preferences or restrictions to a housing area. For instance, some areas may only accept tenants who participate in a local assistance program.
Lastly, take note of common factors that may nullify your application, which often includes:
- Prior eviction from HUD housing within the last five years
- Prior termination of assistance by a housing authority for any reason
- Debt to a housing authority
- Criminal records
Step 2: Find an Available Section 202 House
Visit online housing platforms to view apartment listings. Websites like lowincomehousing.us an have compiled databases of houses suitable for low-income renters.
Once you have found an apartment of your choice, contact the apartment representatives directly for more information. Contact may be made through phone calls or emails, depending on the contact information provided by the housing website.
If there is no way to make remote contact, then visit the property to obtain more information.
Due to the impacts of the COVID-19 virus on elderly communities, we highly suggest that you look for housing options that have strict policies and follow the CDC guidelines on how to protect their tenants from the virus.
For more information about finding homes that accept Section 202 subsidies we recommend contacting your local HUD office by clicking here.
Step 3: Complete the Application
Once you have made contact with property management, you will be required to complete an application. Applications may be made online, by phone or in the office of the management, depending on the instructions given.
Persons who may not be able to complete their applications themselves for any reason may have another person do it on their behalf. Note that the application may incur a fee.
The length of the application varies depending on the property. Nevertheless, information general required include
- Date of birth
- Social security number
- Household net income
- Applicant’s mailing or email address
- Applicant phone number
- Housing history
- Criminal history
Be sure to read application instructions very thoroughly and fill every required aspect correctly and honestly. Failure to fill specific sections may lead to termination.
Also, submit the application strictly following the property management’s instructions. If the management requires submission online, never submit by paper.
And if you’re required to submit through paper, never submit online. However, few exceptions may be made, but only through a reasonable request. Multiple applications from the same household are often rejected.
Step 3: Wait for Your Application to be Processed
After submitting your application, wait for a couple of weeks or months for your application to be processed. You could confirm the waiting time from the property management.
If the management places you on a waiting list, be sure to keep track of the property you applied for and document relevant information. Remember to check your status on the waiting list from time to time and update your contact information when required.
Also, don’t lose touch with the company or landlord, as they sometimes send confirmation messages to be sure applicants are still interested.
Step 4: Attend the Final Interview
The interview is the final stage of the application. Once there is an available apartment for you, the property manager will contact you for an in-person interview to determine your eligibility before finally giving you the accommodation.
The requirements for the interview vary depending on the property and may require only the applicant, only adult members of the household, or sometimes all members of the household.
Be sure to be present at the scheduled time. After approval, you will be allowed to move into the approved unit.