What Affordable Housing Really Means

More Americans are feeling the pinch and with the recent COVID-19 economic downturn, families are unable to spare their income should a financial emergency occur. This placesindividuals in difficult circumstances making it impossible to save money or cover the monthly rent.

The answer to assisting many financially constrained communities is affordable housing. Cheap housing can assist those who cannot afford the rising costs of renting a house or an apartment. With rentals dedicated to affordability, families have the opportunity to work towards financial and housing security.

But affordable housing extends far beyond the financial. It has prevented many families from being homeless and also offers children the stability they need to pursue their education and their goals. To understand just what affordable housing really means, let’s take a closer look at the definition of affordable housing and consider who qualifies for low income apartments.

What Does Affordable Housing Mean?

Affordable housing consists of cost-effective rental units (most commonly apartments) for households with a salary of less than the state/area median income.

To determine whether applicants qualify for cheap housing, gross income is assessed. The total costs for monthly rent and utilities should not be more than 30% of the gross income.

What is the Difference Between Public Housing and Affordable Housing?

There are many types of affordable housing programs. Each of these differ in terms of qualifying income and unique household circumstances.

Public housing is managed by federal government and includes subsidies for qualifying tenants. It consists of apartments to rent and is available to households that fall into the low income bracket, families with disabilities, veterans, and the elderly.

Section 8 is a form of public housing; however, the difference is that it can be run by a private owner in partnership with government. For a qualifying household, part or all of the rent is covered by a housing subsidy or voucher.

Affordable housing is for individuals and families who are considered low income. According to federal government, affordable housing should be provided to those who fall below the median income bracket for the region and cannot include more than 30% of their income to rent. Individuals may use social security income (SSI) and their monthly wage to pay for rent.

Who Qualifies for Affordable Housing?

Qualifying criteria for cheap housing include affordability, disability, and households with children.  Applicants will need to earn less than the median income for the region. A landlord will also complete a credit check, background check, request proof of income and employment.

Is Affordable Housing Available to Everyone?

Only households who are considered low income within the state will be eligible to apply for affordable housing.

You can earn too much to receive approval for an affordable apartment to rent. For those who earn at or just above the median level, landlords may consider your background and unique circumstances.

To apply for cheap housing, you should be older than 18 years and a US citizen. For those in the process of US citizenship, there are alternative housing programs offered by federal government.

The Importance of Affordable Housing

As households face a difficult economic climate, more people simply cannot afford the high costs of traditional homes and apartments to rent. For those who are renting for the first time, or families looking for low income rentals, affordable housing provides cost effective housing opportunities.

Affordable housing has been the subject of many stigmas in the past; however, recent developments in secure communities with access to modern amenities are slowly changing the misconceptions. Cheap rentals can prevent homelessness and also offers children a safe community to grow up in.

Along with its accessibility for lower income applicants, it is also of great interest to property developers and investors, supporting economic growth while creating valuable and safe communities.

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