Which Type of Affordable Housing Do You Need?

Affordable housing has been a hot topic, especially after President Biden promised to inject a staggering $213 billion into developing and maintaining affordable housing units. Affordable housing allows low-income families around the country to get a decent place to call home. 

However, it’s much more than finding homes for low-income families. The local government must also ensure economic diversity and that communities maintain their ties without displacing people. 

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So, how do you choose the right type of affordable housing?

If you’re looking for cheap housing for you and your family, we’re here to help. Today’s post will be highlighting different types of affordable housing you can opt for if you’re strapped for cash.

Public Housing

Let’s begin with the most prevalent type of affordable housing, and that’s public housing. Public housing is a collective term for government-owned buildings for low-income families. These buildings are maintained by housing authorities and typically cost 30% of the renter’s income.

Public housing is arguably the most affordable type of affordable housing. This makes it a preferred choice for struggling families. The downside to public housing is that they may not be the nicest of houses.

If you’re in the financial doldrums and need somewhere to lay your head and stay safe, public housing is just what the doctor ordered. If you’re willing to spend a little more for something nicer, check out the other alternatives.

HUD Project-Based Developments

HUD project-based development is an initiative by the HUD or Housing and Urban Development. They are also known as project-based rental assistance or RAD buildings. These are private-owned buildings, although some landlords get special funding from the HUD.

The word “project” is somewhat of a misnomer because HUD project-based developments are nothing like the projects. The HUD sets rent at these apartments at 30% of your income. This means if you earn very little, your rent can be super cheap.

If you don’t have a job or source of income, you need to pay a minimum of $50 every month. However, the HUD can waive this fee for hardship reasons. HUD buildings are much nicer than public housing, but you’ll have to do your digging to find a really nice one.

Congregate Housing and Assisted Living

Unlike other types of affordable housing, congregate housing and assisted living offers additional services like meals and housekeeping. You’ll have to pay for these extra services, but you could use Medicaid waivers to fund them.

If the HUD funds the building, rent will be 30% of your income as like any other HUD housing. These buildings are ideal for the elderly and those living with disabilities because of the extra services. You must meet certain conditions to qualify for congregate housing.

It’s worth noting that this type of housing isn’t available in all areas. Try checking with your local housing authority to find out whether they’re available in your region. If Medicaid contributes to assisted living in your region, you can also check their website for availability.

Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Buildings

Just like HUD project-based developments, low-income tax credit buildings are owned by private owners. The private owners get special funding as long as they implement specific rules. These buildings come in various types and sizes, including townhouses, cottages, and even revamped historic buildings.

Low-income tax credit buildings break down into three main types, which are:

HUD project-based apartments: As you can tell by the name HUD project-based apartments, get special funding from the HUD. That means you’ll only pay 30% of your income as rent.

Other apartments: With these apartments, you don’t pay the standard 30% of your income as rent. However, rent is marginally cheaper than what you’d pay with other apartments. They also have narrow income requirements, meaning you can’t be too rich nor too poor.

It might be a tad challenging to meet the specific criteria, but there’s no harm in giving it a shot. You’ll save a ton of money by moving into one of these buildings.

Mixed: These are buildings that have both regular and HUD project-based apartments. Although the rent disparity is there, the apartments are all the same. It’s not uncommon to find one apartment that costs $700, while an identical apartment costs $300 because the latter is a HUD project-based development apartment.

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

Given the current pandemic and housing crisis, finding affordable housing in California that can accommodate a large family is easier said than done. If you need extra accommodation for your family or friends, why not consider an ADU.

An ADU is a smaller independent residential unit mostly detached from the main house. They are versatile units that go by many names including, backyard cottage or accessory apartment. If you need extra space for accommodation at home, then an ADU is just what the doctor ordered.

What’s more, if you have the plans, you can hire a contractor to build yours in no time. Check out The ultimate guide to pre-approved ADU plans and see how you can erect an ADU in your compound.

USDA Housing Rural Development

USDA Rural Developments are private-owned buildings only found in rural areas. Most of these USDA buildings charge the same as low-income tax credit buildings. If you want affordable housing in rural areas, look no further than USDA housing rural development.

Choose Your Best Type of Affordable Housing

With so many affordable houses at your disposal, finding one type of affordable housing that aligns with your needs should be a breeze. Check with your local housing authorities to find one which is best suited for you. If you’re still on the waiting list, be a little patient because your time will come.

For more informative content, check out the other articles on the site.

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