Low-income apartments are a good way for families that are living at or below the poverty line to save money on rent. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers a number of subsidized housing options. To be considered for low-income apartments, you must meet the income standards set forth by HUD. Applying involves meeting eligibility requirements and filling out the necessary forms.
Visit your local housing agency to determine if you meet its low-income housing requirements. Eligibility is based on annual gross income; whether you qualify as a family, elderly or disabled; and whether you are a U.S. citizen or have proper immigration status. If you don't know how to contact your local housing agency, go to the HUD website (HUD.gov) to see a list of all participating agencies in your city or state.
Get the low-income apartment application from the housing agency. You can fill out the application yourself or have a housing agency representative do it for you. Requested information will include your contact information, as well as that of all people who will be living with you; the contact information of previous landlords; your anticipated yearly income; and the contact information of employers and banks. You will have to supply all verifying documentation, such as tax returns and birth certificates, and, at some point, a representative might also visit your current residence to see how you maintain your home. A representative will also go through all program requirements with you and make sure all your questions are answered.
The agency will send you written notification to let you know if you meet its eligibility requirements. If you do, you will be put on its waiting list for the next available unit for its public housing program.
If you don't want to live in public housing, you can search the HUD database for low-income housing in your area offered by apartment owners partnered with HUD. In this case, you can contact the management office directly to apply.
If you don't want public housing or HUD-affiliated housing, you can find your own apartment in the private market through the housing choice voucher program (Section 8). If your application meets certain requirements and you find a landlord willing to take part in the program, the housing agency will give you a voucher that pays a portion of your rent.
The wait for low-income public housing could take several months.