Government Subsidized Senior Housing [2023]

Written By: William Rivers
Reviewed By: William Rivers
Published: February 17, 2023
Last updated: March 30, 2023

With rising costs of basic living needs and record-breaking inflation rates, not every family can afford to provide quality care for their senior loved ones. The elderly can be cared for by thousands of nursing homes and senior homes across the country. 

However, senior housing is not cheap, with the average cost ranging from $3,500 to $10,500 a month. Most families resort to affordable senior housing programs that the US government administers. These programs are designed to help low-income families and seniors by offering them affordable housing or rental assistance. 

Read the article below to learn more about the government subsidized senior housing programs and their respective eligibility requirements.

Public Housing 

To help qualified seniors, disabled individuals, and low-income families have access to safe and decent rental homes, the federal government established public housing. This program offers homes of all types and sizes, from senior-friendly high-rise flats to single-family apartments. 

The 958,000 public housing units in the country are dispersed among all 50 states, with 20% located in rural areas. 

Families and individuals must earn less than 80% of the local median income to qualify for assistance. Additionally, the applicant must have US citizenship or be of eligible immigrant status. 


  • Affordable rent
  • Provides access to areas with better work opportunities and improved schools 
  • It allows seniors and families to remain in their local community


  • Does not include any care assistance for older adults
  • Limited choice of housing units
  • The strict and lengthy screening process

Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP)

The Housing Choice Voucher Program, formerly Section 8, provides vouchers that eligible low-income families, disabled individuals, and seniors can use to afford homes in the private housing market. Once you qualify, you are responsible for choosing a unit from many residential properties in subsidized housing projects, including apartments, townhouses, and single-family homes. 

To qualify for HCVP, you must have low or extremely low earnings based on your yearly gross income. In addition, you or your family must need sanitary, decent, and safe housing. 


  • Flexible housing options
  • Rent is paid directly by the local PHA to your landlord
  • Housing units are often near top educational institutions and medical care facilities.


  • Qualified families or individuals must still contribute a certain percentage of their income as a minimum rent
  • You are only provided 60 days to find a housing unit
  • Waiting lists are extremely long

Section 202 Supportive Housing For The Elderly

The Section 202 program is a state-funded initiative to provide the nation's growing elderly population with affordable housing and supportive services. To do this, the government provided capital advances and direct loans to non-profit organizations to build inexpensive residential properties for low-income older adults. 

Qualified seniors aged 62 and above can enjoy housing options that enable them to live independently with the provision of basic support services. This includes transportation, personal care, exercise, cooking, and cleaning. 

As part of the Section 202 program, low-income households must have at least one older adult 62 or older at the time of their initial occupancy. 


  • Older adults can live independently
  • Support services are available 24/7 
  • More affordable compared to nursing homes


  • Seniors living in assisted living facilities are often prone to elder abuse
  • Separated from their family and loved ones
  • Limited housing options

Benefits Of Government Senior Subsidized Housing

Housing assistance programs benefit millions of Americans every year. In 2019 alone, at least 1.4 million households were residing in government subsidized senior housing properties. Section 202, HCVP, and Public Housing are programs that allow struggling seniors, low-income families, and people with disabilities to have safe, habitable, and affordable housing. 

Section 202, specifically, allows older adults to live independently but with the availability of basic support services. 

Government senior subsidized housing also offers the following:

  • Various housing options, including apartments, townhouses, and single-family homes;
  • Multiple locations spread across the country, with each site located near hospitals and schools; and
  • Limited eligibility requirements and paperwork

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding government subsidized senior housing.

1. How do I get housing assistance in New York?

To apply for HCVP or Public Housing in New York, contact your nearest Public Housing Agency office. You may also visit the HUD's website to learn more about its other housing assistance programs within New York.

2.How can a senior get affordable housing in NYC?

To inquire about the eligibility requirements or submit an application for NYC's affordable housing, kindly call 212-369-5523.

3. What is the best program for subsidized housing in California?

The California Department of Social Services offers several housing programs that enable qualified low-income families and individuals to obtain permanent housing. These programs include CalWORKs Housing Support Program (HSP), CalWORKs Homeless Assistance (HA), and Housing and Disability Advocacy Program (HDAP). 

Different government subsidized senior housing programs enable seniors and their families to afford decent housing and avoid being displaced. Some projects also give them access to places that provide more opportunities to improve their lives, which would otherwise be impossible for low-income families to achieve.

If you are looking for senior-friendly apartments, check out this Senior Strong housing guide on apartments for 55 and older.

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William Rivers is an editor with a master’s degree in Human Services Counseling at Maine State University. He has more than 20 years of experience working in the senior healthcare industry.
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