Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Budget Housing for Your Aging Parent: Consider Section 8, Pt. 1

Is your aging parent stressed over high housing costs? The following quiz may shed light on his or her plight.

1. Is your parent's income less than 30% of the median income in her area? In King County in Washington, that lowest income figure is $18,500 for a single person.

2. Is your parent living temporarily with family or friends until he or she can find something permanent?

3. Is your parent paying more than 50% of his or her income for rent and utilities?

A "yes" answer to any of the above may mean your parent could qualify for Section 8, a HUD-sponsored program that gives substantial rent subsidies in the form of vouchers, usually spendable at a number of housing complexes.

How does the program work? Your parent takes his gross annual income (before Medicare A coverage is taken out) and subtracts medical expenses such as Medicare premiums, insurance, medical appointments, prescriptions, etc. The resulting figure is his or her gross adjusted income.

Dividing that number by twelve gives the monthly adjusted gross income. If qualified for the program, your parent will pay 28% of that amount for rent in a qualifying apartment complex. The Housing Authority pays the difference between your parent's portion and the market rent.

It's a great deal. Just ask some of the residents at Evergreen Court, where I live. Thanks to Section 8, they will soon save lots of money on rent. Their kids are smiling, too.

My next post on Section 8 for seniors comes soon.

Have any of you had experience with helping your parent find Section 8 housing?

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