Is your parent struggling to pay the rent? And does it get worse every year, as medical costs increase? Section 8 could be the answer.
It was for 85-year-old Helen. Until recently she paid $910 a month for rent and utilities, quite a stretch for her monthly income of $1350. Helen and her family looked into Section 8, a HUD-sponsored program which gives vouchers for rent assistance to low-income seniors.
Section 8 takes two forms: the more common Tenant-Based Voucher, which allows tenants to take their vouchers from place to place throughout their state to Section 8 participating programs. The second form is called a Project-Based Voucher, good at only one location.
Helen's apartment complex had a Project-Based Voucher program. Since the program was new, she was able to stay in her current apartment.
To prove her eligibility, Helen had to document her income and assets, as well as submit to a background check. She also documented her medical costs, such as doctor's and dental visits, Medicare insurance and Medicare supplements.
How did the story end? Happily. Helen's medical expenses of $350 a month were subtracted from her gross monthly income of $1450 (before Medicare is taken out). That resulting number, $1100, is called the gross adjusted income. For seniors on Section 8, their rent portion cannot exceed 28% of that number.
Helen's rent now is $308, instead of $910. Same building, same program, but a huge savings.
Do you have experience with Section 8 you'd like to share?