AFFORDABLE HOUSING FAQ
Updated: Mar 8, 2022
Do You Have Questions about Affordable Housing?
Maybe you want to know if you qualify, whether you need an income to apply, or what exactly affordable housing is? At Apartments Near Me, we’ve made understanding affordable housing that much easier with our exclusive Q&A guide.
What is an Affordable Home?
We all want a home we can afford. We want to be able to pay our bills on time, have something extra for the things we enjoy, and put cash away towards savings. If all our hard-earned cash goes into our monthly rent, what do we have to show for it?
Renting an affordable home is becoming the best way to save.
Look at it this way. You get frustrated when you pay too much for gas, you look forward to Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals but why do we pay so much on rent?
A secure home with modern amenities and ease of access to major highways or the city center are great features in a new place to rent and this is exactly what you get with the latest developments in affordable housing.
With a little bit of research into apartments, a comparison of rentals, and some knowledge of the neighborhood, you can find an incredible apartment that fits your lifestyle and is easy on your pocket.
Are You Paying Too Much for Rent?
Property prices naturally increase over time and landlords have to account for it in the rent. The average increase for rent is up to 5% per year. If you are being issued outrageous increases in monthly rent, you need to ask yourself, is it worth it?
Why Is There Still the Wrong Perception Around Affordable Housing?
When affordable housing was first developed, it was left to wreck and ruin. The term “affordability” quickly became associated with run-down properties that were crime-ridden. Slum landlords focused more on getting their rent but failed to provide the maintenance, security, and care that tenants deserved. As this went on, more affordable homes were considered poverty-stricken and in areas with a less than desirable reputation. Today; however, affordable homes and second chance apartments are becoming incredibly popular as modern developments and reliable landlords are investing in the value of the property and the satisfaction of tenants.
Common Affordable Housing Questions Answered
Let’s answer some of the most common questions in the affordable housing and apartment rental markets.
Is There a Demand For Affordable Housing?
The demand for affordable housing in the last decade has gone through the roof! Singles and families are on waiting lists for years to qualify for an affordable apartment. The problem is that developments are few and far between. Not all states offer affordable or second chance housing. This makes it increasingly difficult for all persons to gain access to rental properties to suit their lifestyle and their budget.
You can also consider apartments to rent with mixed-income. This means that your rent should not exceed more than 30% and 60% of your gross income. Affordable housing doesn’t mean Section 8 or housing vouchers. It is different in that each applicant must earn a qualifying income to pay the monthly rent and to cover their security deposit.
Can a Single Person Get Affordable Housing?
If you are single you can apply for affordable housing provided you meet the qualifying criteria. While many housing associations emphasize family applications for an affordable home, this does not exclude a single person from applying.
When you complete your housing application, read the terms carefully. Ensure you meet the affordability requirements and provide the necessary documentation. This ensures that your application is processed quickly.
If I Have Bad Credit, Can I Still Apply For Affordable Housing?
Bad credit, previous evictions, bankruptcy, and first-time renting are all eligible to apply for second chance apartments and affordable housing. Second chance rentals are affordable and specifically developed for the needs of renters who need that second chance!
We know that if you have bad credit or a previous eviction just how tough it is to qualify for a regular apartment to rent, and that’s even when you can afford it. Second chance apartments are about assisting renters with housing by looking at criteria unique to their situation. If you have negative credit and you apply for a second chance apartment, the property management team will look at other factors such as income, employment, affordability, and references. The benefit is that your second chance application will not be turned down automatically because you have a negative credit rating.
Do I Have to Have Family to Receive Affordable Housing?
No, you do not have to have a family to apply for affordable housing. Affordable apartments are available to all who qualify. If you have a family, apart from completing your apartment application be sure to choose the appropriate sized rental. Two to three-bedroom apartments are available for families who are interested in spacious rentals at an affordable rate.
Can I Make Too Much Money for Affordable Housing?
Affordable housing requires that applicants earn within a specific income bracket but what happens when you earn above what is considered for affordable housing yet too little to qualify for a conventional rental?
If you find yourself in the middle of the affordable housing debacle, here are our top tips to help you find a place to rent:
Research and Compare Affordable Housing
It’s all about options! With some research into the affordable housing market, you can learn which income limits are set for different areas. This will help you find a rental that accommodates your income.
Speak to the Property Team at the Apartment of Interest
If you are concerned about your income and whether your application will be accepted, contact the property manager you are applying to and ask them about your income and qualifying criteria.
For certain types of affordable rentals, you may be able to offer a higher security deposit to secure the apartment.
Be transparent about your financial situation. Don’t hide your finances because landlords perform an income check on every applicant. A lack of honesty is a sure way to get the landlord and tenant relationship off to a bad start.
Can I Be Removed From My 80/20 Apartment If My Earnings Increase?
For the 80/20 apartment, you aren’t likely to have your lease terminated should your income increase. It is important that you be honest about your earnings when you apply; however, if your earnings (during the course of your lease) increase and it reaches above the 50% median income for the area, you still cannot be kicked out.
If you feel unsure about your situation, speak to your landlord. You can also get in touch with a real estate lawyer who can clarify your lease and state regulations concerning earnings.
Can I Have a Spouse or Significant Other Living With Me in My Affordable Housing?
If you include your spouse or significant other on the lease, then yes they can live with you. If they are contributing to the rent, then the income of both you and your spouse should qualify for affordable housing in terms of the regulated income limits. If your significant other is not included in the lease and they are not contributing to rent, they cannot stay with you in your affordable housing apartment.
For a spouse, if you are married when you enter the lease, they can live with you even if they are not contributing to the rent, but you must inform the landlord. You also cannot apply for a lease as a single person if your partner is going to be moving in with you.
As with any lease agreement when you rent an apartment, the people who will be living in the apartment must be part of the lease.
If My Child is Disabled Does That Mean I Will Qualify? Will It Make a Difference?
For low-income families who are caring for children with disabilities, it is important to contact the apartment management prior to applying. Management can not only advise on qualifying criteria but also on apartments that are accessible for parents and children with disabilities.
A good idea is to learn of government-assisted programs for children and families living with disabilities. TANF or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families offers financial aid and services for families and children with disabilities.
All families who care for children with disabilities are protected by Federal Law. If you need housing assistance, you can contact the HUD or the relevant housing associations in your state.
If I Have No Income At All Can I Apply?
If you have no income at all, you can apply for Section 8 housing programs. Alternatively, you need to check the income limits for an area. Apartment qualifying criteria include income but income can also include Social Security Income (SSI) or welfare.
Always check the income limits that are set by the affordable housing program. This can help you determine whether you qualify and should proceed with an application.
Will Evictions Or a Lot Of Late Rent Payments Make Me Ineligible?
It all depends on the criteria set by the affordable housing program. Second chance apartments, for example, encourage persons with bad credit, prior evictions, or late rent payments to apply. The application is assessed individually, so your landlord will look at income, employment, and background checks to determine your eligibility.
If I Work Full-Time Do I Qualify For Affordable Housing?
Yes, if you work full-time you can apply for affordable housing provided that you meet the eligibility criteria. If you meet the income limit for the area and for the affordable housing program, regardless of working full-time or part-time, you can apply for an apartment of your choosing. Landlords want to know that you’ll be able to cover your rent every month. With proof of income and stable employment, your application will certainly look more positive for an apartment of interest.
If I Work Part-Time Do I Qualify For Affordable Housing?
If you meet the qualifying criteria for income/affordability, then you can still apply and qualify for affordable housing while working part-time.
Does Affordable Housing Apply to Senior Citizens?
Yes, you can apply for affordable housing as a senior citizen.
Does affordable housing apply to anyone over 18?
Yes, you can only apply for affordable housing if you are over the age of 18 years.
Does Affordable Housing Only Apply to Women?
No, affordable housing does not discriminate based on gender. Anyone can apply for affordable housing whether you are single, have a family, and regardless of your background.
Does Affordable Housing Only Apply to Single-Parent Families?
No, all sized families and individuals can apply for affordable housing.
Affordable Housing & YOU
It is very easy to make rash decisions based on our friend's or family member's opinions. It's equally as likely to make rash decisions if we are misinformed. There are multiple programs, opportunities, and charities that participate and provide services to a diversified range of people. Affordable housing can help so many people and not just because of income. There may be background or other issues that may be accommodated through affordable housing. However, it is up to us to educate ourselves on information that impacts our lives. Affordable housing could be the option, for you, a family member, or a friend, but the only way to find out is to ask questions, do research, and get out into the world and experience. Who knows, your next housing opportunity could come knocking on the door, and it could be