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Posted by Positive Aging Community on 05/26/2022

Options for Low-Income Seniors

Options for Low-Income Seniors

There are several resources that low-income older adults and their families should research when looking for housing options:. 

Congregate Housing 

Congregate housing is a unique option for low-income older adults who need support services. These multi-unit housing options provide private bedrooms and/or apartments and shared living spaces. 

Many congregate housing sites offer social activities and services to assist residents. Services vary but can include meals, transportation, housekeeping and building security. Federal Congregate Housing is supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  

Eligible individuals include those who are 62 and older and have very low household incomes (50 percent or less of the area median income). To apply, older adults or their families should contact the individual communities they are interested in. 

Wait lists for congregate housing can be extremely long. Most residents wait at least a year. Individuals who are currently living in substandard housing, who have been displaced, or who are paying 50 percent or more of their income in rent will receive preference. Occupants pay a minimal rent that is calculated based on monthly income. 

Programs are operated by local Public Housing Authorities (PHAs). To find a PHA in your area, visit www.hud.gov/program_offices. 

Maryland Congregate Housing Services Program

The state of Maryland offers an additional state subsidy program to eligible residents of low and moderate income senior housing who, due to advanced age or chronic health conditions, need daily help with activities such as meals, housekeeping and personal services. To be eligible, residents must be 62 years old or older; be physically or mentally impaired; need assistance with one or more of the essential activities of daily living; need one or more of the congregate housing services available in the facility; and be able to function in the facility if provided with those services. 

The Maryland program provides meals; weekly housekeeping of each participant’s apartment; and limited personal assistance with activities such as bathing, dressing and laundry. Costs vary by site. 

To qualify, an individual’s income may not exceed 60 percent of the state median income and their assets may not exceed $27,375 for an individual, or $35,587 for a couple. 

More information and a complete list of sites is available online: aging.maryland.gov/Pages/congregate-housing.aspx.

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