Determine the Best Housing Option For Me

Over 55 Retirement Communities

An Over 55 Retirement Community is a neighborhood that has been built for adults who are at least 55 years of age. The starting age can vary and can be as young as 50 and as old as 60 for a starting point. Most individuals living in retirement communities are retired. Retirement communities can be single family homes, condos or even apartment living. Sometimes these neighborhoods are gated for additional security and offer social activities for members.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities

Residents in continuing care retirement communities pay a large one-time entry fee plus a monthly maintenance fee in exchange for lifetime housing and access to multiple levels of long term care services. Housing units can be apartment-type dwellings, high-rise buildings, a subdivision setting, or any other housing design.

Most continuing care communities have designated assisted living units and a skilled nursing facility either on or near the facility. Moving into a Continuing Care Retirement Community requires signing a legally binding contract with significant financial implications. The California Department of Social Services oversees compliance with these contractual responsibilities.

Click here to learn more and find Continuing Care Retirement Communities in your area.

Low Income Independent Housing Options

Low-income housing for adults age 62 and adults with disabilities is available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). "Low income" is typically considered to be less than 50 percent of the median area income, but some programs have exceptions. The two major HUD programs providing rental assistance are:

HUD Section 8 Rental Housing Certificate Housing Vouchers

To participate in this program, individuals (or families) must apply to the regional public housing authority to receive a housing voucher. Then the eligible individuals rent an apartment or house from a private landlord who must be willing to accept the public housing authority voucher. The Government Housing Agency pays the difference between the cost of the unit and 30 percent of the renter’s income through a voucher. This means only a portion of the individual’s rent is paid by the PHA.

HUD 202 Senior Housing

This program began to help finance construction of public low-income senior apartment buildings. The housing developed with this funding must continue to serve low-income seniors for 30 years. The seniors pay their portion of the monthly rent and HUD subsidizes the building operating costs that it has approved. These senior housing facilities usually maintain their own waitlists for apartment units and take applications directly. If a housing complex is designated for individuals age 62 or older, only older individuals who meet this age requirement can live there. If it is designated for individuals 55 and older, at least 80 percent of the occupancy in these apartments must meet this age requirement. This means that older adults caring for young children or grandchildren may be eligible to live there.

There are often long waiting lists for both programs. Click here to learn more and/or apply, through your County’s Public Housing Authority.