Are you a senior citizen who wants to reduce your monthly expenses? Are you part of a low-income household that needs secure housing or food assistance? Fortunately, there are dozens of federal and state assistance programs that provide essential aid to senior citizens across America, including help with food, housing, utilities and more.
No matter the type of assistance you’re looking for, there is likely a program designed to address needs like yours. Read on to learn about some programs designed to help seniors.
Did you know that around 7.3 million seniors struggle with food insecurity in America? Or that seniors are increasingly facing housing insecurity, especially with rising housing costs in a post-pandemic world?
If you are a low-income senior struggling to afford rent or nutritious meals, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are low-income senior housing opportunities or food assistance programs.
Senior Affordable Housing
The Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)
One of the most common senior housing assistance programs is the Housing Choice Voucher Program. More commonly known as Section 8, this program provides monthly rental assistance to qualifying seniors, families, and disabled persons.
To qualify for low-income senior apartments, you’ll need to be considered a low-income household. Typically, your income may not exceed 50 percent of the median income for your area. You can apply for help directly with your local Public Housing Agency (PHA). If you qualify, you will be aided immediately or placed on a waiting list until support becomes available.
Section 202 is a federal program that provides grants to local and state non-profit organizations to provide supportive housing services to seniors. Like Section 8, you must be part of a low-income household to qualify. In addition, for Section 202, at least one person in your home must also be at least 62 years old. Some of the types of housing that may be available include independent living for seniors and assisted living apartments. To apply for help, you’ll need to contact local organizations in your area.
Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM)
You may qualify for HECM if you have a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan and at least some equity in your home. This program provides affordable senior housing through a reverse mortgage, where you borrow against the value of your home. You can choose to receive benefits through a one-time sum or monthly payments. In addition, this loan will not need to be repaid until you move away or pass on.
Food Assistance for Elderly Residents
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
SNAP is one of the best programs that provide food assistance for elderly households. With SNAP, you’ll receive monthly deposits on an EBT card, similar to a debit card, that can be used to purchase qualifying food items from your local grocery stores.
Food stamps for seniors on Social Security are easier to qualify for than non-elderly households because work requirements are waived. However, you’ll need to meet income, asset, and citizenship eligibility requirements to qualify. You can apply for the program through your local state office.
Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP)
If you have limited income, you may be eligible for SFMNP. This program provides access to locally grown, nutritious vegetables, fruits, and other goods at your local farmer’s market. To qualify for senior farmers market vouchers, you must be at least 60 years old and meet the program’s income limits.