HUD Senior Housing

skilled nursing medicareAnswers to your questions about HUD's affordable nursing homes.

The often overwhelming cost of nursing home care can come as a surprise when you first start your search. Thankfully, shopping for senior housing isn't the same as buying a t-shirt off the shelf. Instead, the listed price is often a starting point toward which you can apply federal and state assistance, insurance policies and other financial aid provisions. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides some of this help via HUD senior housing vouchers. Read on for answers to your questions about HUD-subsidized, low-income nursing homes. For additional information about financing your loved one's nursing home care, see our section on the cost of nursing home care.

What is HUD Senior Housing?

HUD senior housing is available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Some low-income nursing homes function solely for the benefit of HUD-subsidized individuals, while others operate as free-standing nursing homes that accept HUD-sponsored as well as non-subsidized residents. If your loved one receives HUD assistance, you can rest assured that the facility is safe and well maintained because of strict standards that all HUD facilities must maintain.

How Do I Qualify For HUD's Affordable Nursing Homes?

Qualifying for HUD senior housing depends on income guidelines that are set by local Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) set up around the nation. HUD senior housing recipients often earn less than 30 percent of an area's median income, but some earn just under 50 percent. PHAs have authority to set their own standards and disburse funds directly to registered, affordable nursing homes and assisted living facilities on behalf of qualified recipients.

How Can I Get HUD Senior Housing Vouchers?

HUD provides help to low income seniors through their Section 8 provision that supplies "housing choice vouchers" to qualified individuals. These vouchers can be used at any affordable nursing home that meets criteria and accepts federal funds. If your loved one is accepted into his local PHA's voucher system, he will have to pay some of his rent out of pocket, but likely no more than 30 percent of his income (or equivalent based on his reported assets).

Where Do I Apply to Low-Income Nursing Homes?

Moving into a HUD-subsidized, low-income nursing home requires two steps. You must apply for federal assistance at your local PHA, and also apply to the approved, affordable nursing home of your choice. Once your loved one has been accepted into both programs, she can alert the PHA to pay a portion of her housing costs directly.

If you think your loved one may qualify to live in a federally subsidized low-income nursing home, contact your local PHA. You may also call the toll-free number at the top right of this page to speak with an elder care advisor who can help you find HUD senior housing in your area.

Where Do I Find Affordable Nursing Homes?

Guide to Nursing Homes can connect you and your loved ones to HUD senior housing facilities as well as other affordable nursing homes should your loved one be ineligible for HUD assistance. Let our experts match you with facilities in your area, free of charge. We'll listen to your needs and help you find nearby HUD-approved facilities as soon as you pick up the phone.