Senior Apartments

With the rising costs in housing, many senior citizens have begun to struggle to retain their independence and make ends meet, especially when living off of Social Security income. Fortunately, senior apartments offer senior citizens a greater amount of affordable housing options through senior apartments. Senior apartments offer several benefits as these apartments are designed to be more accessible for older or disabled adults and may contain various features, activities and amenities that cater to senior residents.

If you are a senior citizen who is at least 50 years of age, it is worth taking the time to explore your housing options and consider the cost and requirements of senior living. While most senior apartments include age-related eligibility requirements, others may include other qualifications, such as income guidelines.

The cost of elderly apartments can vary widely based upon where you choose to live, features, amenities and whether or not a complex is part of low-income housing. Therefore, it is important to learn more about these apartments in order to make an informed decision on your housing options.

What is a senior apartment?

Senior apartments are rental properties and building complexes that are specifically developed to accommodate the elderly. Rental properties are not solely limited to apartments and may also include townhouses, condos and communities. These properties commonly include features such as ramps, walk-in showers and elevators to accommodate senior citizens who experience problems with mobility.

Rental complexes may or may not be furnished and often include central heat and central air conditioning. Depending on the amenities offered at a property, elderly tenants may receive services related to:

  • Laundry or housekeeping.
  • Transportation.
  • Dining or cooking.

Services that are provided by a rental property may either be included within the rental agreement or may be offered to tenants for an additional fee.

Since senior apartments are generally age-restricted, these locations typically provide a quieter and calmer housing option compared to standard apartment complexes. Additionally, most elderly properties encourage community activities and interaction between tenants. It is common for a property to have scheduled events and outings.

The majority of senior apartments provide certain amenities that encourage a social and active lifestyle. Therefore, it is common for apartments to include recreational spaces that residents can enjoy, including:

  • Swimming pools.
  • Tennis courts.
  • Fitness centers.
  • Social areas.
  • Game rooms.
  • Arts and crafts rooms.

If you are considering pursuing senior housing, then it is important to consider several factors when viewing senior apartments. In doing so, you will have the opportunity to learn more about what it would be like to live at a particular location. When touring a complex, it is important to take note of the following:

  • Whether or not buildings and units are handicap accessible
  • The level of security within and outside of the building
  • The conditions of the apartments and the common grounds
  • Whether or not the apartments impose visiting hours for family members or friends
  • Whether or not onsite staff is available 24/7
  • Amenities and services that the complex offers

It is also important to note that there are several key differences between senior living centers and senior apartments. Generally, senior apartments do not include medical services or assistance with day-to-day activities. If you are in need of these additional services, you may benefit more from an assisted living facility.

Senior Apartment Eligibility Requirements

Before you can live in a senior apartment, you must meet any eligibility requirements associated with the housing complex. Generally, this will include aged-based requirements. While most senior apartments will only accept tenants that are at least 50 years of age, other complexes may have higher age limits. In many cases, if an elderly couple will be moving into a senior apartment together, only one spouse must meet the age eligibility requirement.

If the senior apartment is a low-income housing unit, you will likely need to meet income-related eligibility requirements. These qualifications most commonly occur within senior apartments that receive housing grants from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), as these grants are used in an effort to reduce the rental costs of qualifying senior citizens.

The Costs of Senior Apartments

Senior apartments can vary in cost based upon several factors. These factors include but are not limited to:

  • The location.
  • Additional services offered.
  • Community areas and activities.

If you have a limited income, it is important to take the time to learn about low-income senior housing opportunities that may be available to you. This includes special HUD programs, such as the Housing Choice Voucher Program, also referred to as Section 8 housing, which can provide housing assistance of up to 30 percent of your rent each month. Additionally, Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly offers affordable housing opportunities if you are a very-low-income senior, especially if you are in need of assisted living services to retain independence.

Depending on your local area, you may also find low-income senior housing opportunities through complexes that benefit from the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC). This program provides tax-based incentives towards rental properties that are provided to low-income individuals. Many of these properties have been converted to senior apartments that include both age and income guidelines.

Reviewing Senior Apartment Listings

It is recommended that you consider the amount of housing costs that you can afford, the location that you wish to live in and the amenities that you need or want in order to narrow down your search for senior housing. Depending on where you live, you may find an abundance of senior housing complexes to choose from. Additionally, if you have Medicaid insurance coverage, a portion of medical services may be cover if in a qualified facility.

You can view rental listings in a number of places, including in rental magazines, online or within your local newspaper. Additionally, the United States Administration of Aging office provides free services to senior citizens in an effort to aid seniors in finding housing opportunities. Not only can your local Administration of Aging office assist you in reviewing your housing options within your local area, but it may be able to help you determine whether or not you might qualify for low-income housing through the HUD or other housing programs.