Real Estate Investment 101: Getting Started

Where To Find And How To Qualify For Low Income Housing Programs

Homeownership; they say it is the American dream. For most, it probably is. Homes provide a sense of security. Houses represent comfort, safety, and predictability. Humans, as a whole, love things to be predictable and routine because it is comforting emotionally to know exactly where you live and what to expect when you walk in the front door. However, not everyone can afford a house. For those that need a low-income housing option, there are actually a lot more options than you might expect. If you need low-income housing, here is where to find it and how to qualify for it.

Public or Social Housing (a.k.a., "the Projects)

These buildings are low-rent high-rise buildings comprised of several floors with several apartments on each floor. They have been constructed by state and/or local governments to help reduce homelessness and provide housing to low-income families and individuals. To apply, visit your city's Housing and Urban Development office, or your local Department of Human Services. 

Sliding Scale Rent Apartments

Other low-rent options include multi-unit low-rise apartment buildings. Usually, these only have eight to sixteen units, and the rent is based on a sliding scale. You apply for an apartment, provide your proof of income, and the proprietors use a sliding pay scale to determine what you can afford in rent. For example, a neighbor may pay only $250 a month, while your rent may be $300 a month because your job pays a little better. Some of these apartments take government housing vouchers, too, if you qualify. The owners will also decide if you should get an apartment, based on the needs of all applicants. 

Sweat Equity Projects

This is low-income housing that assists families with buying their own land and building their own homes on said land. The organizations insist that you provide "sweat equity" in the building of your home in order to reduce the overall purchasing costs. This means that you work alongside the contractors and builders that contribute/donate their time and manpower to the organization to help build low-income houses.

There is an extensive application process with this option. You do have to contribute time and energy to help build one to three houses for other low-income families. Some people feel that that is a lot of work (and it is!), but the end result is a very nice, new home with an incredibly low mortgage rate and very low monthly payments.