Learn About Senior Housing Programs in Colorado

February 3, 2020

senior housing coloradoFor many low-income senior citizens, finding Northern Colorado rental homes that meet their physical needs and also fit into their budget can be a difficult task. Thankfully, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers low-income housing benefits that are made available to qualifying seniors. HUD helps to provide affordable housing for more than 900,000 senior citizens across the country, offering you or your loved ones with an invaluable resource through retirement age.


What Is Senior Housing?

Many senior citizens do not have the financial security to get them through retirement, making it difficult to afford quality housing. In fact, research done by the Insured Retirement Institute discovered that approximately 70 percent of middle-income baby boomers do not believe they will have enough money to live comfortably in their retirement. A primary issue for many is the daunting cost of senior living options.


To help citizens in the older years, HUD created and sponsors several programs that provide housing options for those with a lower income. Through these programs, senior citizens may find financial assistance for quality housing throughout the state.


What Programs Are Available?

In Colorado, the four most commonly used senior housing programs provide rental housing assistance, supportive housing, assisted living, and rural housing grants. Each program offers special benefits and assistance that are meant to complement the lifestyle, health, and wellbeing of a person while supporting their financial needs.


How Do Senior Housing Programs for Rentals Work?

There are three primary types of affordable rent programs that low-income seniors can qualify for: voucher housing, public housing, and multifamily subsidized housing. Senior citizens who meet eligibility requirements can find rental homes and apartment communities that will offer reasonably priced rents. These particular programs provide senior citizens with financial assistance that will allow them to live more financially comfortable. Each program has its own set of qualifications and requirements and is individually designed to meet the varying physical and financial needs of aging adults.


Housing Choice Voucher Program

The Housing Choice Voucher Program, previously known as Section 8, is the largest and most commonly used program for independent seniors. Through this program, seniors receive rent vouchers for rental homes in the private market.


  • Eligibility: This program is not exclusive to senior citizens. It is actually available for any qualifying low-income individual, family, elderly, or disabled person. To qualify as a low-income senior citizen, an applicant must be at least 55 or 62 years old, and their income must fall under the area median income. Income of applicants must be under 30-50 percent of the area’s median income, with limited cases in which those with 80 percent of the area median income can qualify.


  • Types of Housing: Under this program, senior citizens have some flexibility in picking where they want to live, just as long as the property owner has agreed to participate with the program’s guidelines. There are many rental options for senior citizens, including single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments in the community.


  • Rent Amounts: Rent is subsidized to a reasonable amount of their monthly income, and applicants receive monthly vouchers that offset the total cost. It is established using a few different options, of which the calculated amount is greatest. In most situations, it is set to 30 percent of their adjusted monthly income.


How to Apply for Senior Housing Programs?

Whether you are looking into the Housing Choice Voucher Program or you need greater senior housing assistance, you will need to contact your local Housing Authority to learn more about eligibility requirements and applications.


  • Fort Collins Housing Authority (Fort Collins, Wellington, Larimer County
    • Phone: (970) 416-2910
    • Address: 1715 W. Mountain Ave Fort Collins, CO 80521
    • Email: jbrewen@housingcatalyst.com

Keep in mind that these programs often have a high number of applicants, and you may be placed on a waitlist.

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