It’s not uncommon for senior citizens to find that they’re living on a fixed income. Even with social security and other retirement benefits, it is often hard for the elderly to make ends meet. Bills go unpaid due to a lack of funds, and some seniors even go without daily essentials so that they can pay their mortgage or utilities.
Income-based apartments might be the answer for seniors, and there are benefits to living in one. The first one being affordability. Even though it’s often less expensive to move to a low rent apartment, it’s not the only reason seniors might want to consider making a move to one.
What is an Income-Based Apartment?
Seniors might be a little worried about moving from their home to an apartment, especially one where the rent is based on the tenant’s monthly income. These complexes can have less than stellar reputations. However, there are apartment complexes designated as 55+ communities. This does improve crime statistics and makes for a community-like atmosphere that residents can enjoy and feel safe.
An income-based apartment’s rent is determined on the occupant’s income, household size, and the tenant’s circumstances. For example, a disability or illness will be factored into the monthly rent amount. Typically, the rental amount for the apartment is not higher than 30 percent of the tenant’s income. This includes both rent and utilities. For seniors on a fixed income, this can resolve many of their financial problems.
What is the Difference Between Low Rent and Rent Controlled Apartments?
It is easy to confuse the two terms. However, there are differences between a low rent apartment and one that is rent-controlled. In a rent-controlled apartment, the monthly fee cannot change regardless of income. In some circumstances, these types of apartments can even be willed to a relative after the occupant dies. The rent will remain the same and cannot increase unless a new lease is signed.
An apartment is designated as low rent bases on the monthly fee on income. It is usually 30 percent, and utilities are included in the rent amount. The rental amount for the apartment can also be raised or lowered as income, size of the household, or circumstances change. Low rent apartments often offer more amenities than one that is controlled.
Top Benefits of Income-Based Apartments
The main benefit of living in an apartment that’s income-based is it saves seniors money. However, this is not the only advantage of living in one. Here are a few other benefits older citizens get when they live in one of these apartment communities.
1. Private with Companionship
One of the primary reasons seniors are hesitant about moving out of their homes is the fear that they’ll lose their privacy. Neighbors are closer when you live in an apartment complex, but this is a benefit. A low rent apartment still affords plenty of privacy, even with neighbors on the other side of the wall. However, the proximity of residents also provides companionship.
Seniors often feel lonely, especially if family members don’t live close by. An apartment complex makes it easier for the elderly to socialize, while also ensuring they have their privacy. Many 55 + apartments sponsor events and activities for residents. Often similar to the ones they find at their local senior citizens center. Residents can stay active, independent, and have their privacy at a low-rent apartment complex.
2. Amenities are Included
The type of facilities residents have access to will vary. However, most low-rent apartment complexes come with some that are designed to replace what seniors might be missing since moving out of their homes. A few of the standard amenities you’ll find at these complexes include swimming pools, fitness centers, and laundry areas.
Tennis courts and outdoor picnic areas, along with walking paths and grilling spots are other amenities seniors are often able to take advantage of the opportunity. The included amenities help keep older residents socially engaged and active. This is beneficial for their mental and physical health. Since all of the facilities are in the complex, seniors won’t have to go far from home.
3. Little to No Maintenance
Keeping up with home maintenance often seems to be more difficult every year as seniors age. It can seem like work always needs to be done on projects inside or on the home’s exterior. When it comes to larger projects, many seniors find that they’re not physically able to complete it. This isn’t a problem with income-based apartments.
Maintenance inside and out is covered by the complex. This includes all repairs and preventative maintenance. Landscaping and mowing are also apart of living. All residents are responsible for is cleaning the inside of the apartment. Some complexes even offer these services, though there is usually a fee for this.
It is an unfortunate truth. Criminals often target the elderly. Living alone in a house does make it easier for seniors to become victims of a crime. Living in an apartment complex with low rent does provide security that many senior citizens do not have at home.
Many of these complexes are gated, which makes it more difficult for non-residents to enter. Security guards can also be found employed at some senior income-based apartments. Surveillance cameras on the buildings and other security measures all work to keep residents safe.
5. Plenty of Activities
Along with the amenities, many apartment complexes designed for the elderly host various activities throughout the year. Often an “event calendar” is posted in the main office and emailed to residents. These activities are designed to keep older residents active, both mentally and physically.
Some of the events hosted by apartment complexes can include community picnics, movie nights, and gardening clubs. Since these activities are at the involved older residents can quickly attend without worrying about driving back home. For seniors that are no longer able to drive, this is a definite benefit.
6. Convenient Location
Seniors aren’t limited to living in the city or suburbs in a low rent apartment. There are several communities throughout most cities and metro areas. Senior citizens can choose where they want to live, and this can give them a new sense of freedom. It’s also exciting to pick a new neighborhood to call home.
There will be new shops and parks to explore, along with other places of interest. For the elderly that have lived in the same neighborhood for years, the move to an apartment can be an exciting adventure.
7. Have Extra Money
Another advantage of low rent apartment living is senior citizens often discover they have extra money after paying monthly bills. Since rent and utilities are generally 30 percent of the tenant’s monthly income, a significant amount of money is often leftover.
This extra money not only relieves a lot of financial stress the elderly often feel, but it also gives seniors a sense of independence. Senior citizens can plan vacations or treat themselves to a shopping trip. Presents for grandchildren and other family members are another fun and enjoyable way older individuals can spend their extra money. When seniors’ small monthly income goes further, it is an exhilarating feeling.
How to Find Income Based Apartments
There are plenty of benefits to living in income-based apartments. If these advantages appeal to you, the next step is to find a complex in your preferred community. There are a few ways you can do this. You can perform a search through the private market or find out what is available through the government. There are low rent apartments for seniors that are funded by the government.
However, no matter how the apartment located, there will be paperwork to fill out. This will determine if the senior qualifies for income-based rent. The forms will primarily ask for annual income to determine eligibility. Not everyone will qualify. If a senior’s income exceeds, the maximum allowed they could result in denied residency.
Another way senior citizens can find low rent apartment communities is to search only for ones within a set budget. The only downside to this approach is that the apartment might not come with all the amenities for seniors. These might only included in higher priced communities. Also, recommended that the elderly look for a low rent apartment that caters to senior citizens.
Seniors Are Enjoying “Apartment Life”
Many senior citizens have spent the majority of their lives in the “family home.” Moving is hard, but it’s often necessary. Getting older makes it difficult or even impossible to keep up with chores around the house. Seniors on a tight budget often feel that their options for housing are limited.
This isn’t true with income-based apartments. Not only is the rent extremely affordable, but it is also based on individual income. Senior citizens won’t be charged more than they can comfortably afford. These complexes also come with maintenance, amenities, and a community-like atmosphere that will make everyone feel welcome and at home.