What You Should Know About Income Restricted Apartments

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income restricted apartments


When it comes to the most basic human needs, having shelter is top of the list. Everyone needs a place to call home and a roof over their head. Today, we’ll look closer at what income restricted apartments are, clear some misconceptions, and learn how to qualify for them.

What are income restricted apartments?

Income restricted apartments are apartments that are eligible for people with an income level that is below a certain amount. These apartments are generally reserved to help low-income families to find affordable housing.

Income restricted apartments are either owned by the city or privately owned by investors. Regardless of who the owners are, the tenants must be able to meet the income requirements to be able to live there.

If the apartments are privately owned, they receive subsidized payments from the state or receive tax credits. It ends up being a win-win situation for both the owners and tenants looking for affordable housing.

Are income restricted apartments ‘the hood’?

This is a huge misconception that needs to be addressed. These apartments are there to give lower-income families a chance for housing, and that’s it. As a matter of fact, these apartments might be even nicer than those without income restrictions!

This is especially true with privately-owned income-restricted apartments. Since they are either subsidized by the city or gain tax advantages for running them, they are incentivized to keep them pristine and attract more tenants.

I had a friend that qualified for one of these income restricted apartments. Her apartment was a beautiful downtown loft, with 2 bedrooms and 2 full baths. Nowhere close to being considered ‘the hood’.

How to qualify for income restricted apartments

Eligibility is typically determined by your annual gross income, elderly status, any disability, as well as U.S. citizenship or eligible immigration status. Meeting the income requirements is what’s most important, so let’s expand on that a little bit.

This entirely depends on where you live. A general rule of thumb dictates that a household’s earnings must be about 50-60% or less than the area’s median income levels. If you earn 60% or more of an area’s median income, then you would not qualify. Let’s look at a few examples.

If you live in a high cost of living location, such as San Francisco California, then the maximum income requirements are a bit higher. On average, eligibility for low-income housing will start at $46,100 for a single person and $52,650 for two people.

If you live in a low cost of living area, such as Kansas City Missouri, then the maximum income requirements are a bit lower. On average, eligibility for low-income housing will start at $30,100 for one person and $34,400 for two people.

Again, these are just averages and are subject to change. So make sure to do some homework and research the location you are interested in.

Can you get an income restricted apartment with no income?

Yes, you can. The one thing that is most important when determining eligibility for income restricted apartments is your income. You cannot make more than 50 to 60% of the area’s median income to qualify. If you have a $0 in income, then you technically fall under this category.

One thing to remember is that income is not restricted to just a paycheck from work. If you earn Social Security benefits or child support for instance, then that might count as income. Make sure to run the numbers and see if you still qualify for these benefits.

Although you might have no income, income restricted apartments are not free either. So, although you might qualify by having a very minimal income, you still need to be able to afford living there.

You’re still responsible for the rent, bills, and other expenses of living there. So take that in mind and make sure you have ample savings, an emergency fund, and budget accordingly.

Where do I find income restricted aparments?

The amazing part about being in this day in age is that technology has made it so much easier to research and find what you’re looking for.

Finding income restricted apartments is as easy as going to rent.com and filtering search results by ‘income restricted’. For example, click this link and check out rent.com and how I filtered search results for Dallas Texas. This can give you a great head start.

Final thoughts

There is a lot of stigma and misconceptions that come up when talking about income restricted apartments. They are not nearly as bad as people think they are.

If you are genuinely interested in affordable housing and want to apply for income restricted apartments, then I’m glad you found this article. It’s important to understand exactly the requirements that are needed to qualify for one of these.

Always remember that, since they are so high in demand, they usually have a waiting list. With the exorbitant increase in rental costs, a lot of people are seeking income restricted apartments to be able to qualify for housing. Make sure that when you start looking, you put in your application ahead of time, just in case if there is a long waiting period.

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