Other Federal Housing Programs Serving Persons with Disabilities

  1. Public Housing
  2. Project-Based Section 8 Rental Assistance
  3. Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program
  4. Section 515
  5. Non-Elderly Disabled (NED) Vouchers

Other federal affordable housing programs have provisions allowing Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) and property owners to designate units or properties solely for non-elderly disabled or senior occupancy. Public Housing, Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance, Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and U.S. Department of Agriculture Section 515 programs all allow units to be set aside for disabled people and seniors.

Option 1: Public Housing

The Public Housing program is managed locally by HUD PHAs. These developments receive an operating subsidy that allows tenants to pay 30% of their adjusted monthly income for rent.

For more information about how to apply for Public Housing, read Affordable Housing Online’s Public Housing Guide.

Option 2: Project-Based Section 8 Rental Assistance

Project-Based Section 8 Rental Assistance is managed by private owners, with tenants paying 30% of their adjusted monthly income for rent and the program paying the owners the rest of the rent.

For more information about how to apply for Project-Based Section 8 apartments, read Affordable Housing Online’s Project-Based Section 8 Guide.

Option 3: Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program provides tax credits to investors that invest capital in properties that serve low-income households. These properties offer reduced rents affordable to low-income households, and in many cases include other resources such as Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance, that make them affordable to those with the lowest incomes. Some affordable apartment communities funded partially with LIHTC are designated for occupancy by disabled people and seniors. You should check with the housing office or manager to see if a LIHTC property has a designation for serving disabled tenants. You should also ask about accessible apartments and if rental assistance is available.

For more information about how to apply for Low-Income Housing Tax Credit apartments, read Affordable Housing Online’s Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Guide.

Option 4: Section 515

Section 515 is a program run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that provides low-interest loans to developers building properties providing apartments to low-income households in rural areas. These properties often have other federal subsidies, such as Section 521 Rural Rental Assistance or Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance. Many Section 515 properties are designated for disabled and senior occupancy only. You should check with the housing office or manager for the building to see if it is designated for disabled and senior tenants. You should also ask about accessible units and what rental assistance is available.

For more information about how to apply for Section 515 apartments, use the search bar at the top of any of Affordable Housing Online’s pages to search for your city, county, or state. Look at the communities shown with the “Section 515” program tag in the gray box, and click the property name to learn more. You may call the toll free phone number provided on the page or submit the online information request form. If these methods of contact are not available on the community’s page, visit the property for more information.

Option 5: Non-Elderly Disabled (NED) Vouchers

In certain circumstances, HUD Non-Elderly Disabled (NED) Vouchers may be available. These vouchers have the same rules as Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers. They provide rental assistance to lease apartments in the private market. Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) have the option of designating some of their properties as “senior-only.” This includes public housing, Section 8 new construction, Section 515 and a few other types of affordable housing. In these cases, disabled households that would have been eligible to live there are offered the Non-Elderly Disabled Vouchers. In addition, disabled residents who currently live in one of these developments being converted to senior-only living also qualify for the vouchers. You do not have to already be on the PHAs Section 8 Voucher waiting list to receive a Disabled Voucher. You should check with the  PHA about whether they provide Disabled Vouchers and if you qualify.