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LOW-INCOME HOUSING OPTIONS FOR SENIORS

LOW-INCOME HOUSING OPTIONS FOR SENIORS
(c) 2005, Law Office of William J. Brisk
1340 Centre Street
Newton Center, MA 02459
Introduction Low-cost housing (sponsored by the federal and Massachusetts governments) is increasingly attractive for seniors. This Guide will help you understand the program requirements and how to find appropriate subsidized housing in Massachusetts with details on specific residences in Newton, Natick & Framingham. I. Types of Housing The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds state and local housing agencies in three ways: 1) Buildings dedicated completely to low-income tenants (“project-based”); 2) Landlords offer all or part of their holdings to low-income tenants. The tenant uses a voucher to pay all or part of the rent and HUD pays the remainder (“housing choice vouchers”); and 3) Local housing agencies own and operate apartment buildings dedicated completely to low-income tenants (“housing authorities”). The Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency (MassHousing) also funds residences. A. Project-Based Apartments Age Requirement: At least 62 years old. Income Requirement: 1 person: income cannot exceed $28,950 2 people: income cannot exceed $33,100 Note: These 2004 figures are for the greater Boston area, covering over 125 municipalities from the South Shore through MetroWest to the North Shore. Figures vary in other regions of the state. Asset Requirements: An applicant's assets are irrelevant except that this program, and many others, considers assets owned by the applicant in calculating the annual income which determines both eligibility and rent fees. If total assets are $5,000 or less, the actual income earned is counted. If assets exceed $5,000, the program counts as income either 2% of the total assets OR the actual income earned, whichever is higher. Rent: Equivalent to 30% of tenant's income. Examples of Local Project-Based Apartments (further details below): Sherwood Village (Natick) Saxonville Village Apartments (Framingham) Parker House (Newton) Jackson Gardens (Newton) Horace Mann (Newton) Norumbega Gardens (Newton) B. Housing Choice Voucher Apartments Age Requirement: At least 62 years old. Income Requirement: 1 person: income cannot exceed $28,950 2 people: income cannot exceed $33,100 Asset Requirements: Depends upon facility. Rent: Equivalent to 30% of tenant's income. Examples of Local Housing Choice Voucher Apartments (further details below): Avalon Apartments (Newton) Cabot Park Village (Newton) Newton Lower Falls Apartments (Newton) Edmands House (Framingham) C. Local Housing Authority Apartments Age Requirement: At least 60 years old. Income Requirement: 1 person: income cannot exceed $46,300 2 people: income cannot exceed $52,950 Asset Requirements: Vary Rent: Equivalent to 30% of tenant's income. Examples of Local Housing Authority Apartments (further details below): Echo Ridge (Newton) Nonantum Village (Newton) New Hyde Apartments (Newton) Centenary Village (Newton) Hamilton Grove (Newton) Beaconwood (Newton) Coolidge Gardens (Natick) Cedar Gardens (Natick) The William Coolidge House (Natick) The Hastings House (Framingham) The Memorial House (Framingham) Rose Kennedy Drive (Framingham) II. How to Find an Apartment • Contact your local Housing Authority • Contact your local Council on Aging (COA) for names of private buildings (project-based and housing choice voucher) • Web search for apartments: http://www.hud.gov/apps/section8/step2.cfm?state=MA%2CMassachusetts • For people with disabilities: http://www.forrent.com/naac/ III. Housing in Newton A. Housing Authority Contact: (617) 552-5501 Age Requirement: At least 60 years old. Income Requirement: 1 person: income cannot exceed $46,300 2 people: income cannot exceed $52,950 Asset Requirements: If the applicant owns more than $5,000, the City deems 1% of the overage and as income. Certain assets, such as a vehicle and personal effects, are not counted (unless they have high resale value). Number of Units: 350+ Rent: Equivalent to 30% of tenant's income. Waiting List: 3-5 years. Emergency Housing: The city also offers emergency housing, for example if there is domestic violence, a senior would need to vacate his or her home quickly. The wait list for “emergency” housing is about one year. B. Other Housing Options 1. Avalon Apartments Newly opened on Needham Street, this large facility set aside several units for persons with low income regardless of age. Contact: (617) 332-9332 Age Requirement: None. Income Requirements: No. in Household Low Intermediary Moderate Income Income Income One person: $28,950 $37,625 $46,300 Two people: $33,100 $43,025 $52,950 Asset Requirement: While the actual value of the applicant's assets is irrelevant, income derived from assets are considered in calculating annual income. If assets total $5,000 or less, actual income is considered. For assets exceeding $5,000, either 2% of the total assets OR the actual income earned, whichever is higher, is counted. Number of Units: 74 (25% of construction) Rent: Program 1 Bedroom 2 Bedroom Low Income: $671 $798 Intermediary Income: $904 $1,077 Moderate Income: $1,136 $1,356 Waiting List: 1 or more years 2. Cabot Park Village This independent living facility, which features gracious living, reserves several units for persons with low incomes. Contact: Elizabeth Dunn Levy, Community Relations. (617) 965-7707 Age Requirement: At least 62 years old. Income Requirement: Cabot Park considers your income and also counts a percentage of assets as income. Asset Requirement: In the first year, the facility considers 14% of assets as income but in subsequent years they only count 2% as income. Number of Units: 20 Rent: Studio: $723/month 1 bedroom: $775/month 2 bedroom $930/month Waiting List: As this is written, there are four openings. 3. Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly Golda Meir House & Coleman House Contact: (617) 912-8421 Age Requirement: At least 62 years old. Income Requirements: Coleman House Golda Meir House 1 person: income cannot exceed $28,950 cannot exceed $46,300 2 people: income cannot exceed $33,100 cannot exceed $52,950 Asset Requirement: Neither House disqualifies applicants on the basis of their assets, but both attribute income to an applicant or resident's assets. If assets do not exceed $5,000, actual income is used in determining income. If assets exceed $5,000, either 2% of the total assets OR the actual income earned, whichever is greater, is counted. Number of Units: 1,000+ (Newton & Boston) Rent: Equivalent to 30% of tenant's income. Waiting List: 3-5 years. JCHE also operates the following in Boston: Ulin House Leventhal House Genesis House [All three have the same income requirements as the Golda Meir House.] 4. Avalon at Chestnut Hill Scheduled to open in 2005, across from the Chestnut Hill Mall. It will reserve several low-income units. Contact: Kristin Morganelli, (617) 847-1271 5. Newton Lower Falls Apartments Has several subsidized units. Contact: Pam Meehan, (617) 527-7113 IV. Housing in Natick A. Housing Authority Contact: (508) 653-2971 Age Requirement: At least 60 years old. Income Requirements: 1 person: income cannot exceed $46,300 2 people: income cannot exceed $52,950 Asset Requirements: Actual interest and dividends count as income. Number of Units: 305 conventional units (i.e. a traditional apartment) and 18 congregate units (share a bath and kitchen). Rent: Equivalent to 30% of tenant's income. Waiting List: 60 days if no special requirements (i.e. want first floor only). B. Other Housing Options 1. Sherwood Village Contact: (508) 651-1811 Age Requirement: At least 62 years old. Income Requirements: 1 person: income cannot exceed $28,950 2 people: income cannot exceed $33,100 Asset Requirements: Interest earned on assets is counted as income. Number of Units: 236 Rent: Equivalent to 30% of tenant's income. Waiting List: 12-18 months. V. Housing in Framingham A. Housing Authority Contact: Darleen, (508) 879-7562 Number of Units: 500 Age Requirement: At least 60 years old. Income Requirements: 1 person: income cannot exceed $46,300 2 people: income cannot exceed $52,950 Asset Requirements: Real Estate: 1% of fair market value counts as income. Other Assets: Count as income the actual earned income OR 1% of the asset amount, whichever is higher. Rent: Equivalent to 30% of tenant's income. Waiting List: Up to 6 months. B. Other Housing Options 1. Saxonville Village. 1595 Concord Street, Framingham, MA 01701, (508) 788-0802 Number of Units: 64 Rent: Equivalent to 30% of tenant's income. Waiting List: 6-18 months 2. Edmands House. 15 Edmands Road, Framingham, MA 01701-5023. (508) 877-7617 Age Requirement: At least 60 years old. Income Requirements: Low income units Moderate income units 1 person: income cannot exceed $28,950 cannot exceed $46,300 2 people: income cannot exceed $33,100 cannot exceed $52,950 Asset Requirements: not determined Number of Units: 112 low-income units; 31 moderate-income units (mixed income building Rent: Low income: Equivalent to 30% of tenant's income. Moderate income: ? Waiting List: 1 bedroom: 15 months 2 bedroom: over 2 years 3. Tribune Apartments. 46 Irving Street, Framingham, MA 01702-7321. (508) 872-6393. (Corcoran Management) 4. Irving Square Apartments. 75 Irving Street, Framingham MA 01702-7325. (781) 794-1000. (Peabody Properties) 5. Framingham Green. 140 Maynard Road, Framingham, MA 01701-2521. (781) 794-1000. (Peabody Properties) 6. Claflin House. 40 Taylor Street, Framingham, MA 01702-7077. (508) 872-5974. (Wingate Management) VI. Advice A. Pre-application. Organize your affairs. Be certain that your legal documents and assets are appropriate. B. Visit facilities. Determine what best suits you. C. Ask residents. Find out what they like and don't like about particular facilities. D. Apply early. Given the long waiting list, the travails of moving, and the need to store or give away furnishings, plan ahead.