Thinking About Work


Subsidized Housing

Housing subsidies are one of the main ways that low-income individuals can maximize income or save for the future. Often the subsidy requires that the tenants pay only 30% of their income. In today’s housing market, this is a great asset. There are various kinds of public housing (owned by housing authority) or housing vouchers (not owned by the housing authority). (MassLegalHelp)

Generally with a subsidy, as one’s income goes up so does the rent, but for those on Social Security who go to work, there is a special program called Earned Income Disregard. Instead of having to pay the increased rent, the person who is eligible for Earned Income Disregard has a two year period to transition to the increased rent. During the first 12 months there will be NO rent increase due to earned income. In the next 12 months only 50% of the increase will be required. (HUD)

The best way to find out about this grace period is to ask the the housing authority directly. Some subsidies are attached to specific housing units and some are certificates which can be used anywhere within certain geographic areas. Units within elderly housing are at times “set aside” for disabled persons (and this can include persons with mental health conditions.) Keep in mind that getting housing subsidies can take a long time to acquire in many locations.


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