A lot of research has to go into finding the perfect place to live. The list of requirements can start adding up pretty quickly when you need it to fit into a strict budget. But tacking on the additional hardship of needing it to be low-income housing can make it overwhelming and feel like it’s a nearly impossible task to find something. Especially in a reasonable timeframe.
With the cost of living in Colorado being higher than the United States as a whole, it can make it even more difficult to find an affordable place to live. In Colorado, a two-bedroom apartment on average costs over $1300 a month. For many families on a single income that isn’t feasible. Luckily there are options for those who can’t afford the average cost of rent in Colorado.
For more about the cost of living in Colorado compared to the rest of the state and the United States, go here.
What is affordable housing
According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), for a place to be considered affordable housing, it needs to be 30% or less of your income. Anything more is considered a cost burden to the families. HUD estimates that nearly 12 million households are paying more than 50% of their annual incomes for housing.
As stated before, the average cost of a two-bedroom apartment is over $1300 a month in the state of Colorado. In order for someone to pay that without utilities included, the household would need to earn $52,000 annually. That would be an hourly wage of $25 and almost fourteen dollars over Colorado’s minimum wage.
What’s the difference between low-income and affordable housing
Affordable housing doesn’t have nearly as many restrictions placed upon them as low-income does. This means many places can be advertised to be affordable, but are meant for those with higher incomes.
Most low-income housing is regulated by the state through public housing authorities. Which means you have to apply to live in HUD housing. Where anyone who can pay the rent can get into affordable housing, to be in low-income housing you have to fit the criteria. And to qualify for low-income housing, that affordable housing wouldn’t be available to you.
How to Qualify for State-Funded Low-Income Housing
To get assistance from the state government for housing, you must be a legal citizen of the United States or the equivalent and you must meet the income eligibility requirements set up by the state of Colorado. If you care for younger children, care for the elderly, pregnant, or disabled, you often get preferential consideration. Your local housing authority has the right to deny any applicant whose habits and practices may have a detrimental effect on other tenants or on the project’s environment.
To be considered for Section 8 Housing in Colorado, your household income must be 80% of the median income in your area. There are three designated categories of income level: low-income, very low-income, and extremely low-income. To be qualified as low-income, you are earning less than 80% of the area median. For very low-income, you’re making less than 50% of the area median and for extremely low-income you’re earning less than 30% of the area median. Though we must note, the extremely low-income bracket gets the most housing vouchers.
For a more detailed chart about what low-income brackets in Colorado look like, go to the HUD website.
Places Working with HUD
Here are a few apartment complexes that are participating in subsidized housing in the Colorado:
- Fletcher Gardens, for low-income, disabled, and senior living
- Holy Family Plaza, for low-income, disabled, and senior living
- Sunnyside Senior Apartments, specifically directed to senior living
Places Not Working with HUD
While these apartments aren’t classified as low-income housing because they aren’t working with HUD. These are some lower-rent options if you don’t qualify for HUD or if you need to get into something faster than the waitlist will supply.
- The Amherst, apartments starting at $965
- Continental Court Apartments, one bedroom starting at $950
- 3300 Tamarac Apartments, a two-bedroom apartment starts at $1299
If you’re looking for a new place to live, then find your next dream apartment here. And if you still aren’t certain if Denver is the place for you, check out our post on the pros and cons of living in the city.