A lot of research goes into finding the perfect place to live. The list of requirements can start adding up quickly especially when you need it to fit into a strict budget. But if you have to tackle the additional hardship of needing low-income housing, you will likely find it to be overwhelming and possibly feel like it’s a nearly impossible task to find somewhere to call home. Particularly if you’re looking to get something in a reasonable timeframe.
While the cost of living in Phoenix is only slightly higher than the United States as a whole, that doesn’t make it any easier to find an affordable place to live. In Phoenix, a two-bedroom apartment on average costs over $1000 a month. For many families on a single income that simply isn’t feasible. Luckily there are options for those who can’t afford the average cost of rent in the Phoenix area.
For more about the cost of living in Phoenix compared to the rest of the state and the United States, head on over here.
What’s happening in Phoenix?
Because of a recent influx of residents in Phoenix, there has caused a shortage of housing. Which in turn is, unfortunately, means the price of rent is continuing to go up while the incomes are not following the same trend. According to the City of Phoenix, the Phoenix Housing Department estimates a shortage of up to 100,000 affordable housing units. They currently have several affordable housing units under construction.
For more information head over to the Phoenix Housing website. Here are places being renovated and what new places will be built. You can also see the press release from Mayor Kate Gallego about how the city plans to address the housing shortage by creating or preserving 50,000 homes by 2030.
What is affordable housing?
According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), to be affordable housing, it needs to be 30% or less of your income. Anything more is a cost burden to the families. HUD estimates that nearly 12 million households are paying more than 50% of their annual incomes for housing.
Phoenix Housing states that the average cost of a two-bedroom apartment is about $1,097 per month. To pay that and utilities, the household would need to earn $43,892 annually. That would be an hourly wage of $21.10 and over nine dollars over Arizona’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 for those with higher incomes.
Most low-income housing is regulated by the state through public housing authorities. Which means you’ll 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
For you to get assistance from the state government for your 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 Arizona. 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.
For Section 8 Housing in Arizona, 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, those in the extremely low-income bracket receive most of the housing vouchers.
For a more detailed chart about what low-income brackets in Arizona 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 Phoenix area:
- Pine Tower, designated for low-income senior living
- The Resort on 27th, part of the Low-Income Tax Credit
- Foothills Village, owned and managed by a Public Housing Authority
- Hacienda Del Rio, for low-income seniors and those living with disabilities
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.
- Fairways on Thunderbird, two-bedroom apartment starts at $955
- Bellridge Apartments, two-bedroom apartment starting at $975
- The Halifax Apartments, a two-bedroom apartment starts at $945
- Bell Cove Apartments, two-bedroom apartments start at $1,050
If you’re looking for a new place to live, or are interested in moving to the amazing state of Arizona, find your next dream apartment here. And while you’re on your search for the best apartments, head on over to our post about pet-friendly apartments in Arizona.