With high rent prices, it can be extremely difficult for individuals, couples, or families to afford proper shelter. Fortunately, there are income-based apartments that charge a rent that fits with the amount of money you make. There are a few steps you’ll need to take in order to qualify for this service.
Visit Your County’s Human Services Department
Each county’s human services department is responsible for determining eligibility when it comes to income-based apartments. You’ll need to gather personal information, such as pay stubs, birth certificates, and social security cards for everyone in your household. Be sure to contact the department ahead of time for a full list of documents that you will need to bring. At that time, you can also set up an appointment to be interviewed by one of the caseworkers.
Fill Out an Application
Your caseworker will verify the documents that you bring and give you an application that you must fill out completely. The biggest delay in getting approved or denied for this program is leaving a section of the paper blank. If you are unsure of what to put on any of the lines, ask the caseworker for help. Sign your petition and turn it in before leaving the office, or take it home with you and return it as soon as possible.
Wait Patiently for Approval
Your caseworker will let you know approximately how long it will take to get an approval or denial letter. Typically, this process takes at least four weeks, so make sure you wait patiently; calling the office every day will not get your application moved to the top of the pile. However, feel free to contact the department after the recommended allotment of time has passed if you have not yet received word on the status of your petition.
Tour Available Apartments
A list of income-based apartments to choose from will arrive along with your approval letter. Call the manager at each establishment and schedule a time to tour one of the homes for rent. Keep an eye out for cleanliness, included utilities, and sufficient space to accommodate the number of people in your family. Use this information to narrow down your choices.
Request a Room
Each apartment complex has its own set of rules. Some may take your approval letter and automatically assign you to a room while others require you to fill out an application. Some apartments may require a background check before allowing you to move in, which can take a few days.
Move Into Your New Apartment
After you get word that you have been accepted for a room at an income-based apartment complex, you can begin moving in. You’ll need to turn in your subsidy check to the manager of the complex each month and keep up with your recertification in the future so that you continue to receive your benefits.