With the economy the way it is and with so many people out of work, many people are forced to reevaluate their finances and choose more appropriate living conditions. A lot of times, this includes downgrading to more financially stable housing. With that in mind, you may want to check into income-based apartments. Income-based apartments are, just like they sound, apartment complexes in which your rent is calculated based on how much money you make. There are, of course, upsides and downsides to this type of living quarters. On one hand, you don’t have to worry about being kicked out of your apartment just because your landlord doesn’t care that you’re a little behind on your car payment this month. On the other hand, there are extra rules and requirements that apply to living in a income-based apartment. This article will provide you with the basic knowledge that you’ll need to possess in order to apply and gain entry to an income-based apartment.
The first thing that you should do to get an income-based apartment is contact your local Human Services Department and find out what the requirements are to apply. Human Services usually has the lowest rates because they are a government-operated organization and are funded by the Federal Reserve. Basically, they find you a cheap apartment and work with you to negotiate how much you can afford based on how much you make. If you still can’t afford what the apartment costs, they make up the difference. That means you’re happy, the government’s happy, and the landlord’s happy. You can probably find out what’s required to apply by going on their website but it would be much better to just call them and talk to a real person so that they can answer any questions you have right there on the spot and can personally help you get into an income-based apartment. Most likely, whoever you talk to on the phone will assign you a case worker to work with you and make sure you fill out the appropriate forms.
Make sure you actually read through the paperwork and don’t just skim it. You need to understand what is expected of you if you are approved and know what you’re getting into. Fill out all paperwork completely and provide accurate information. Make sure you don’t leave anything blank because doing so could easily delay the whole process. Be ready to provide proof of income when you go in and think of a few numbers of people who can vouche for you beforehand. A lot of people try to scam government agencies on a 24/7 basis so these agencies are very careful of who they work with.
Finish your paperwork as soon as possible and return it Human Services as fast as you can. These types of apartments usually have many people applying and there are only so many apartments to go around. Also, returning your paperwork promptly shows that you are professional and serious about getting an income-based apartment. They definitely don’t want to work with someone who isn’t even motivated enough to turn in their own paperwork for something that helps themselves. Don’t mail your paperwork in, either, because it risks getting lost in the mail or simply not getting put in the right pile. Take your paperwork directly to the office and hand it in.
Don’t stop after you’ve turned your paperwork in. Contact your case worker on a regular basis and keep checking on your pending approval. Build up a good relationship with your case worker and do your best to show them that you are determined to get an income-based apartment through the government. Ask your case worker any questions that you have and especially ask when you should hear of your results. If your case worker sees that you are actively trying to make this work, he or she may be able to put in a good word for you or push you up further on the waiting list.
If you do get approved for an income-based apartment, check each one just as you would if you were renting any other apartment. You may be a little behind on your bills but you still have options. Your case worker will most likely give you a handful of apartments to choose from and doesn’t expect you to just jump on board with the first thing you see. If you look around, you should have no problem finding a good apartment in a good neighborhood. Of course, you shouldn’t be too picky because you obviously won’t have as many options as you would if you were paying outright, but you definitely have some wiggle room.
Keep in mind that if the waiting list for county housing is too long, you can always search for private organizations that provide the same function. Naturally, these private agencies will be a bit more costly than the government-funded housing, but it sure beats having no help at all. You’ll still need to apply with one of these agencies but you’ll need to search for the right apartment and handle any problems that come up on your own as you will not be provided with a case worker to help you along the way.