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What about Finances

Although there are many gorgeous places available in Contra Costa, the rental places are very expensive. Most of the newer or renovated facilities cost between $5-7,000 per month for one person for independent living.

Many of us cannot afford anything close to that.  I have researched the options for months (it’s a jungle out there).  Here are some of my gleanings.

SECTION 8 Senior Housing.  This is a voucher program subsidized by HUD.  It provides senior housing at 30% to 50% of the person’s income.  There are income limits.  I.e, if you make less than X, you will qualify for Y programs.

HUD has 3 local metropolitan areas and issues income limits each year.  The local areas are Newark-Oakland (including all of Contra Costa County), San Francisco (including San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin Counties). The income limits are much more generous there due to high housing costs.  

Apparently HUD issues Section 8 Certificates, but every list I have checked is closed.  I’m a subscriber to an organization that announces when the lists open up, and they are always someplace like Guam, Upper New Hampshire, etc.  So I wouldn’t count on this source.

Each project qualifies a bit differently so if you find a project that interests you, call them and get the scoop.  Some places offer tax certificates with different types of qualifications.  These are a bit more onerous, I have found.  You have upper as well as lower limits and self employed people don’t have a shot (in my humble opinion).

Every county offers lists of affordable housing and what kind of affordable housing (senior, family, disabled, developmentally disabled, etc.).  You can access these lists easily online from whatever agency offers it in your county.  Look for Affordable Housing, Senior Affordable Housing, Elder Housing.

Some of these lists are very long indeed.  In San Mateo, it is 22 pages, in Marin in it 8 places on ½ page!  You just need to find the ones that suit you (senior, independent, assisted, etc) and call them.  Many, many lists are closed.  There is such a long wait they won’t even take a list to add to the list.

The last 2 places I applied for had lotteries to get on the wait list and then there is a 3-7 year wait.

New large buildings sometimes have some units set aside for affordable housing, but you have to get on the list well before the building is even permitted.  Not all new buildings subscribe to this building perk so it is not a guarantee.

Try other counties, Solano, Sonoma (Napa probably wouldn’t work).

So view this as a long term project.