Social housing: Have you ever heard of social housing? Housing is a fundamental human right. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and numerous international treaties and declarations recognize the right to housing.
Social housing is affordable rental housing run by the government or non-profit organizations. The government can own or lease these buildings and provide income-based rent.
SOCIAL HOUSING: WHAT IS SOCIAL HOUSING?
Public or social housing is a form of government-subsidized housing. Public housing is meant for people who cannot afford to pay for their housing.
Public housing is available for people with low incomes or special needs, such as the elderly and disabled. They come in different shapes and sizes:
- apartments (one or more bedrooms) subsidized by the federal government or local government agencies, often through HUD or another agency;
- mobile homes on rented land ;
- Townhouses – single-family homes that are privately owned but subsidized by HUD;
- large apartments owned and operated by a public body but with private mortgages secured; And
- Low-income cooperative apartment buildings where tenants hold shares in a building owner association instead of paying rent directly to the landlord.
SOCIAL HOUSING: WHO HAS THE RIGHT TO SOCIAL HOUSING?
You may be eligible for public housing if you have the following:
- 18 years or older and low income;
- under 18 and on a low income;
- Women who are pregnant or have recently given birth.
SOCIAL HOUSING: HOW TO APPLY?
When looking for social housing, knowing that many options are available is vital. Your local authority will be able to tell you what types of properties are available and if there are any waiting lists open at the moment.
If you think social housing might be suitable for you, contact your local housing authority as soon as possible so they can assess the type of help available in your area.
Once this is done, the next step is to apply for a property and fill out an application form (or several forms).
In addition to fundamental data about you and other occupants (if applicable), some or all of the following information may be required:
- Proof of income
- Credit score
- References from previous landlords
- Medical notes, if relevant.
- Proof of address (such as a utility bill)
Suppose you are on a waiting list rather than actively seeking new property. In that case, additional information may be required at the time of application, such as proof that you are homeless or have similar needs.
- The rent is based on your income.
- You pay 30% of the family’s gross annual income.
- Rent is paid to the landlord, not the government.
WHAT OTHER OPTIONS ARE THERE FOR FINDING AFFORDABLE HOUSING?
If you have trouble finding affordable housing, consider renting your current home. You can rent your house to tenants as owners or sublet it to someone else who will be responsible for paying the rent and bills.
Another option is income-differentiated rent, where all tenants pay a similar amount but receive different services depending on how much they earn per month. This means that low-income earners pay less rent than higher-income earners.
Another option is social housing, which offers people who cannot afford private rental properties access to below-market housing. This type of housing will be available to those who fall into specific categories, such as the unemployed, benefit recipients, or people with disabilities that make full-time work difficult.
We hope it has helped you learn more about some options available for affordable housing or social housing. We know finding reasonable accommodation can be challenging, especially if you’re new to the country, but don’t stress!