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Old November 22, 2009, 07:34 PM   #1
Lets Get Going
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Soc Security, Disability & Possibly Section 8 Housing

My MIL has several medical problems and is now collecting SSI. I have told her to check into SSI Disability to see if it would be alittle more in her check. I've tried looking at the website, but was overwhelmed with information.

We also tried checking into section 8 housing for her. We own the senior condo that she's living in now and are having alittle difficulty keeping up her condo and our home. Again, websites are overwhelming.

We truly don't want to have to sell it in this market, we'd lose our shirts, and she'd be homeless, but it's getting tougher and tougher to make ends meet.

Any ideas or info on either topic?
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Old November 22, 2009, 08:35 PM   #2
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Does your city/county/state have a division on aging? They may be able to give you some advice. Check out your local senior center for more info. The social worker at the hospital or nursing home should also be able to give you some pointers as to where to go for information.

You could also consult with a lawyer who specializes in senior/elder law.
"I have seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful." - Bob Hope
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Old November 22, 2009, 10:39 PM   #3
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I believe you can contact the local HUD office and offer your condo as Section 8 housing for your mother. I think you would only get about a third of her income for housing but would be helping you and her out a little. Typically Sec 8 housing takes YEARS to get - availability is low but, the sooner you apply to get her on the Sec 8 list, the sooner she will be eligible.
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Old November 23, 2009, 10:59 AM   #4
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It's a great idea to explore this, both for her and for your condo.

I can't give info on how long it would take for her to qualify for Section 8, but we own some rental property which we rent thru Section 8. We got into this because someone who applied to rent our house was already on Section 8. It didn't take long to get the property qualified - they'll do an inspection, we had to do a couple of minor things to meet their checklist.

No way to know how much of a voucher they'd give her, nor whether she'd qualify for your condo. Her voucher may be higher than you think. (One of ours gives us more rent than we might get on the open market. One of ours is equal or less.) And they'll tell her what % she would be required to pay, if any - this will depend on all of her income sources. Sometimes Section 8 picks up the entire rent, sometimes not - and it will change for the recipient regularly, as they go for review periodically. The number of bedroom-unit she'd be permitted to rent will be determined by # of people in her household. If you own a "senior" unit, maybe it's exactly the size she'd qualify for.

So... if/when you get both qualified, they'll ask you for potential lease. You can make it for as much $ as you want, and then they'll tell you what the max would be for her, and you can lower it accordingly.

Your local housing authority may have a published chart somewhere, showing max rents allowed for each zip code.

Edited to add: especially when they pay the entire rent, it works like a charm. They direct deposit into your account the first of the month, like clockwork.

Hope that helps!
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Old November 23, 2009, 01:50 PM   #5
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Thanks, Laurie!

Thanks for the excellent info. I am going to call HUD today and see what we can do. Do you think they will deny either of us because we are family renting to family? I'm worried they will think it's a sham of some type.
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Old November 23, 2009, 02:23 PM   #6
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HUD has a web site and looking around in it you need to search for the FMV formula for your area. FMV is fair market value of rents for different size units. That is the max HUD will pay which includes all utilities - subtract out what bills she has in her name. Water, sewer, electric, gas - cable and phones are not factored into anything - personal costs. So if she has gas heat, electric hot water, electric cooking her deducts would be different than someone who has all gas or all electric.

If the condo is a 2 bdr and she only qualifies for a 1bdr, your unit would be on the 1bdr scale and you could not charge her extra nor allow a roommate to pay you separately. No "sidepayments" - fraud.

There are also some allowances for extra considerations - appliances you provide (refrigerator, washer, dryer) and allowances for superior condition (air conditioning, dishwasher, elevator).

If you have either a written lease or a month-to-month with her, the PHA (housing authority which supplies the support services and administers the contracts) will/must use this figures she is paying for what her rents will be. So being Mr Nice Relative and telling her to pay only $400 a month for the past 5 years, ends up setting her base rent at that figure; this is what ALL your future rent increases will be based on (at 1% or 2% Cola figures). It is important that her rent is inline with this FMV NOW.

There are also many homeless prevention programs run in my area by the county welfare office, but in my area, the first thing is the person must be brought into eviction court. This makes her qualitify for state funds and puts her way up on the federal HUD (and permanent) subside programs.

PM me if you have any specific questions...
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Old November 23, 2009, 11:00 PM   #7
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Also, call up the Riverside County Office on Aging http://www.rcaging.org and see what advice they can offer. Senior Helplink seems appropriate, and you may discover other services you haven't yet imagined that might be helpful.
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Old November 24, 2009, 03:32 PM   #8
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Make sure you check with the Hemet Senior Citizen's center. I know they have one. They may be able to offer some information.
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