Paying for a place to live is a person’s most important expense. Affording the luxury of four walls and a roof over your head provides individuals and families with a sense of safety and stability. It also allows for focus on other priorities like searching for a better job or tending to your children’s school work. So, when having a living space is uncertain (or when more than half of a person’s paycheck goes to rent that it keeps them from attaining the basic needs of life), it’s hard to put your focus on any other priorities in your life. This is why today, we’re going to focus on misconceptions about income restricted apartments.
Top 3 Misconceptions About Income Based Apartments
When people hear the term “income restricted apartments,” they automatically think negatively about it. It’s commonly misunderstood when the term is actually aimed to help low-income individuals and families have a place to call home. There are already several benefits of renting. But, renting in income-restricted apartments allow for so many people to financially thrive, it’s hard to understand where these misconceptions come from.
To clear up some of these myths we must first understand what income restricted apartments really are.
Income restricted apartments are not “the projects.” They are apartments that allow people who make below a certain income to be able to rent an apartment at a more affordable rate than a person renting at a non-income restricted apartment.
Finding Income Restricted Apartments
When looking for low-cost apartments, the Public Housing Authority (PHA) maintains the local program under the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD is an organization that sets the standard for low-income housing. And, that standard is based on the average income of the area.
The PHA usually has a list of income-restricted apartments. You could speak with a representative from there, but a much simpler process would be to view income restricted apartments on Rent.com.
All you need to do is:
- hop on the website and under the drop-down labeled “more filters,”
- click on “income restricted” under the amenities category,
- then you’ll be able to view the income restricted apartments in your area.
Change Your Perception
The word “restricted” has somehow de-legitimatized the apartment hunting process for individuals looking for these cheaper rentals. The oppressive stigma behind income restricted apartments is going to be shut down…right now. By the time you finish reading this article, you will have a totally different view of these apartments.
Misconception #1: Income Restricted Apartments are in Bad Areas
As mentioned earlier, a lot of people think that income restricted apartments are in bad areas and are aesthetically unpleasing. But, the reality of it all is that there are exceptionally nice apartments for renters with low incomes. And, they can be in nice areas! In fact, many are located right beside, or near non-restricted apartments.
Misconception #2: People Living in Income Restricted Apartments Want to Leave
Income restricted apartments are often times looked at as something that people go to as a last resort and trying to get away from. Because of the negative connotations associated with these type of apartments, you wouldn’t realize that more people are trying to get into restricted apartments versus wanting to leave them.
You have to think about it. After paying your rent, do you still have money to live? A lot of people who opt for the non-income restricted apartments end being “house broke” after paying their rent. According to the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R), people tend to pay around 30% in rent of their actual income. So when you’re finished paying that, it doesn’t leave you with too much wiggle room financially.
Why Leave When You Can Financially Thrive?
Living in income restricted apartments allow tenants to be able to keep a roof over their head and still have money left over to live and pay other bills. To add to that, let’s be real… the average American working a minimum wage job that pays $7.25 per hour cannot survive on their own. They simply can’t pay rent in a non-income restricted apartment and have money left over for other financial responsibilities.
Misconception #3: The Demographic is Primarily People of Color
Although African Americans make up the largest percentage of people using rental assistance at 42.4%, Caucasian Americans come in a close second at 34.3%, according to ggwash.org. There are actually several different types of people living in apartments, it just depends on their financial situation.
It’s very common to see these people living happily in income-restricted apartments:
- Families with children
The truth of the matter is, income restricted apartments aren’t just for a specific type of people… they’re for all people who have lower incomes. The key consideration is how much you make, not the color of your skin. The whole intent of these apartments is to make finding a place to live more affordable.
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.