New Rule to Expand Rental Subsidies for Seniors

New Rule to Expand Rental Subsidies for Seniors

By Alex Moore

The cost of housing has far outpaced wage growth in America for decades. According to estimates from, an inflation watchdog organization, a house that would have cost $100,000 in 1967—around when many of today’s seniors would have entered the workforce—costs an average of more than $1 million today.

As a result, many seniors have struggled to keep up with their monthly rent or mortgage payments. A recent study from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies found that a third of seniors spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing, with half of that group paying more than 50 percent.

To help address this issue, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has introduced a new rule that will expand rental assistance for older Americans. On April 13, SSA announced that it would expand its rental subsidy policy for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries to all states, instead of the mere seven states that currently provide the subsidies. The SSI program helps Social Security’s most vulnerable beneficiaries cover basic needs like food,

clothing, and medicine, and previously, getting rental assistance subsidies often put people at risk of losing this crucial benefit. The new rule will take effect on September 30, which means that many seniors can use it to get relief quickly.

If you are struggling to afford basic needs and want to apply for the SSI program, we recommend visiting the SSA website to learn how to apply at This link leads to a short questionnaire that will show where and how to apply based on your individual situation, as well as the information you’ll need to provide on your application.

Likewise, if you are struggling to afford housing and need assistance, a good place to start looking for help is the federal government’s Housing and Urban Development (HUD) agency website at This page features a map of all HUD-affiliated resources across the country, so it’s easy to find nearby resources. You can use it to find affordable housing opportunities for the elderly, a local HUD office, or the public housing authority for your county, city, or state.