Rent Assistance for Adults With Disabilities: Resources and Tips to Get Help

Chelsy Meyer
From HUD vouchers and federal housing to emergency rent assistance and state resources, there are programs that can offer affordable housing aid to low-income people living with a disability.

For adults living with a disability, there can be a number of hurdles involved with independent living within their community. One of those hurdles can be finding an affordable rental. Fortunately, there are programs designed to help people with disabilities with rent assistance or financial assistance. These housing and assistance programs are built to provide affordable housing opportunities for low-income adults with disabilities. Since many disabilities come with difficulties that make it hard to find reliable, well-paying work, this is a problem for far too many people. Thankfully, the following programs exist to provide some support.

Table of Contents

Section 811 Housing

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides funding to develop and subsidize rental housing for low-income adults with a disability. Through Section 811, people with a disability can live as independently as possible. Though there are many options in terms of housing resources and programs for people with a disability, Section 811 is specific to housing options for disabled people who live independently.

Section 811 Requirements and Eligibility

The requirements that need to be met in order to be eligible for Section 811 housing involves proof of disability, as well as proof of income. Disabilities can range from a serious medical condition, chronic mental illness, physical handicap, or developmental disability. The low-income parameters are defined by the income range in each area. In addition to that, at least one member of the household must be 18 years old.

Section 811 Application

Since Section 811 housing units are operated by private owners, you’ll want to contact the HUD office in your area to locate the Section 811 housing in your area in order to fill out an application. You may also be able to find additional information about a Section 811 application in your area by contacting your nearest independent living facility, which has many resources for disabled people in your area.

Rent Assistance Programs for People With Disabilities

In addition to housing developments created to provide affordable units for adults with a disability, there are also programs to provide rental assistance for people with disabilities. These programs are unlike others in that they are created specifically for low-income, non-elderly adults with disabilities looking for rent assistance.

The funding for both the Certain Developments Voucher and the Designated Housing Voucher is limited, but it’s a helpful resource for those who are disabled and need rental assistance. To find more information, contact your local public housing authority.

Certain Developments Vouchers

The Certain Developments Program will be run by the same agencies in your area that run the Section 811 housing program. The voucher can be used to pay a portion of rent or housing expenses for developments pre-approved by the government. The requirements for this voucher are that at least one member of the household must be disabled, but not a senior citizen. The household must also reach the area’s low-income requirements. Certain Developments Vouchers apply to privately-owned housing that qualifies, but may not already receive, government subsidies.

Designated Housing Vouchers

Designated housing vouchers are basically the same type of voucher. Both are for low-income, non-elderly, disabled adults who need rental assistance. However, the Designated Housing Voucher is only for people who live in, or would like to live in, government run public housing. Designated Housing Vouchers are more limited, but the assistance is similar.

Other Rent Assistance Programs

There are plenty of other rent assistance programs available in each state (or county) that can help disabled adults with rent assistance. Though these programs aren’t meant specifically for those with a disability, they are still available for people with a disability who need assistance. In some cases, those with a disability may be given priority given the difficulty of their circumstance.

  • Emergency Assistance: Emergency assistance is given in situations where eviction or homelessness is eminent. Since these programs have limited funding, low-income families with children, senior citizens, and the disabled will usually be given priority. Since each of these programs are local, you’ll need to look into the aid available in your state.
  • HOPWA: HOPWA, or Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS, is a program that provides housing and rental assistance to those living with HIV/AIDS and their families. The assistance can be in terms of rent help, transitional housing, shelter, or long-term affordable solutions to housing difficulties.
  • Section 8: Section 8 housing is the federal government’s primary low-income housing program and can be used by those who have low-income whether they are disabled or not. The public housing agencies (PHAs) in each location administer vouchers for Section 8 housing. Eligibility has to do with income and family size in each location. Your local PHA will have information on section 8 housing in your area.
  • Tenant Based Rent Assistance: The Tenant Based Rent Assistance (TBRA) program is a program designed to provide rent and housing assistance and is not specific to those with a disability. Each location has its own requirements for qualification, but it’s meant for people who have low-income and in an extreme circumstance of need. Find more information by contacting your local HUD agency.



For people in the disabled community, financial hardships can be one of the many difficulties accompanying a disability. Whether it’s due to difficulties with finding work, or demanding medical expenses, it’s a problem that happens for too often in the disabled community. For that reason, there are programs designed to help with rent for low-income adults who are disabled. Thankfully, these programs and resources can help some of the people experiencing rental difficulties tied to income related issues.

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