The most common form of rental assistance available to needy seniors comes through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The rental assistance, through Section 8 programs, helps assure what the government calls "decent, safe and sanitary" housing to elderly or handicapped people with low and moderate incomes. The rental assistance applies to units in privately owned buildings.
Eligible tenants pay a maximum of 30% of the household income; the government pays the difference between the 30% and the full rent.
To qualify for assistance, a person must be handicapped or 62 or older. A couple is eligible if one of them fits that description.
For a one-person household, the maximum income for eligibility is $16,900. For households with two people, the maximum level is $19,300.