Find Affordable Chicago Apartments for Seniors

How to Apply for Section 202 Housing

Is the month longer than your money?  Would it help if you ONLY paid 30% of your income for rent?  If you answered yes to these questions, then Section 202 housing might be what you need.

Section 202 is the federal housing program for low-income seniors. Applying for Section 202 housing is a process.  It is a process that you should begin sooner rather than later.  While it will require effort and be time consuming, most would agree that having 70% of your rent subsidized is well worth it. 

Although you won’t be eligible for Section 202 housing until you reach the age of 62, begin getting ready at least a year or two earlier.  If you can’t apply until you are 62 what will you be doing?  Following the blueprint below so your search can be orderly and less stressful. 

Step 1

Locate the Section 202 housing available in the area that you want to live in.  A particularly user-friendly website is  Don’t let the name fool you it includes all the Section 202 in the Chicago metropolitan area.  All you have to do is put in the zip code for the area you are interested in and the number of surrounding miles that you are willing to travel.

We love this site because it gives you important neighborhood information such as the nearest hospitals, pharmacies and grocery stores, etc.  The kinds of things we want to know when considering a new home.

Step 2

Contact the facilities that interest you.  There is no universal application, so each facility will have to be contacted directly.  Click on this link to get a checklist that you can printout.  Use this senior housing checklist to keep track of the data you gather.

Step 3

Start a file, folder or notebook just for your housing search.  If you’re using the internet, that is great.  If not, that’s not a problem.  Just make sure that you keep everything together. 

Here is a great opportunity for you to work with your children better yet grandchildren.  The grandchildren will think it is so cool that now that can help grandma or granddad finally after all the lessons you’ve taught them.  The same holds true for nieces and nephews.

Step 4

Assemble necessary documentation needed for applications.  Make sure you  have copies.  Never give anyone your originals.  If they are lost, you will have to replace them.  This can be very time consuming.  If you have to take originals with you for an appointment, make sure you get them back.  Never mail originals.

  1. Documentation of Social Security, Disability or any other income
  2. Proof of age, birth certificate, passport, state issued ID, etc
  3. Proof of Medicare insurance and premium amount, if applicable
  4. Proof of Medicaid spin-down, if applicable
  5. Proof of premiums for any supplemental insurance
  6. Anticipated out of pocket medical expense for the next 12 months? Start tracking early, so you can do a projection.


Keep in mind that each property has its own application. Here is a sample application - although there is typically some common information.


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