No doubt about it. Most rents are high in the US, especially in NJ as well as other parts of the country. So what does this mean for someone with low income, who gets around with a wheel chair? In the US, when you are disabled living on a low fixed income, the best place to apply is to the Housing Authority of all the towns that you want to live in. Not all of the towns in the US have housing for the disabled and seniors, but a lot of them do.
The Housing Authority
You apply to the Housing Authority for the towns that you want to live in, for adult disabled housing in the US. Most of them take low income, disabled veterans, disabled adults and seniors who are able to take care of themselves. The pros about the Housing Authority is that they would take one third of your income for your rent. This means when you are on SSI, some of you could be paying as low as $50 a month for your rent. Then this can go up to as high as $350 a month if you are on Veteran's Benefits or SSDI. This includes all utilities, plus you get free air-conditioning if you need it. All the apartment complexes and towers have 24 hour security guards there, for your protection.
In most of the apartment units, the waiting list is shorter for those with more mobility then for those with a wheelchair. There are around 20 apartments a building or complex, made accessible for those with wheelchairs. However, everything else is all wheelchair accessible with them.
You meet other people who you can form relationships with. You are not going to get along with everyone living there, but you should be able to deal with that.
The cons are that the waiting lists are longer for those with wheelchairs waiting to get in. In the towers, often there are clicks already formed with some people with very nasty behaviors. All guests that you have staying with you overnight, have to be approved by security. Children under 18, are not allowed to be living with you in most of the Housing Authority Apartments.
Service Animals and ESAs
In some of the Housing Authorities Apartment units, they allow service animals and ESA's (emotional support animals). You are required to pay fees for them and follow the rules. They are in some violations of the service animal and ESA laws provided by the ADA and Service Animals organizations. Then, so are most Landlords. You have to pick and choose your battles to get your animals in here.
Plus the Housing Authority doesn't allow animals in all of their apartment towers or complexes for the reason that other people are allergic to them.
The Housing Authority provides emergency services for those who need them. In the Towers, the doors are wide enough for people to be carried on a stretcher with medical equipment. The apartments come with emergency buzzers. When you ring, security comes up to your apartment. They call an ambulance if you need one.
You May Work
You may work while living in the Housing Authority, but you must report all income to them. Whether your income goes up or down, they higher or lower your rent. But you are there to stay.
Pic: Courtesy of Flickr Commons