Adequate, affordable, and appropriate housing remains a critical concern for senior citizens in Dutchess County. The Dutchess County Office For The Aging has prepared this guide for seniors to provide basic information regarding available subsidized senior housing, low-income tax credit property, legal rights, and other information for seniors.
There are several forms of housing for senior citizens in Dutchess County:
Low Income Tax Credit Property
Tax credit properties have fixed rents paid by the individual. Rent is determined by HUD (Housing and Urban Development) based on the median income for the county. Rent may go up or down according to that determination and is done on a yearly basis. Tax credit properties have maximum and minimum eligibility requirements. These incomes are calculated just prior to signing a lease on an apartment. If the income rises or falls after that time, your qualification is unaffected.
In this type of housing, the state or federal government supplements the rental paid by an individual. Generally, an individual pays 30% of his or her gross annual income and the state or federal government pays the balance of the rent. Rents are adjusted on an annual basis. Eligibility is determined by gross annual income.
Subsidized Housing covers several of the listings in this brochure including: Section 8 (you’ll find more information about Section 8 on the following page), Section 236, Poughkeepsie & Beacon Housing Authorities, and U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Properties.
Although they are not listed in this brochure, some established private apartment complexes in Dutchess County offer senior citizen discounts on rent. Seniors should inquire with the individual complexes about these discounts.
Click on the follwing link to find local information on each type of Senior Housing listed below: Senior Housing in Dutchess County (.pdf)
In addition to Section 8 housing, this program also includes vouchers and certificates which may be used to help pay a portion of the rent for qualified applicants in privately owned apartments. The landlord must be willing to comply with the program’s requirements and the apartment must pass inspection. There are waiting lists for the Section 8 vouchers and certificates. Income guidelines and contacts are listed below.
2015 Maximum Gross Annual Income (GAI)
In New York State, landlords may not discriminate based on age. They may not refuse to rent an apartment or refuse to renew a lease on the basis of age. Those who believe they have been a victim of age discrimination in housing may file a complaint with the New York State Attorney General’s Office Civil Rights Bureau in Poughkeepsie at (845) 485-3920 or the Dutchess County Commission on Human Rights at (845) 486-2445.
Senior citizens are given certain protections with respect to terminating apartment or other residential leases providing they are moving into certain specialized types of housing. This law applies if the senior is relocating to an adult care facility, a residential health care facility (nursing home), low income housing, or senior citizen housing. It protects anyone age 62 or older, or anyone who will reach that age during the term of the lease agreement. It also covers the spouse of such persons provided the two are living together. There are some requirements. Written notice must be provided to the landlords which includes documentation of admission or pending admission to one of the covered facilities. The tenant must make the effective termination date no earlier than thirty days after the date on which the next rental payment is due.
The law also provides for penalties to landlords who do not comply. Anyone who interferes with the removal of property from the premises will be guilty of a misdemeanor, allowing for up to one year in jail and/or a one thousand dollar fine. Senior citizens may also terminate their lease or tenancy to move in with a family member upon certification by a physician that they are no longer able to live independently. They also are allowed a three day “cooling off” period to cancel or rescind a lease or contract entered into for senior citizen housing and that they be given an opportunity to reinstate their original lease or rental agreement until midnight of the fifth business day after notification of terminating that lease or rental agreement.
An elder cottage housing opportunity, or ECHO, is a small, temporary housing unit that can be installed in a backyard -- most commonly used to accommodate older adults.ECHO housing units are self-contained prefab homes (usually between 400 and 800 square feet) that allow someone to remain largely independent while still living within earshot of your family. ECHO housing usually includes, on a smaller scale, all the amenities of a house -- a kitchen, a bedroom, a bathroom, and a living room. Click on the following link for a list of ECHO Cottage builders.