Learn About the Different Types of Apartments

Section 8 apartments come in all shapes and sizes for program beneficiaries to choose from. In fact, apartments are often the most widely available option and offer affordable housing for many low-income individuals and families.

Many Section 8 apartments for rent are found in cities, but plenty of options are available all throughout the country, including in rural areas. As a result, applicants can choose the perfect apartment for their needs, whether living alone or with family members. 

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Data Sourced from The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD's) Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R).

Among the apartments that accept Section 8, options are available for both single tenants and small families. Studios and efficiencies allow individuals to take advantage of additional savings due to the smaller space.

Alternately, couples and families are able to choose apartments to fit their household sizes comfortably. Even senior applicants have access to different housing options that offer additional benefits. Learn more about the many apartment options available below. 

Is a Section 8 apartment right for you?

An important step in how to apply for Section 8 housing is choosing the type of property you want to rent. Overall, there are two main rental options to choose from: houses and apartments.

While a house may seem like the obvious choice for your family, apartments offer certain advantages for you to consider. For example, apartments usually include:

  • Access to extra amenities, such as an onsite gym, basketball courts or a pool. 
  • Additional security such as night guards, coded building entry and close proximity to neighbors. 
  • Lower rent and utility costs due to the smaller spaces and insulation from surrounding apartment units.

Renting a Section 8 apartment can offer a great housing option whether you are an individual tenant or part of a family. With units ranging from single-room to three bedrooms, you can find an apartment to fit your lifestyle and budget.

Some apartment complexes even cater to specific groups, such as seniors. With several options available, it is important to consider where you want to live and what type of apartment best suits your needs.

Where can I find apartments that accept Section 8?

Low-income housing options are available all across the country. However, certain areas are more likely to offer apartment rentals than others.

Many apartment buildings are located in big cities and metropolitan areas due to their compact nature. This makes apartments a great option for tenants who find work in the city or just prefer city life.  

You can also find Section 8 apartment listings in smaller cities, organized into individual communities known as apartment complexes. These complexes often provide more space and amenities than buildings in the city, including assigned parking spaces and nearby playgrounds.

Wherever you find your rental, make sure the landlord accepts housing vouchers in advance. It is also important to choose a residence that meets the program requirements. Otherwise, you will not be permitted to use your housing voucher for that property.

Discover the Types of Section 8 Apartments for Rent

Just like houses for rent, low-income apartments come in all shapes and sizes. Most apartment units generally range from one bedroom to three bedrooms, though other options exist as well.

The types of apartment units available to you often depend on location, with larger units available outside of major metropolitan areas. 

With this in mind, certain Section 8 apartment options may suit you and your family better than others, based on your specific needs.

For example, a one-bedroom apartment may not be the most affordable choice if you live alone with a restricted budget. Instead, you may want to explore options like:

  • Studio apartments.
  • Efficiencies.
  • Senior apartments.

Each of these apartment types has its own benefits and disadvantages. In particular, senior communities provide great rental rates but have certain restrictions on who can move in.

Therefore, it is important to weigh the different options available when choosing an apartment.  

Studio Apartments

A popular Section 8 housing option is the studio unit. This type of apartment generally offers the same benefits as a one-bedroom unit but on a smaller scale.

Most studios range from 400 to 600 square feet and do not contain a private bedroom. Instead, a studio generally combines the living, bedroom and kitchen areas together into a single room. The kitchen and bathroom areas in these units are usually small, but still provide all of the basic necessities.

Due to the reduced square footage, you can usually find studios available for a much lower price than larger apartments. This makes studios a great choice for individuals and couples that do not require space for extra furniture and belongings. 

Efficiency Apartments

As the name suggests, an efficiency apartment aims for the most efficient use of space possible. This often results in a unit between 300 and 500 square feet, though smaller spaces are sometimes available as well.

When comparing studios and efficiency apartments for rent, there are a lot of similarities. Both options combine the bedroom with other areas of the unit to minimize space and cost. However, efficiencies take this concept a step further.

Due to the even smaller space, efficiencies are some of the most affordable options for housing voucher recipients. Tenants can often save on rental costs and utilities, including electricity. However, these units are typically only suitable to accommodate individual tenants. 

Senior Apartments

Senior housing covers several different housing options, including apartments in low-income communities. Seniors who qualify and do not require assisted living can use housing vouchers in order to afford private apartments.

In some cases, apartment complexes even cater specifically to elderly tenants. Known as 55 and older communities, these complexes often have reduced rent prices in order to accommodate seniors on a limited income.

Section 202 housing also offers rent assistance to seniors, as well as some supportive services for completing daily activities. In order to access these benefits, senior applicants must meet all of the requirements outlined by the program. 

Find Out How to Choose the Right Low-Income Apartment

When it comes to selecting an apartment, the unit you choose must meet your needs and program requirements.

As a housing voucher recipient, you must find apartments that accept Section 8 in order to utilize your benefits. Therefore, it is important to know what to look for in an apartment to help you make the best choice.

While you browse the Section 8 apartment listings, keep the following in mind:

  • If you are a single tenant, smaller options such as a studio or efficiency can increase your savings.
  • Larger apartments with one or more private bedrooms are more accommodating if you live with your significant other or family.
  • Apartment locations can affect your access to transportation. City apartments generally provide access to public transport, while apartments elsewhere may require access to a car.