Finding decent housing for the poor is rare. We have lived in some pits. This place because it is of a certain quality we have hung on to it with a death grip. It is quiet! I've been in this apartment nearly 10 years. At least we are poor people who have had that extreme rarity of STABLE HOUSING. That is something you don't want to give up. My first rule of survival in terms of being poor, is finding and keeping stable housing. If you want to know how bad things really have gotten for most poor, read this book, I read it from the library:
We have kept intact housing because of my rules for rent, it gets paid before anything else even food. When I was young, there was no Calvary coming for me. I almost did end up homeless. The boarding house and rental room life is just one step above it. It is not that hard to end up homeless especially if you are an ACON and there is no family that would bail you out. If you are older and into your middle-aged years, people "give up" on you. You are not some 24 year old they will let move in. They do not want to know, even if you were working in your earlier life and responsible to the hilt.
My emergency plan for housing is keeping track of the disabled housing lists. I sometimes go off and on them now, when things get dicey but for now we have stayed in private housing. Here is the link where you can see all the lists for senior/disabled housing. If you are disabled or grow poor when you are old, there's a few options. On line now just about every state has a "housing locator" website for those who are low income. The one here is saved to my list of links.
Some have said "We should get subsidized housing" but my local one wants only a 100 less then what I pay here for half of the square footage and the rent would be increased automatically for every dollar he made more every month. I already looked at the apartments. They aren't keen on someone who is self employed coming in with the disabled person and one year when we were within 50 dollars of the cut-off for the year and came up on the list, we were told we were too close. The income levels have not been raised since 2008. No, I am not kidding about that even though bills are far higher. They always raise the market rate of the apartments though, the cap on the 30% of the income. Of course a disabled or elderly single person having to pay 30 percent of a very low income, it's going to help their survival.
I have helped single people online and told them how to get subsidized housing and get on the lists and more. In urban areas, you have to be cautious about safety but the waiting lists are far longer some even 4-10 years in duration. Rural areas, if you are about to be homeless, some of those places you can get right in but the price is less resources. It's still better then the streets though. Most disabled people need some kind of hospital system so towns over a certain population and with a hospital are probably better. Going for midsized or small towns with hospitals and Dial-A Rides are probably a good option.
It scares me this one disabled friend online told me they refused her disabled housing over having an old unpaid bill, steam came out of my ears as I asked her, "How do they think disabled people have money?" I think where she applied was kind of extreme. The south seems far more cruel to the poor after years of Republican/Dave Ramsey brainwashing.
I tell poor friends if they are going to move to move to Democratic strongholds. There may be a teeny bit more mercy, but not much. Also it helps if a community has a lot of churches and ones with traditions of "helping the poor". Where I live has a lot of churches. I wish there were churches where poor people could come together but probably with pastors wanting to make good money that's not happening.
I have warned them about urban waiting lists and safety and where their best bets for housing would be. I am exploring now housing for us when we are old and trying to figure out where the BEST Elderly subsidized housing is. I am considering life even 10 years in the future if I make it that long.
I am one of those people who does plan ahead. In my state elderly and disabled housing is mixed but they have elderly buildings too where the disabled who are younger are not allowed in. Some are higher quality then others. I chose this video at random of another state I don't live in....but this looks like a nicer one. Some even have social programs for the seniors and on staff social workers and others. There is housing for the mentally ill like this too in various communities.
Some of the rules with the public housing can be hard. There's things to watch out for. In my town there is a disability building I would never move into, because it is full of bed bugs. This shocked me but I knew someone who had to escape from there, who fortunately had others to move in with. I am afraid of elevators so living in a place that is a tower sounds scary to me. One has to be cautious.
Even the one decent disabled housing complex here, wanted the present landlord to judge my "housekeeping". I didn't like that. How many disabled people are good housekeepers? I'm not one of them. Maybe if you take the trash out and aren't a hoarder they will write you are okay anyway. We plan to stay in private housing for now, but that's the ins and outs of it. One thing imagine a guy who works for himself in subsidized housing even if his income is smaller knowing every time he makes a dollar more, the rent goes up. It's not exactly motivating. It works better on fixed incomes.