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Affordable Housing Primer Chapter 2

Rental Housing

Several factors should be considered when deciding what type of housing is right for you.  Of primary importance is your income versus the cost of housing.  Given your income, what housing can you afford?  HUD and most lenders recommend spending no more than 30% of gross (pre-tax) household income on housing costs, which include mortgage or rent and other costs such as utilities.  For individuals dependent on fixed incomes, finding affordable housing is very challenging.

This chapter provides information to help you understand rental housing options and the expenses associated with renting.  Information is also provided on how to find rental housing, and the basic requirements all individuals must meet when applying for rental housing.

If you would like a hard-copy or Braille version of this Affordable Housing Primer, or have any questions, please contact us.

Click here to download Chapter 2 in pdf format.

Click here to download Chapter 2 - Large Print in pdf format.

Click here to download Chapter 2 - Spanish Version in pdf format.

Click here to download Chapter 2 in plain text format.



Subsidized Housing Resources on the Internet

  • Click here to access county specific Housing Resource Guides
  • NC Housing Search:  A new service,, is now available statewide. This service encourages landlords with available units to list them on the site, allowing you to search for available apartments by location.  Details about accessibility are provided for some units.
  • NC Housing Finance Agency:  Go to Under Forms and Resources, near the top right of the screen, choose Affordable Apartment Locator from the dropdown menu.  The Affordable Apartment Locator provides information about Low-Income Housing Tax Credit developments by county.  You can also narrow your search with criteria such as family or senior properties, availability of rental assistance, and/or curbless showers.  Click Search for a list of properties.   
  • NC Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS):  The DAAS Elder Housing Locator ( lists many of the same resources described above, and also includes older Low-Income Housing Tax Credit properties developed prior to 2000.  These are predominately resources for persons over 55, yet many will also be available to persons with disabilities of any age.  Click on Housing, and then Elder Housing Locator Service
  • US Department of Housing and Urban Development:  Go to  From the main page, click Renting on the left, which will bring you to the Renting page.  You can search for privately owned subsidized housing, public housing, and housing that accepts Housing Choice Vouchers.
  • Rural Development:  The US Department of Agriculture Rural Development  Program funds multifamily and elderly properties in rural communities, which are also open to persons with disabilities.  Go to  On the left side of the screen click List of Apartment Complexes. Search by town, zip code, property name, or management company.  The resulting list of USDA developments links to property-specific information.

If you are interested in applying for public housing or a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher, click here to visit HUD's website, where you can find contact information for your local PHA.

For more information about McKinney Homeless Assistance programs you can contact your local Continuum of Care.  To find contact information for your Continuum of Care click here.

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