Where to Find Senior Housing Assistance for Veterans

Senior veterans may be eligible for housing assistance programs to help with costs of living. These programs offer a range of benefits including reduced rent, priority placement, and additional services. Learn more!
senior disabled veteran in his home with his companion dog

Our country owes a lot to our veterans. After all, they’ve risked their lives to keep our lands, waters, and skies safe. To show unending gratitude, our country provides senior housing assistance for veterans.

If you or a loved one is a veteran, you may be wondering what housing options are out are. Luckily, there are a number of programs and initiatives in place to help veterans find safe and affordable housing.

In this Senior Assistance Club guide, we'll take a look at a few of the most popular veteran housing options and how to go about applying for them.

What is VA?

The Department of Veterans Affairs, also known as the VA, is a federal agency responsible for providing assistance and support to veterans and their families. From healthcare to education benefits, the VA offers a wide range of services including transportation assistance for low-income seniors and food programs for low-income seniors designed to meet the unique needs of those who have served in the military. The agency also operates a nationwide network of hospitals and clinics, providing medical care specifically tailored for veterans.

Not everybody who’s served is considered a veteran, however. Let’s take a look at who can receive veteran privileges.

Who Qualifies as a Veteran?

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, a veteran is anyone who has served at least one day in active duty during a time of war, or who has served at least 181 days of active duty during peacetime. In addition, any member of the National Guard or Reserves who has been called to active duty by a federal order and completed the full period of service qualifies as a veteran, even if they were not deployed or did not serve during a time of war.

While there is no specific requirement for the length of service or combat experience, veterans must receive an honorable discharge to qualify for benefits provided by the VA.

If you pass all the qualifications, you can then start checking out affordable housing options for veterans.

VA Senior Housing Options for Veterans

Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program

One popular option for veterans is the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) program. VASH is a HUD-Veterans Affairs joint initiative that provides permanent housing and case management services to help homeless senior veterans. Veterans can apply for the VASH program through their local Veterans Affairs office.

Farmers Housing Development Corporation's Veteran Housing Assistance

Another option for low-income housing for senior veterans is the Farmers Housing Development Corporation's Veteran Housing Assistance program. This program provides down payment assistance and low-interest loans to eligible veterans who are looking to purchase a home. Veterans can contact the Farmers Housing Development Corporation directly to apply for this program.

US Department of Agriculture

The US Department of Agriculture also has a number of programs designed to provide low-income housing for veterans. The Single Family Housing Direct Loan program offers low-interest loans to eligible veterans for the purchase or repair of a primary residence. The Single Family Housing Repair Loans and Grants program provides grants and loans to eligible veterans for the repair or improvement of their primary residences. For more information on these programs, please visit the Department of Agriculture's website.

senior man looks far from his farm

Specially Adapted Housing Grants

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides a specially adapted housing (SAH) grant to help disabled veterans and service members live independently. This grant can be used to build an adapted home or to modify an existing home to accommodate a disability. VA-recognized organizations may also use SAH grants to build or modify adapted homes for eligible veterans and service members.

The SAH grant program is for veterans and service members who were disabled because of their military service. The degree of disability must be such that the veteran or service member is unable to live independently in a regular dwelling such as loss of limb(s), blindness in both eyes, and other severe disabilities.

Eligibility for a Specially Adapted Housing Grant

To be eligible for a SAH grant, veterans and service members must:

  • Have a permanent and total service-connected disability that is rated at least 50% disabling by the VA
  • Require the use of a wheelchair for mobility
  • Be eligible for homeownership
  • Have suitable land on which to place a home
  • Possess the architectural plans and specifications necessary for the modification of an existing home.

Additionally, applicants must agree to occupy the home as their primary residence. Unmarried surviving spouses of veterans who died because of their service-connected disabilities are also eligible for SAH grants.

An individual may not receive more than three SAH grants in his or her lifetime. However, an increased award may be given if the maximum dollar amount for the grant program has been increased since the last time the individual received an award, or if substantial changes have been made to the property that requires additional adaptations.

How to Apply for the SAH Grant

The first step in applying for the SAH grant is to get in touch with your local Veterans Affairs Office. They will be able to help you determine if you meet the eligibility requirements and guide you through the application process.

You will need to fill out an Application for Assistance in Acquiring Home Improvement and Structural Alterations (VA Form 26-4555) and submit it along with documentation of your service-related disability, proof of your income, and an estimate of the costs of the modifications you would like to make.

Once your application has been reviewed and approved, you will be issued a certificate that you can take to a licensed contractor to begin work on your home.

Non-VA Federal Retirement Homes

Non-VA federal retirement homes are residences that are privately owned but have been approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide housing and care to veterans. The housing for senior veterans must meet certain VA standards to be approved, and they are inspected regularly by the VA to ensure that they continue to meet these standards.

There are many Non-Veteran Administration housing options for seniors across the United States, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are small, family-run businesses, while others are larger facilities that are part of national chains. No matter what their size or ownership structure, all non-VA federal housing must provide quality care and affordable homes to the senior veterans.

Benefits of Non-VA Federal Retirement Homes

There are many benefits that come with living in a Non-VA federal retirement home. One of the biggest benefits is that residents can receive VA benefits while living in these homes. This means that veterans can get the care and support they need without having to worry about the cost.

On top of this, living in a Non-VA federal retirement home can help veterans stay connected to their community. These homes provide social activities and opportunities for resident interaction, which can be beneficial for both physical and mental health. They also often offer transportation services, so seniors can easily get around town without having to rely on family or friends.

What are the Income Requirements for a Federal Retirement Home?

To qualify for a federal retirement home, your annual income must be below a certain threshold. This threshold varies depending on the location of the home and the number of people in your household. For example, the income limit for a single person in New York City is $32,000 per year.

How to Find Federal Retirement Homes

To start your search, check out the website for the National Association of Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) at narfe.org. They offer a comprehensive list of Non-VA Federal Retirement Homes in all 50 states, including information on amenities, activities, and contact details.

Don’t forget to ask friends or colleagues about their experiences with specific communities! Word-of-mouth recommendations can provide valuable insight into the day-to-day operations and overall atmosphere at a potential retirement home.

As always, thoroughly research any community before committing to living there - visit the location in person and inquire about fees, contracts, and available services.

Veterans Senior Housing (Military Retirement Community)

A military retirement community is a special type of affordable housing development that is designed specifically for senior veterans of the United States armed forces. In most cases, these developments are limited to seniors aged 55 and over. However, some communities may have age restrictions that are even more restrictive.

Benefits of Veteran Housing

A Sense of Community

One of the best things about military retirement communities is the sense of community they provide. These communities are designed to bring people with similar backgrounds and experiences together. This can make it easier to make friends and find support, especially if you're moving to a new area in retirement.

senior veterans jogging together

Safety and Security

Another major benefit of military retirement communities is the safety and security they offer. These communities are often gated or have security patrols 24 hours a day.


Many people worry that moving into a military retirement community will be too expensive. However, there is often a wide range of options available, from independent living to assisted living to long-term care. This means that you can find affordable housing for senior veterans no matter your budget and needs. In addition, many military retirement communities offer discounts to veterans or their spouses.

Types of Veteran Housing Communities

There are many different types of veteran housing communities for seniors. These communities offer a variety of amenities and services that appeal to seniors, such as independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care. Each type of community has its own unique benefits that make it an appealing option for seniors.

Assisted Living

Assisted living communities provide senior veterans with the assistance they need to live independently. These communities offer 24-hour access to support staff, as well as a wide range of amenities, such as housekeeping and laundry services. These communities also provide social and recreational activities to keep residents engaged and active.

Independent Living

Independent living communities are designed for seniors who can live independently but desire the convenience and security of a supportive community. These communities offer a wide range of amenities, such as transportation services, on-site restaurants and shops, and social and recreational activities.

Skilled Nursing Care

Skilled nursing care communities provide seniors with the highest level of care. These communities offer around-the-clock access to medical professionals, as well as a wide range of amenities, such as physical therapy and occupational therapy. These communities also provide social and recreational activities to keep residents engaged and active.

How to Find Veteran Communities

One way to start your search is by visiting the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website, where you can enter your location to find nearby senior veteran housing communities. You can also contact your local VA center for information on available resources and assistance in finding the right fit for you.

You can also check out organizations such as A Place for Mom which offer free referrals to affordable senior veteran housing communities and can provide personalized support through the process. With a little research and some help from supportive resources, finding the perfect veteran housing community for yourself or a loved one can be made easy.

How to Cover the Cost of Veterans Senior Housing

As a veteran, you’ve earned the right to receive certain benefits from the government. These benefits can help you in many aspects of your life, including with the cost of senior housing. Here’s what you need to know about using your veterans benefits to cover the cost of senior housing.

The Department of Veterans Affairs provides a few different benefits to help cover the cost of senior housing for veterans. One of these benefits is the Veterans Pension. This pension is a needs-based benefit paid to certain wartime veterans who are 65 or older, or who are permanently and totally disabled due to a non-service-related injury or illness. To be eligible for this pension, veterans must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Served during a time of war
  • Have a disability that is not service-related
  • Are 65 or older

Another benefit offered by the VA is the Aid and Attendance pension. This pension is available to wartime veterans or their surviving spouses who require the regular assistance of another person to perform activities of daily living, such as bathing, eating, or dressing. To be eligible for this benefit, veterans must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Are blind
  • Are permanently and totally disabled
  • Require constant attendance by another person in order to avoid placing themselves in danger
  • Are 65 or older

On top of these two benefits, the VA also offers a Housebound allowance to certain eligible veterans. This allowance is an increase in pension benefits for those who are substantially confined to their homes because of permanent disabilities. These disabilities may be service-connected or non-service-connected.

Assistance Club Summary

Many senior veterans find themselves struggling to afford a place to live, but thankfully there are affordable housing options available.

We hope this article has helped you learn more about the different types of low-income housing options for senior veterans and how to apply for them.

Thank you for your service, and we wish you all the best in finding a safe and comfortable home in your retirement years!