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Apartment Shopping on SSD

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i have a real problem here. i'm trying to find new housing since the place i'm at now sucks and is too expensive for what i'm getting, and is too expensive at all for someone on SSD.

i checked out HUD and the only acceptable (safety-wise) places have long waiting lists.

that leaves me with regular apartments, both managed and with private landlords.

with no job, horrid credit, and ssd, i'm going to need a cosigner, probably my grandparents.

what do i say when they ask me what i do for a living? or where i work? how do i approach all of this? will management companies even consider me? is it enough to have a cosigner or do you think they need to rent it in their name for me?


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That's a good question.

I guess it all depends on where you live and the property managers/renter/apartment companies.

By law, they are not supposed to discriminate on the basis of disability. I think that if you tell them that you receive SSDI, they are not allowed to ask the nature of your disability. I think they are allowed to ask if you will be needing accommodations. Anyways, I would give it a try. If they ask about employment or sources of income, state you receive SSDI (and SSI, if that is the case) as an income source. Don't disclose that the disability is mental. They don't need to know that. That shows that you have a steady source of income. If I were you, I would apply directly and mention that you would receive SSDI/SSI and have a co-signer for your lease.

Of course, there are allowed to do a credit check. This part could trip you up. Of course, they might allow co-signers. But don't ask me----I am not too familiar. But I do know that it all depends.

I do know that where I live, the HUD/Section 8 has a 2 to 6 year waiting list just when you put in an application!

Of course, the catch is that in California (and other places, as well), SSDI/SSI does not pay enough to live on! Even though the intent of the program is to provide enough money for food, clothing, and shelter for the disabled individual! And the joke is that many disabled individuals are homeless! I believe that in many communities, being homeless puts you in a "priority" category for "Section 8 Housing". And getting a "safe" place to live is beside the point! Which really disturbs me, especially for single women who are even more at risk! Of course, Section 8 is not an "entitlement" program. Nowhere in any Constitution is the right to shelter guaranteed.

Another less-than-optimal approach would be to use some of the money from SSDI/SSI to get a vacancy in hotel rooms for some portion of each month. Then use a homeless shelter for the rest of the portion of each month. Move to a town by a beach (may I suggest Santa Barbara, California?) and try to sleep on the beach during the day and medications allow. Move your location to avoid harassment. I am extremely concerned for the homeless women! How does the SSA expect people to live on such little support?

I guarantee that your Congresspeople are doing NOTHING to resolve the problem and will continue to do NOTHING to resolve the problem!

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Landlords are not supposed to discriminate against you, but they do. Where I live, good old boston, they know how to hide it well. I worked as a housing advocate here for 5 years in a homeless shelter. People respond differently when they think a disability is physical. Its a shitty fact. But it is a fact. They have no right to ask you about your disability, but you can kinda mis lead them to believe that it is physical. You have to do what you need to do. Start getting your name on subsidized housing lists now!! Lots of times housing authorities tell people that the waiting times are longer than they actually are to discourage people from applying!! Again, a shitty thing that years of experience has proven to be fact!!! Bryan is right, depending on where you live, safe outdoor options may be available. Like campgrounds, being a woman you have to extra careful that you are not putting yourself out there. Is your tdoc from the area? Maybe he/she knows of something in the area. Talk to people you know in your circle, maybe someone knows someone. Good luck loon and be safe.

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thank you all so far-

thankfully, i don't have to live at a shelter, outside, or in an unsafe neighborhood. my grandparents are willing to subsidize what SSDI will not cover in terms of my rent and stuff to live on. i get over 800 in SSD and foodstamps, along with the medical, so i can afford something. they're willing to cosign and also pony up money when it is necessary to keep me in my apartment.

the real problem is getting landlords past the fact that i'm on disability (and don't have that all-important JOB) and that my credit sucks, to looking at my grandparents as the people who take responsibility for me financially in the end and looking at their assets and credit.

i'm thinking my best bet would be to tell the either landlord or person showing me the place, at some early point, that i am on disability and that my grandparents would be taking financial responsibility for my lease. i've had cosigners before, and i've also been denied having a cosigner before. i'm thinking private landlords may be nicer when it comes to that stuff.

do you think that's a plan? just see if they'll accept my grandparents as cosigners?

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