NYC housing for very low income people with disabilities?
August 5, 2008 12:36 PM Subscribe
My mother needs to find a new place to live. The house we currently live in will be set to go up for sale early next year. But repairs need to be made first, so my family would like us both to move ASAP. I’m looking at a move to Queens, but my mother has Multiple Sclerosis and has a limited income. All she has are her Social Security disability payments each month, which only come to about $600-700, and food stamps. I can’t afford to take her with me.
posted by cmgonzalez to Grab Bag (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
We’re currently living in Brooklyn, and that’s where she prefers to stay. She can’t get into those HUD housing lottery buildings because she doesn’t meet the minimum income level for a “low-income” apartment. Heh.
The city’s Section 8 application list has been closed since May ’07 (we’ve been looking since about July '07 - damn), so that’s out as an option. Public housing is likely out too, because the projects can be wildly dangerous, and you have no choice where they send you. You can only select two preferred boroughs, with no choice of buildings. There’s one housing project in a decent area where she has friends, but there’s absolutely no guarantee she’d wind up there. I wouldn’t want my mother sent to Brownsville or Jamaica. If anything dangerous would happen, she can't move fast to avoid it. Nevermind the potential of a years-long waiting list.
She’s contacted the MS Society and spoken to a social worker at the center where she goes for physical therapy. We haven’t found many options that aren't for senior citizens. What we have found are a building in Coney Island (Friendship, I think) she might try. And the Bishop Boardman building in Park Slope, which she is applying to tomorrow.
She needs a first floor apartment or a building with a reliable elevator. We currently live on the second floor. It’s hard for her to climb stairs, especially since she uses a walker to get around and has trouble taking it up and down. I assist her with things (big reason I still live with her), but she’s actually quite independent. She doesn’t need any sort of intense care type of situation. She uses the MTA Access-a-Ride, and she goes out frequently – an MS group, physical therapy, occupational therapy, classes, and sometimes doctor visits. She’s been with the same neurologist for over 25 years. And all her friends and family are here; moving someplace else all alone wouldn’t really be feasible.
What other options are there for someone who is very low-income and disabled as far as NYC housing is concerned? Is there any way to weasel somebody who isn’t a domestic violence victim or protected witness onto the Section 8 list? Brooklyn is highly preferred, but any suggestions are helpful. Since all her doctors and activities are in Brooklyn, it can't be far flung like Inwood.
Her sisters are the ones selling this house, and so far they’ve been way less than helpful. Suggestions included dumping her into the Staten Island trailer park, sending her out of state, or sending her to Queens with me. (I would if I could, but I can’t). One is harassing my mother a bit lately because she wants to get money from the sale already. The other lives in a million dollar totally redone house. Anyhow, Mom and I are determined to find her someplace decent where she can maybe even get one of those motorized scooters to make her even more independent.
I'm sure there are stones we haven't turned yet, so I come to all of you.
I looked at these already: http://ask.metafilter.com/52870/What-are-the-various-governmentsubsidized-housing-programs-in-New-York-City
http://ask.metafilter.com/mefi/7967 but they don't really help much, as the circumstances are different.