My parents are being pushed out of their current rental apartment in Northern Virginia and need to locate a new rental by the end of October, but their circumstances are challenging and I need advice on how best to assist them.
August 25, 2011 3:16 AM   Subscribe

My parents are in their 70s and are on a fixed income– a fairly low fixed income– and were forced to declare bankruptcy last year due to significant medical bills. These medical issues also made it difficult for them to maintain their household, resulting in an accumulation of dirt and debris that has forced their current rental complex to issue a polite but firm eviction notice. I am attempting to relocate them much closer to me so that my family and I can provide regular assistance to them, both financial and day-to-day, but they've already been rejected by two rather modest rental complexes (including one at which they previously lived for 25 years). To complicate matters, my mother is in a wheelchair and needs an apartment with few or no barriers (stairs, hills, etc.). Moving them into my home is not an option for a variety of reasons. I'm trying to locate a rental apartment somewhere in Northern Virginia and at this point would take anything. Can anyone tell me where to turn?
posted by Jamesonian to Society & Culture (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you looked into a senior-living community? Or assisted living? At least, then, they can get Medicaid to help with the costs.

You might want to consult with an elder-care attorney, or someone similar who can help you chart-out their options for housing and financing.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:31 AM on August 25, 2011

Try the Area Agency on Aging and United Way in your area. They are good candidates for subsidized and/or senior housing. You might also be able to co-sign for them to help them get an apartment. Good luck.
posted by theora55 at 4:49 AM on August 25, 2011

Best answer: Lots of towns and cities in the US have subsidized housing for older people and handicapped people. These are handicapped-accessible and the rent is based on income. Some of these places are very nice. Here's a link for housing in Fairfax County.
posted by mareli at 5:08 AM on August 25, 2011

Best answer: Here is a link to search for HUD subsidized privately owned apartment complexes. Rent is based on income, each property is managed serpately. Some will specialize in elderly/disabled housing.

Additionally you may want to contact the local housing authority to see if they have elderly/disabled housing availible. A section 8 voucher though the housing authority would allow them to choose their own unit and move if they want to, while the link above would restrict them to assistance in the development they live in.
posted by birdbone at 5:40 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Can you co-sign the lease on one of the rejected apartments or on future applications to improve your chances of being approved?
posted by DarlingBri at 6:07 AM on August 25, 2011

Totally out of the box - is it financially possible for you to buy a place and rent to them?

Can they fight the eviction long enough to stay where they are until you can make other arrangements?

Another random thought - are either of them veterans who would qualify for benefits based on permanent disability? (My WWII veteran grandfather is going this route.)

Finally - sounds like they need a housekeeper. I hate to say this but I have seen a number of desperate unemployed people on Craigslist who are now willing to clean houses for very low rates.
posted by desjardins at 7:51 AM on August 25, 2011

I like DarlingBri's idea as a stop-gap until you can find/figure out whether there are senior housing options. Alternatively -- try to extend them in their existing home (negotiate with evicting landlords) until you determine a place for them to live permanently (to reduce the number of moves).
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 7:53 AM on August 25, 2011

Also -- since they don't have assets and have medical issues interfering with their ability to maintain their household they likely qualify for Medicaid long-term care services, which can be provided in their home.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 8:00 AM on August 25, 2011

The Medicare/Medicaid stuff can be a little confusing (at least to me), so you might want to call a government agency for assistance. It looks like the Virginia Department of Social Services or the Virginia Department for the Aging might be able to direct you.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 8:09 AM on August 25, 2011

ALso -- not to flood this question. But if they want to remain in their current apartment, albeit with home care and housekeeper services added, you can seek an extension of their eviction as a "reasonable accommodation" to their disabilities until the unit is brought into compliance. This is under the Fair Housing Act Amendments. Memail me if you need more information about this route.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 8:12 AM on August 25, 2011

Or to find your local Department of Aging via this page.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 8:13 AM on August 25, 2011

If their health has deteriorated to the point where they are unable to care for themselves/their home, is an apartment the best place for them? Having said that, are there any retirement communities located near your home? My mother in law in one, the community had all ranch style homes which made putting ramps in for her chair easy. My husband had to make some more specific mods to accommodate her disability, but it wasn't anything too crazy. There were a ton of them for rent at any given time, perhaps that is a better option for your family.
posted by crankylex at 9:44 AM on August 25, 2011

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