How to Find Housing Rentals Based on Your Income

How to Find Housing Rentals Based on Your Income


The economy is slow. The real estate market sucks. Its cheaper to just rent a flat or apartment nowadays. But, with money not flowing and jobs becoming more scarce everyday, even the most reasonably priced rentals are too expensive.


There’s help for low income families that’s not available to higher incomes. There are programs like Section 8 and subsidized housing that are here to help, but they don’t make the information readily available. So you have to research and find out the programs and housing opportunities.


There are a few places you can look, depending on your situation.


The first is MSHDA, which is the MI State Housing Development Authority. They offer listings of all subsidized apartments, townhouses, and detached housing. If you visit their website , you will find more information and the following links that will direct you to the search engine for the listings.

  • Subsidized Housing Inventory
  • Michigan Housing Locator

Now, this is just a database for you to work from. Now here’s what you have to do. You are going to have to call each complex and ask if they have any subsidized units available for rental.

  • If they don’t, you may be asked if you would like to get your name on the waiting list. In most cases the waiting list will be anywhere from 3 months to 5 years. So make sure you ask.
  • If they do have units available, they will ask you to come in to fill out an application. Some places charge an app fee, but not all. Usually the fee is around $10 – $25.
  • Also, some complexes charge for a background check, but their leasing manager will let you know if that fee applies. This is a great resource.


Subsidized housing complexes base their rental fees on your income. So be prepared to provide proof of how much you make (including everyone in your household that is old enough to work). The process may take a while depending on how many applicants management has to review, but when they do contact you be prepared.


Don’t miss your opportunity because you aren’t ready. When I got my subsidized apartment, I went and put in an application and waited until a letter came in the mail telling me to call them, the same day they allowed me to come in, view the apartment, and leave a deposit to secure the rental. You have to be ready because there’s a lot of competition for this type of housing. So I can’t stress enough, be ready with as much cash and paperwork as possible so that no one can take your spot.


Are you looking for Section 8 rental assistance, but you never hear about the waiting lists opening up?


  • During a search to find cites with available Section 8 vouchers, I ran across a website that allows you to register with your email address.
  • Any time a waiting list opens and applications are being accepted, you will get an email a few days in advance with when, where, and instructions on how to apply.
  • The website is for the Community Housing Network. They provide information and resources for finding low income housing and other various issues.


They provide you with Section 8 alerts for the state of Michigan. This is a real site and they do not spam your email, I have been register with this site for over a year.


I have made it my mission to seek out these low income housing opportunities and will continue to keep you all updated when new organizations and sites appear. This will be an on going project so chec back often. Good luck on your search for housing and remember you are not alone.