Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Housing Terminology Everyone Should Know

You thought you had all the different types of housing figured out, such as Modular, Tiny House, Multi-story, and others. Those are types of houses not types of housing. For example, Affordable is a type of housing, not a house style.

Here is a glossary of housing terms that many might not have known existed.

Types of Housing - by Length of Stay
Permanent Housing - This just means that there is no time limit on how long you can reside in the housing or receive the housing assistance. It is meant to be long-term. “Permanent supportive housing” (or PSH) is just permanent housing that makes support services available to help you maintain your housing and access community resources.

Transitional Housing - This means that there is a time limit on how long you can stay in the housing or receive housing assistance. HUD defines transitional housing as stays of up to 24 months (but stays can be shorter).

Short-Term or Temporary Housing - This means that the housing situation is intended to be very short-term or temporary (30, 60, or 90 days or less). Emergency Shelter Provides a place to stay or bed to sleep in overnight if you become homeless or otherwise experience a housing crisis and have no place to go.

Types of Housing - by Level of Support
Independent Living - This means that you are able to live on your own without help with daily living. Most housing is designed for independent living.

Assisted Living -This type of housing provides on-site services to help people with their daily living when they are not really able to live on their own. It can be permanent or for a period of time. Examples include: nursing homes, long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, special-care facilities, and hospice/respite care facilities.

Types of Housing - by Type of Assistance
Market-Rate Housing - Refers to properties that are rented or owned by people who pay market rent to lease the property or paid market value when they bought the property. There is no subsidy for housing.

Affordable Housing - Refers to properties that were originally built using a tax subsidy and are now required to provide below-market rents for low-income people, persons with disabilities, and/or seniors. Examples include Low-Income Housing, Disabled Housing, and Senior Housing.

Subsidized Housing (Tenant-Based) - Provides a voucher to you to choose where you want to live in the community and lease from a private landlord that will accept the voucher. The program then pays an ongoing monthly subsidy to help you with your rent and utilities. You are usually required to pay at least 30% of your income toward your rent and utilities, and usually, your subsidy is limited by fair market rent (FMRs). Since it is tenant-based, the assistance is tied to your voucher. So, if you move, the voucher typically moves with you to another property. An example is a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher

Subsidized Housing (Project-Based) - Project-based housing assistance requires you to live in a housing unit at the property that is being subsidized. You are usually required to pay at least 30% of your income toward your rent/utilities. Since it is project-based, the assistance is tied to the property. So, if you move, you lose your housing assistance.

Homeless Prevention - Provides assistance for persons who have their own apartment or house to prevent them from becoming homeless. This type of assistance helps with past due rent, mortgage, or utility bills.

Types of Housing - by Design
Multi-Family Dwellings - This housing is designed for many families to live on the property where each family only has exclusive use of the portion of the property (unit) that they are leasing or own (for example, apartments, condominiums, lofts, and co-ops).

Single Family Dwellings - A single-family dwelling refers to a dwelling (house) on a property designed to be occupied by only one family.

Single Room Occupancy (SRO) - An SRO unit is a single room designed to house only one person at a time. It may be smaller than a typical bedroom, and may only include a bed and storage space for personal belongings. An SRO unit provides living and sleeping space for the exclusive use of the tenant, but requires the tenant to share a bathroom and/or kitchen areas.

Manufactured Home (or Mobile Home) - A manufactured home is a mobile home that is connected to permanent utility hookups, is located on land is owned by the homeowner or on land at which he/she leases a space (such as a mobile home park), and is attached to real property (with a permanent foundation). This includes mobile homes but excludes motor homes, trailers, recreational vehicles or RVs, and other like vehicles with wheels on the ground.

Boarding Homes, Rooming Houses, or Group Homes - A boarding (or rooming) house is an establishment primarily engaged in renting rooms, with or without board, on a long-term basis. A rooming house typically provides only for the rental of rooms, while a boarding house provides meals and may offer such amenities as maid service and laundry service. A boarding or rooming house may be a single-family dwelling or a larger structure in which the owner rents out rooms to multiple families. They may be a lease. Group homes tend to look like boarding homes, but they are typically state-licensed facilities intended for occupancy by elderly persons and/or persons with disabilities.

Hotel or Motel (including extended stay) - A hotel or motel is an establishment primarily engaged in renting rooms for overnight stays for a short period of time, but can be extended stays. The customer typically does not have a written lease or occupancy agreement for the space.

Shared Housing - People who have a roommate are said to be living in “shared housing.” For example, if you share your 2-bedroom apartment with another person who is not part of your family, then you are living in shared housing – meaning there are two families living there, you and your roommate. This is important because, if you seek help with your housing expenses, a program will likely only assist you with your part of the expenses, not your roommate’s part.

Gary Fleisher, the Modcoach, writes Modcoach News and Modular Home Coach blogs as well as the best site for off-site consultants, Modcoach Connects

Contact Gary at modcoach@gmail.com

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