Public Assistance Ideas

1 Reply

Hello All,

I have a 4-plex in Jenkintown, PA (Montgomery County). I bought it back in November 2018 and have replaced 3 of the 4 previous low-paying tenants. The one remaining is a 69 year old man with no job and some health issues. He's a nice guy and has been paying his rent on time every month. I'd love for him to stay. The only problem is that his rent is $505 (1 bed/1 bath apartment). That includes cold water, hot water, trash, and heat. Compare that to the $1192 that the girl in the renovated 1-bedroom apartment across the hall is paying which also includes cold water, hot water, trash, and heat.

Now, I don't want to kick the guy out because he has nowhere to go, and he can't afford anything else in the area. He gets $793 from SSI and $194 in food stamps. That's just under $1000 per month to live off of. Doesn't sound like much! And I'd hate to just raise the rent, but I'd also hate to miss out on $8000 per year ($600-$700 per month).

So, I'm looking for a win-win here; a way for him to have some more money AND for us to be able to raise the rent a little. Any suggestions on public assistance programs that this tenant could take advantage of? Would calling the Social Security office and requesting an increase in his SSI payment do any good?

As far as I know, my property is not Section 8 certified, but he and I submitted an application to the Montgomery County Housing Authority just to get the ball rolling (even though I understand there is a very long waiting list).

Any other ideas? Thanks!

Chris Sweeney

Definitely check out the public assistance options through MontCo, although there are so many applicants it ends up going to a lottery. I know St Luke’s in a Glenside has a program where they’ll subsidize rent for low income folks (St. Vincent De Paul Society I think) I’ve had a tenant utilize them a few times over the years; although I think it may be emergency assistance only. 

You may also try to get his name on the assisted living facility by Holy Redeemer (they simply take social security and that’s it; although it’s anther wait list). 

At the end of the day there aren’t many options. You can do what you can, but it’ll ultimately be on him to find a suitable place. Maybe give him a year’s notice on a rent increase and go from there?