Buying a home with only disability income may seem like an impossible dream to some people. Depending on the borrower's personal circumstances, it may be possible to purchase a home while receiving benefits.
Advantages of Home Ownership for People with Disabilities
Many people who live with a physical or mental disability don't own their own home. Instead, they live in institutions, group homes, or with their parents. These are not the best living arrangements to foster a sense of independence.
When a person with a disability owns his or her own home, that individual may feel more like a part of the community. This type of living arrangement allows them to feel connected to others in a way that living in an environment where someone else makes the rules does not.
Buying a Home with Only Disability Income
Not everyone who is disabled has a condition that has dated from birth. It's more likely that a person who is currently receiving disability benefits had his or her ability to earn an income affected by illness or an injury. In that case, he or she may have savings, investments, or other financial resources that can be used to help determine eligibility for a mortgage.
Under federal law, lenders are prohibited from discriminating against people who have a mental or physical disability. A disabled person is subject to the same criteria as anyone else when applying for financing to buy a house.
The main factors that determine whether buying a home with only disability income is possible is whether the individual qualifies for a mortgage based on creditworthiness, debt-to-income ratio and other factors. Depending on the amount of savings and other assets involved, a person with a disability may be able to buy his or her own home. Not everyone with disabilities fall within the low income bracket because of their substantial savings, so for some prospective buyers receiving disability income, buying a home is a real possibility.
Financial Help for People with Disabilities
An individual with a disability can apply for financial help through the Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers program though the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This is a housing program run by the federal government that provides assistance to low and moderate-income families with disabilities who want to rent or buy a home by offering subsidies to qualified applicants. This program is available to first-time home buyers and also provides assistance to people who need help making their mortgage payments.
Eligibility for Section 8 Program
To be eligible for the Section 8 Program, no member of the disabled person's immediate family may have owned a home during the past three years. An exception will be made in the case of a single parent or a person who was a homemaker who owned a home while married.
The minimum financial requirement to qualify for the program is a monthly Social Security benefit of $552 ($6,624 per year). The applicant will need to contact the local Public Housing Agency to find out whether it offers a home ownership voucher program.
The applicant will also need to find an eligible home to purchase. Once the application for assistance has been approved, the disabled person will receive a payment every month to be used toward mortgage payments.
The HUD program can make buying a home with only disability income a reality for qualified individuals. To find out more about the Section 8 program, visit the HUD web site.