According to staffer Lisa Johnson Mandell, affordable housing is an umbrella term for the government-subsidized programs that help a variety of people (seniors, low-income families, etc.) find a place that they can afford to live. Examples of affordable housing include Section 8 and affordable housing built by private developers.

You are eligible for this type of housing if your combined family income is under 80% of your area's median income. But this income does not always guarantee housing:

Unfortunately, being eligible doesn’t mean you’ll actually get the help you need. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, under current funding levels, affordable housing programs can assist only approximately 4.8 million low-income families—that’s about 1 in 4 eligible households. And the waiting lists in some communities are extremely long. Cities such as Los Angeles have an estimated waiting list of more than 10 years!

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