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GrandFamilies Guide

Raising Grandchildren: Housing Issues

Find assistance to locate or improve your home in order to care for a child

When you take on care of grandchildren, you may need to make some changes in your home to make sure it can safely accommodate them. Here are answers to frequently asked questions:

See also: GrandFamilies Resources.

I live in senior housing — can my grandchildren live with me?

Most public or private senior-only housing does not allow children to live there, and will only allow children to visit for a short period of time. Talk with the administrator or housing coordinator about your need to have your grandchildren live with you. Find out how long they can be there before you will have to move. Ask if you can stay there long enough to find other affordable, safe housing big enough for you and your grandchildren.

I have a low income. How I can I find affordable housing?

Go to your local Public Housing Authority (PHA) office and ask about public housing, which includes rental housing for families with lower incomes, the elderly and people with disabilities. Public housing might be a single family home, a duplex, a small apartment building or a high rise apartment.

Another option is Housing Choice Vouchers that will allow you to lease/rent or even purchase safe, low-cost privately owned apartments, townhouses or single family homes. With housing vouchers you get to choose the place you want to rent and are not limited to public housing. The owner has to agree to accept the voucher payments and the home has to be inspected and approved by the PHA.

Will I have to pass a home inspection to become a foster parent?

If your grandchildren have been in the custody of the state or if they are being abused or neglected and the state takes custody of the children, you might be able to become a foster parent to care for them. The state will look at your home to make sure it meets certain rules for health, safety and space. Federal rules say that relative foster parents have to abide by the same rules to be licensed as any foster parent. However, some states may waive certain rules for relative foster parents if they are not related to safety issues.

Next: Find home tax and utility assistance. »

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