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Guide to Senior Apartments in 2023

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Senior apartments are an affordable option for older adults who want access to independent living, basic amenities, and a supportive network of neighbors. Most of these communities have an age minimum for residents, and they feature basic amenities such as laundry facilities, courtyards, clubhouses, pools, and other shared spaces. Some senior apartment complexes also provide maintenance and housekeeping services along with 24/7 emergency assistance.

In this guide, I’ll discuss why senior apartments may be a cost-effective choice and cover some of the benefits of living with other seniors as opposed to alone.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking for more affordable independent living options, read our guide to senior housing alternatives.

What Are Senior Apartments?

Senior apartments are communities reserved for people over the age of 55 or, in some cases, 62. They are more affordable than other senior housing options that require a purchase, but they are generally smaller than senior townhomes or condos.

There is noticeably less upkeep, yard work, and maintenance involved with a senior apartment, as the complex takes care of pesticide control, gardening, sanitation, and trash, among other maintenance. Senior apartments also don’t have monthly HOA fees––just rent.

Like any apartment building, amenities vary widely from one community to another. Some affordable communities have minimal shared spaces, while more upscale senior apartments may include access to fine dining, senior resident events, day spa services, and even wellness centers.

FYI: Living in a senior apartment can give you the flexibility to travel without worrying about maintenance, water leaks, or other issues. Read my senior travel guide to find your next travel destination.

Who Should Consider Senior Apartments?

Senior apartments are ideal for people who want to downsize and relinquish the maintenance tasks of living in a house. They offer the freedom to travel without worrying about what’s going to happen to your apartment while you’re gone. Depending on the number of amenities and maintenance services your complex provides, you won’t have to deal with major upkeep costs.

Most senior communities are exclusive to people over the age of 55, but the age minimum is 62 in some states.

Who Qualifies for Senior Apartments?

Senior apartments have age restrictions to reserve the community primarily for older adults. There are some exceptions to the rules, since some communities allow residents to have a younger individual live with them as long as one member of the household meets the minimum age requirement. For more information on how to qualify for a “55 or older” housing exemption, visit the Housing and Urban Development website.

Can Children and Spouses Live in Senior Apartments?

In some cases, children and spouses can live in senior apartments. Usually, one member of the household must meet the minimum age requirement so younger members can reside in the same apartment. The Fair Housing Act provides exemptions from liability or familial status discrimination for older adults with family members who are younger than 18. The Housing for Older Persons exemptions apply when a senior facility is designed to assist “elderly persons.”

For a facility to qualify for a housing exemption for older persons, it needs to meet specific requirements. One of the requirements is that at least 80 percent of its units have at least one occupant who is 55 or over.

If you have a child or younger spouse who would live with you in a senior apartment, confirm with the property manager that it’s allowed.

Types of Senior Apartments

There are three levels of senior apartments that differ in cost and amenities.

Affordable Senior Apartments

If you have limited income, you can look into low-income or subsidized housing options for financial assistance. These communities often participate in federal programs to offer more affordable rental options for seniors. They will likely offer fewer amenities than other options, but their pricing makes them a good choice.

As with anything related to housing, price varies depending on the location. These communities generally cost less than comparable non-senior apartments in the same areas.

Market-Rate Apartments

Market-rate apartments generally go for the market rental price in a given area. Compared to affordable senior apartments, market-rate apartments offer competitive rent compared to traditional apartments for all ages. Amenities often include transportation, dining, pools, and cleaning and maintenance services.


Luxury apartments for seniors are the most expensive compared to other options. Amenities often include health and wellness centers, pools, spas, fine dining, group fitness classes, and game rooms. Price varies greatly depending on location, square footage, and amenities, but it typically starts around $5,300 per apartment unit.

Caregiving in Senior Apartments

Care generally is not provided in senior apartments, even for custodial needs. If you require assistance with medication management or other tasks of daily living, then a senior apartment is likely not the best option for you.

Although assisted living costs significantly more than a senior apartment, it provides assistance with mobility, dressing, and meals that you won’t find in senior apartments. To learn more about assisted living, read our guide: What Is Assisted Living?

Amenities of Senior Apartments

The amenities senior apartments provide depend on many factors. A luxury senior apartment may offer more recreational or entertainment amenities, whereas a market-rate senior apartment may offer more basic amenities such as walk-in tubs or linen service.

Here’s a general breakdown of some amenities that may be offered at senior apartments:

Basic Amenities

  • Private or shared apartments (studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, suites)
  • Laundry rooms
  • Community pools
  • Patio areas or balconies
  • Walk-in tubs
  • Transportation services

Luxury Amenities

  • Wellness centers
  • Chapel and worship centers
  • Computer rooms
  • Private theaters
  • Sports courts
  • Wheelchair accessibility
  • Group exercise classes
  • Meal preparation
  • Beauty and personal care salon

Did You Know: Did you know you can install a walk-in tub in only one day? To learn more, read our guide to walk-in tubs and our rundown of this year’s best walk-in tubs.

How Much Do Senior Apartments Cost?

The cost of senior apartments varies greatly depending on your location and the type of amenities you’re looking for. The number of senior renters is growing nationwide, and senior renters are projected to reach 31 percent of the rental population by 2035.

The average cost of senior apartments ranges from $800 to $6,000 for luxury apartments in some states. I’ve compiled approximate prices for market-rate senior apartments below, but prices will vary.

  • California: $1,300+ per month
  • Texas: $1,100+ per month
  • Ohio: $600+ per month
  • Florida: $400+ per month

Low-Income Senior Apartments

For seniors who have limited income or savings, low-income or government-subsidized senior apartments may be a good option. You can inquire about senior-specific rental programs or other low-cost rentals in your neighborhood by visiting your city government website or local senior center. These units usually are available to individuals aged 55 or older.

You can also look into subsidized housing or federal and local programs for seniors. You can apply for rental assistance with a Housing Choice Voucher to pay for partial or full rent.

Eligibility for a housing voucher depends on your total annual gross income, family size, and other criteria. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, your income can’t exceed 50 percent of the median income for the area you want to live. Other criteria, such as assets and verification of employment, will also determine your program eligibility.

You can also apply for an affordable apartment through a public housing agency in your state or find other affordable senior apartments using HUD’s Search for an Apartment feature.

How to Choose a Senior Apartment

When choosing a senior apartment, consider the amenities, square footage, and other unique features it may offer. I’ve drafted a few questions to ask yourself when deciding on a senior apartment.

  • Does the apartment offer amenities such as community events, gaming rooms, and a wellness center for exercising and group activities?
  • Is the apartment pet-friendly? If so, are there breed restrictions?
  • Are residents and staff approachable and supportive?
  • Is the neighborhood safe and within walking distance of important destinations?
  • Is the apartment complex wheelchair accessible? Are there handrails, limited stairways, or grab bars?
  • Is the complex rent controlled?
  • Are there multiple floor plans?
  • Can I have a family member live in the apartment with me?
  • Are transportation services provided?
  • Does the apartment offer 24/7 emergency assistance or surveillance cameras?
  • Are the apartments furnished or unfurnished?
  • Does the apartment accept housing vouchers for low-income seniors?
  • Are there common areas (computer rooms, a recreation center, etc.) or on-site laundry facilities?
  • Is parking safe and easy to find?
  • How far is the apartment complex from other senior amenities?

How to Find a Senior Apartment

Finding a senior apartment is an important step in your new journey. If you’ve lived alone for a while or you’re contemplating a change in scenery, a senior apartment may be a good change.

I recommend reviewing your budget before deciding how much you’re willing to pay for rent. I also recommend reaching out to local senior centers or finding county-based senior housing resources in your state. You can search for local senior or 55-and-up housing communities near you to inquire about rentals. Look into square footage, amenities, pet-friendly units, and whether the complex you’re looking at has a supportive staff and community.

For more information about apartments, homeownership, or general housing advice, check out the following guides:

  • 2023 Guide to Senior Housing
  • Resources for Seniors
  • List of Best Assisted Living Facilities
  • Low-Income Assisted Living
  • Apartments for Seniors
  • Medicare and Medicaid Coverage of Assisted Living
  • Medicare and Madecaid Coverage of Nursing Homes
  • Assisted Living vs. Nursing Homes
  • Senior Townhomes
  • Condos for Seniors

Frequently Asked Questions

Senior apartments are different from traditional apartments because the units are usually reserved only for residents over age 55.

To qualify for senior apartment housing, one member of the household needs to be at least 55 years old. Younger family members can reside in the unit as long as the older adult qualifies for the housing exemption.

Some of the many benefits of living in a senior apartment include affordable rent, community living, access to many amenities, and less upkeep and maintenance.

You can search for senior apartments on websites such as or inquire with your city government about senior services or resources for senior housing in your area.

Both options are great for older adults, but it all boils down to preference and need. If you’re looking for independent living with a supportive network of seniors, I’d recommend senior apartments. If you need assistance with medication management or other personal care services, I’d recommend an assisted living facility.

Written By

Amie Clark

Amie has been writing about senior care products and services for the last decade. She is particularly passionate about new technologies that help improve the quality of life for seniors and their families. Seeing her parents and grandparents age made Amie ask herself, “Would this be good enough for my loved ones?” In her spare time, Amie enjoys outdoor adventures and spontaneous road trips. Learn more about Amie here