How to Find Affordable Housing in Houston

September 03, 2021

Affordable housing is determined when a household spends less than 30% of income on rent or mortgage. When a household is spending above this amount, it is considered “cost-burdened.” Nearly 1 in 2 Houston renters are cost-burdened.

For example, let’s say you make $30,000 per year. Thirty percent of $30,000 is $9,000. Divide $9,000 by twelve and you get $750. Based on the definition above, $750 is the most you should spend per month on housing. Any amount over $750 means that housing isn’t affordable for you. Below are four affordable housing options available to Houston’s residents.

Affordable Housing Options in Houston

Public Housing

The Houston Housing Authority owns and manages 25 public housing and tax credit developments around the city. The agency’s programs provide affordable homes and services to more than 60,000 low-income Houstonians, including over 17,000 families housed through the Housing Choice Voucher Program and another 5,500 living in 25 public housing and tax credit developments around the city. At this time the Public Housing waitlist is closed. While the city does it’s best, there simply aren’t enough units to serve everyone.

Section 8

The City of Houston’s Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly Section 8) Moderate Rehabilitation Program (Mod Rehab) is a unit-based rental subsidy program. The Houston Housing Authority administers the program and HUD provides the funding. Income eligibility limits for the voucher program are set by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as percentages of the local area median income.

To qualify for the program, a household must qualify as “very low income.” This is defined by HUD as 30-percent below the area’s median income. As a result, an individual must earn $26,250 or less per year to qualify.

However, the Houston Housing Authority doesn’t have enough housing choice vouchers available to serve the city’s low-income residents. In fact, as of August 2021, the Public Housing waitlist in Houston is closed.

Traditional Renting

At PadSplit, we know it’s hard to find an affordable place to live through traditional methods. A quick search for Houston housing options doesn’t bring up a lot of options for rentals less than $1,000 per month.

Even if a rare, lower-priced unit pops up, it doesn’t include utilities, internet, laundry, or furniture. It also doesn’t include the application fee, security deposit, or first month’s rent. On average, tenants need around $2,400 in non-rent move-in costs for the traditional apartment.

Moreover, these apartment listings also came with minimum income requirements and minimum credit scores that put these homes outside the reach of the working class population.

Fortunately, there’s another (and better) option – PadSplit.


PadSplit was created to help fill Houston’s housing continuum gap by offering another affordable housing solution.

PadSplit is a membership program. For a low, fixed weekly payment, you get a private, furnished room, utilities, internet access, and laundry facilities. The rooms are hosted by property owners or managers who are also Members. PadSplit facilitates the relationships between everyone and manages all the paperwork like payment processing and background checks.

The average cost of a PadSplit? About $200 per week. And that includes utilities, internet, and laundry facilities. As a result, PadSplit Members save an average of $420 a month, and they’re able to use their savings to pay down debt or purchase a car.

PadSplit doesn’t require a minimum credit score to move in. In fact, the average score of PadSplit Members when entering is 469. Once you’re a Member, we’ll work with you to report your on-time payments to help build your credit history and improve your score. Nearly 88 percent of Members see an increase in their credit score.

We also don’t require hefty security deposits to move in. Your $29 application fee covers your background check, and we keep move-in costs below $300. Simply put, PadSplit is the best option for affordable housing in Houston. PadSplit is intentionally designed to fill the housing gap in Houston, one room at a time.


Ready to make the move? PadSplit has homes all over Houston, offering plenty of choices when it comes to different neighborhoods. Most of our homes are near bus lines, if not major transportation hubs, which means you don’t have to worry about the traffic. Become a Member today.

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