Can seniors afford housing with Social Security benefits? | Opinion

The housing market makes most metropolitan cities unaffordable, even for those not considered low-income.

While middle-aged youth and adults have the opportunity to work more and earn more to continue living in their homes, this is not the reality for seniors.

The average Social Security retirement benefit was $1,567.49 per month in Utah for the year 2020. According to, the average rent in Salt Lake City was $1,651 for an 834-square-foot apartment. Now we need to consider Medicare payments and copays and the cost of nutritious food. We see that budgets for this vulnerable population are incredibly thinly distributed.

There are affordable housing specifically for people over 55, but those applications warn that the waiting list could be several months or several years. Not to mention the number of applications received per affordable home. We owe it to this population to have programs in place to intervene before they risk entering the hideout and then playing the waiting game for these affordable units.

While these existing housing programs are appreciated, there is a greater need for more affordable units and not luxury apartments.

Hannah Lee


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