Are you in need to pay off your rent due to a financial emergency? Many Americans find themselves in this situation. Not being able to pay rent can be terrifying for people as most rental agreements have a small grace period and can lead to eviction.
Before you go and get a loan, you should understand and evaluate other options that are available in your neighborhood for rental assistance. If a medical expense or any other financial emergency is forcing you to miss you rent payment, then we recommend that you check options to take care of these situations. Take a look at below options to see if any of these might work for you.
State Or Local Government Programs
Federal rental assistance
Housing Choice Voucher Program allows you to use the voucher to pay for all or part of the rent. As per HUD, Eligibility for a housing voucher is determined by the PHA based on the total annual gross income and family size and is limited to US citizens and specified categories of non-citizens who have eligible immigration status.
In 2017, HUD budget was $48.2 billions. Even keeping funding for HUD programs at their 2017 levels next year would cause the loss of housing vouchers for 100,000 families due to rising rents and other factors.
- 85 percent of budget spent in rental assistance.
- $41.1 Billions toward housing vouchers.
- Public housing funding fell by 21 percent between 2010 and 2016 after adjusting for inflation.
Most of voucher 8 Program fund is spent on senior citizens with age above 62 & adults with childerns.
- 47 percent fund spent to help citizens with childerns.
- 21 percent to help elderly.
- 28 percent of available fund to help disable.
Privately owned subsidized housing
HUD helps apartment owners offer reduced rents to low-income tenants. Subsidized housing is owned and operated by private owners who receive subsidies in exchange for renting to low- and moderate-income people. Owners may be individual landlords or for-profit or nonprofit corporations. Subsidized housing can be obtained through vouchers, where the subsidy is used by a tenant to find rental housing in the private market and is paid to a private landlord. This subsidy stays with the tenant.
To be eligible for subsidized housing, your income must be below certain income limits. You must also meet other qualifications.
Public Housing, the housing authority owns your building and is your landlord. In a few cases, a private company may manage the building for the housing authority or may be part of the ownership, but the building is still controlled by the housing authority. affordable apartments for low-income families, the elderly and persons with disabilities.
Income limits for public housing and vouchers are set by the government and change every year. Income limits for multifamily subsidized housing vary from development to development.
Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)
Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program allows you to find your own place and use the voucher to pay for all or part of the rent.
Under the Section 8 voucher program, your contribution to rent is fairly simple math. Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program will pay the balance of a rent payment that exceeds 30% of a renters monthly income. The formula to calculate the amount paid to your landlord by the assistance looks like this. So, if your monthly income is $2,000, you would pay $600 toward the rent ($2,000 X 30%).
Programs sponsored by your state or local government
Your state or local government might have programs that provide rental assistance, complementing federal programs. Many states as well as local governments operate agencies that administer public assistance type programs that can provide help paying rent, security deposits, storage fees or other housing expenses.
State & City Funded Rental Housing Programs
The National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes.
NLIHC goals are to preserve existing federally assisted homes and housing resources, expand the supply of low income housing, and establish housing stability as the primary purpose of federal low income housing policy.
Some examples of assistance available through states (in addition to vouchers discussed above),
- New Jersey has “State Rental Assistance Program” is available to state residents that are not currently holders of federal Section 8 vouchers.
- Massachusetts has Alternative Housing Voucher Program (AHVP), that provides transitional tenant-based assistance to single adults with disabilities who are below the age of 60 and who are eligible for state public housing. The RAFT Program is a homelessness prevention program funded by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). RAFT provides short-term financial assistance to low-income families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
To learn more about rental assistance available through your state, you can check those requirements here.
The rental assistance is offered either by issuing free grants and there are many other government housing benefits available as well. Each state run program is focused on offering short term financial assistance to help pay a portion of the rent that is due, and this is done in an effort to reduce homelessness in the community. The goal is to provide temporary rental assistance to low to moderate income tenants.
There are many local non-profit organizations such as churches, parishes, county social services that offer assistance to low income families. Most of these organizations make direct payments to your landlord. Some of the agencies may provide ongoing financial aid. You should look out for religious organizations (few listed below) in your neighborhood and other non-profits such as RedCross, SalvationArmy as they provide support to people regardless of religion, or background. If they are not able to help you make rent payment, they can help you in getting touch with non-profits that can.
Financial Help & Housing Programs
Catholic Charities – provide financial help, cash assistance, affordable housing, refugee services and other resources in a crisis to needy families. They help people, regardless of their faith, who are struggling with poverty and other complex issues. Through emergency shelter and bridge and crisis housing programs, homeless individuals are offered a safe haven and the tools needed to lead self-sufficient lives. To find catholic charity in your area please visit Get Help page on their website.
Financial Aid & Food Programs
Jewish Foundation of Noth America – through its network of 300+ local non-profits, work to provide financial aid, food and other support, provide a lifeline for Jews and non-Jews in distress, at home, in Israel and across the globe.
Single Mothers Home Sharing
Another option that you should explore is to share your housing expenses with someone in similar situation. Organizations such as CoAbode help put single mothers in contact with other moms so that they can share their housing expenses. The House Share program welcomes any mothers raising children alone whether because of divorce, circumstance, or due to the death of a partner.
The majority of those currently registered with CoAbode are between the ages of 25 and 49 (89%). CoAbode receives a high number of appeals from single mothers who are distressed or disabled.
Home Share Program
The Home Share Program provides a homeowner as well as the home sharer with access to affordable housing and mutual support. They matches individuals together, does background checks, and stays in contact with all clients. Staff will put Home Providers (people who have a room to rent) in contact with Home Seekers, who are individuals looking for a room or place to rent. The service promotes and encourages living arrangements in which people share a home or apartment based on preferences, common needs, and interests. Each client application is reviewed and screened. The arrangement will be custom made as it is well known that matches parties together is not a simple or quick process.
Affordable Resident Services
The charity operates housing in most states. The apartments and units are for low income families or individuals. There are also a number of homes dedicated to senior citizens, the disabled, veterans, or single moms and parents. This is one of the nation’s leading faith based charities when it comes to providing affordable housing and case management services.
Senior Housing & Support for Formerly Homeless
The charity operates in most states. What they provide is either supportive or permanent housing to individuals and families. They do focus on senior citizens and the elderly, but low income apartments may also be available for any formerly homeless individuals, single parents or moms, and the disabled. Clients of National Church charity organization also gain self-sufficiency, job placement, financial management and other support.
Homeless housing and prevention services
Prevention is always the first goal, as it is less impactful to the individual and it also costs less money to provide short term help then it does to provide shelter or other rehousing services. The National Coalition for the Homeless has some information on local agencies that can offer emergency financial help, whether it is grants for rental costs or a utility bill.
Another goal is to try to get every individual and family into some form of safe and affordable housing, whether it is an apartment or some other type of center.
Most of these organizations do have some limitations and qualifications criteria for providing the help. Benefits Explorer is a comprehensive database that helps you identify the organizations and programs for which you might be eligible for based on your situation. This tool automatically:
- filters the results based on your location,
- validates your information against the qualification criteria that is publically available, and
- provides contact information for the organizations.
Start your search find all elibible rent assistance program by clicking here. Final decision on whether financial aid is granted or not is up to the organization.