Does rental assistance really exist for single mothers?
Yes. Assistance for paying rent does exist, and this program is not just available for single mothers. The rental assistance is provided for any family which is unable to afford the rent. If your monthly income is low relative to the median income of the area you are living in, you are likely to get approved for rental assistance from the HUD [Department of housing and urban development].
Rental Assistance for Single Mothers
Where to apply for rental assistance?: To apply for rental assistance, visit the local public housing agency – “PHA”. These government agencies administer the program and are also responsible for overseeing the entire process. You can find contact information of a local PHA here – link. Get in touch with them today to know about the availability of assistance in your area and also the application procedure. We have also given more specifics of the rental assistance program below. If interested in knowing them, please read on.
How much grant money would i receive through this program?: This is one of the most frequently asked questions in regard to rental assistance. A family approved for this program will receive financial assistance in such a way that no more than 30 percent of the household income is spent towards paying rent. While you pay a small part of the rent, housing agency will pay the remain majority portion of the rent directly to the landlord every month.
What other help can the government offer me?: You can get assistance with other expenses such as daycare, health insurance, household expenditure, etc,. If interested in these assistance programs, please read our guides below:
TANF – Cash assistance – Offers information on cash assistance provided by the state government,
Government grants – Offers information on grants available to single moms,
Private grants and aid – As opposed to help from government, this page deals with finding aid offered by non profit organizations and foundations.
Back to “Federal Housing Assistance Programs”:
Bear in mind that the federal government doesn’t provide direct assistance for housing. Instead, the money is distributed to the states where local housing authorities and other agencies administer the funds. There are several of these federal programs designed to help you pay rent or even purchase a home. Again, your local United Way is a great place to begin. In most areas you will be directed to a local “Public Housing Authority (PHA)” to make an application. Here are a few things to know about federally-funded housing programs:
- If your annual gross income is less than 80% of the median income in the county you are living, you are possibly eligible for housing assistance under the federal HOME program. There are several elements to this program, and one of these is the American Dream Down Payment Initiative (ADDI). This program is designed to provide low-income, first-time home buyers with money for down payments and closing costs when purchasing a home.
- The federal Housing Choice Voucher Program helps you rent a single family home (including apartments and mobile homes). In some cases the vouchers can even be used to purchase a home.
- A program popularly referred to Section Eight provides rental assistance to obtain and stay in program approved private homes, apartments or mobile homes.
- If you own your home, the Making Home Affordable Program (MHAP) helps prevent foreclosure by modifying your mortgage payment or even refinancing your home.
- If you are a veteran, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) provides a mortgage guarantee, making it easier to obtain a loan to purchase a home.
- The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) provides a guarantee similar to the VA program to those meeting certain eligibility guidelines.
- HUD programs geared specifically for helping homeless people include the Supportive Housing Program (SUP) and the Emergency Shelter Grant Program (ESGP). SUP helps pay for homeless people accommodations while ESGP funds are used to improve the quality of homeless shelters and establish new ones. If you are a homeless disabled woman, HUD provides grants for the Shelter Plus Care Program. If you are able to pay up to 30% of your monthly adjusted income for rent, you may be eligible for this program that helps pay rent.
- If you are a senior citizen and own your home, the Home Equity Conversion Program, insures what are known as reverse mortgages. This allows you to make a loan against a certain amount of equity you may have in the home.
- Specific federal assistance programs are available if you are a Native American.
- The United States Department of Agriculture administers the Section 502 Program. Funds are available through the Rural Housing Service and are loans for the purpose of purchasing or repairing single-family homes in rural areas. Further information is available through your Rural Development State Office.
A Few Other Things to Know
If your situation is an emergency, many local agencies offer some form of emergency assistance. Funds can be meager though, often limiting assistance to certain amounts and number of times used.
If you face eviction, keep in mind that in most states landlords cannot evict a tenant. This usually has to be through a court order. If you aren’t sure or if you believe you are being evicted unfairly, your local legal aid agency may be able to help you.
More Resources where you can get help:
- Your local department of social services.
- The Salvation Army.
- Catholic Social Services.
- Your local Christian Ministry (may have different names).
- If you have been a victim of a disaster, such as a house fire, the American Red Cross might help.
- Bridge of Hope National, 1-866-670-HOPE.
- Mercy Housing, 1-866-338-0057.
- National Council of State Housing Agencies, http://www.ncsha.org/resources.
- Florence Crittenton Services – Sarah’s House (Mother/Child Program), 1-800-448-0024.
- Our Families, Our Future, 1-307-778-0094.
- Most homeless shelters maintain a directory of local housing assistance.
What about help for buying a home?
If you want to stop living in a rental apartment and are thinking of becoming a homeowner, you are in for a surprise. Financial assistance programs are also available for low income families that want to buy a home. It has to be noted that many of these programs require you to be a first time home buyer. If the sizable down payment seems to be the only barrier to becoming a homeowner, you can apply for the down payment assistance grants. Once your application for these grants become approved, you can use the grant for paying both the down payment and the closing costs.
Need more information related to rental assistance?
If you are not looking to buy a home yet but just need information related to help with rent, have a look at the below page at HUD: