A guide to single parenting, scholarships, government grants, and finance

Rental assistance for single mothers – requirements

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:

http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD/topics/rental_assistance

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Comments

19 Responses to “Rental assistance for single mothers – requirements”
  1. Melanie Bayne says:

    I am unable to pay rent on time being threatend of getting evicted I have no were else to go I am a single mother of two I have been working since the age of fifteen not been able to further into a better career any help would be very much appreciated

  2. kelly alicea says:

    i am a single mom with two kids i moved to ca .got ajob about a year ago and then got laid off i just lost my house and am havin the hardest time ever my kids lives have changed turned upside dodown i dont know what to do this is last resort please help

  3. Tatamo says:

    Hi all!
    I’m a single mom, I’m unemployed but I live in Madagascar. Could you give me the way that I can find a financial aid for my bill or rent please.
    I prefer to have a job unstead that if you can.

    Thank you

    this is my mail : mada.soy[at]gmail.com

  4. Yvette says:

    I have a cousin who is supposed to be getting herself together to find employment and housing. Instead she is not gainfully employed, doesn’t pay rent, is taking up space in my house, won’t contribute to the house, stays gone all the time, “kicks-it” with boyfriend and friends, and has just announced she is pregnant. I am 7 months pregnant with my own developing family and had no intentions to be leeched and used by someone who has no intentions on upgrading her life and being responsible. If she was willing to take care of first things first and listen to advice, etc., I may have been willing to help, but she listens and goes about doing exactly what she wants to do – leaving me more stressed out than necessary. What can i do with her. I’m dealing with my own family development.

  5. shonta says:

    I am a single mother. i lost my job a couple months ago and is now facing eviction. i have no income coming in and i need help in a major way

  6. shonda says:

    i am up here try to help my couise out she is a single mother who has no income and really need help for her and her son so i trying to find out how can she get help

  7. Kasey says:

    My mother is a widowed mother of 3. Her first husband was active duty military at the time of passing and then 10 years later she met her second “husband” 3 years later he past away as well. She still has 2 kids living with her I am her oldest and I am trying to find her some help. She has never needed assistance before but the school district in S.D didnt have the budget to keep her on during the summer so she is behind on her rent. I have contacted every agency here in San Diego and I am getting nowhere fast. I am desperate for her and I know she is also. I cant help her as I am just working again after cancer and my hubby is a disabled vet. Any thoughts or ideas? She has lived at this home for 10 years the landlords have always worked with her through the summer and this year they arent working with her like normal. I dont know what to do. Please any help or ideas would be great.

  8. Karen says:

    I fell behind in rent and I am being evicted unless I come up with the 2 months I am behind in rent. I just need some help because I do work and have all of my life. I am a single mother of three and 1 is a senior in school and I do not want to tell her and have her worry and mess up in school and also a middle schooler. Please I just need some help so that my landlord can dismiss the eviction from me. please call 954-326-2086

  9. Gigi says:

    Im a single mother of two. I lost my apt back in aug.. A “friend” offered a place to stay but now it seems we are im the way. Im currently working but between paying my bills and having to pay I dnt have money left over…my kids are mistreated amd my heart is breaking…i need to get them out of here…help

  10. janelle swartz says:

    I am a single mother of two children who had two jobs but what i assumed was my help or support from my loved ones or friends really wasn’t true. I lost everything I had and my children to dfs. Lets just say i really lost my way and now i am trying so hard to regain my world back and in order to get my kids back I need to get a home and transportation. I am job hunting everyday and doing all things in order to move forward but I need help to do this. If I could get help with down payment and maybe first months rent k could get all the bills turned in myself. I have a great job lead now from a company so hopefully the new year will turn things around and if i reach out for help I might possibly find it.

    • Sabrina says:

      Sabrina,
      I feel bad for you. I am in the same boat, in some way. I am married, my husband had an affair and is now leaving. We have two small boys and had the perfect family. I was unemployed as of friday, it seems like at the last minute.. God blessed me with a job to start Monday and hopefully the state can help me with the cost of moving into our new place.. my kids are trying hard to keep it togather and as strong as I am.. I am loosing it!

  11. chloe stapp says:

    Hi I am a single mother of 5 children who is a victim of domestic violence and has had my children removed from my home by family services almost 2 years ago and recently I was at in home trial and I was almost complete when the abuser started pushing his boundaries and my children were taken for the second time. It hurt me so bad that I finally am pushing for this abuser to be dealt with. Anyway I am starting a job on Wednesday and I have my own place but I’m facing eviction. I want to be independent and have bills in my name but I owe back on them and I am trying to move out of this city to prove I can protect my kids and stay away from abuser so I am in need of help so bad before they try and adopt my world out. Which i know is the next step they r taking. I can’t let that happen. Please.please someone point me in a right direction.

  12. Carissa says:

    I am a single mother of 1 & is 4 months pregnant with my second. I have until March 1st to come up with 3200 to move out of my place & get my own… Unfortunately I just found out yesterday & didn’t have enough time to save. I’m gonna start my second job on Monday & my other job isn’t giving enough hours. My kids father has been trying to get a job since he got laid off but did not find any yet. I am from Honolulu , Hawaii & would greatly appreciate any help I can get.

  13. Holly says:

    I am 17 years old and expecting my first child. I plan on keeping the child also, the father and I are still together. But as of today my mom doesn’t want me living with her and told us we have to move out. My boyfriend has a job but I do not. I’m currently finishi ng school. Could I get help paying some of our rent even though I’m not 18?

  14. Eva says:

    I am a mother of 2 1/2 year old boy…I am also a victim of domestic violence and very abusive relationship. My divorce was just recently finalized three months ago and unexpectedly got laid off 5 months ago from 8 years working as an inventory manager at Lexus of Rt 10. I had been looking for another descent reliable replacement income but my luck has been so unfortunate at this point. I am currently still living with my ex husband but obviously my son and I need to find a place as soon as possible. Also I am collecting unemployment for my very little source of income, but I need to look for a full time job at first in order for me to get an apartment to rent or a affordable house buy. I have never thought I can be asking for any help but as a mother I am only asking for best interest of my child. I know that there is a lot out there like me who need outmost help. Whoever is out there please us.

    Sincerely,
    Eva

  15. Eva says:

    I am a mother of 2 1/2 yr old. I am also a victim of domestic violence and very abusive relationship. My divorce was recently finalized 3 monhts ago and unexpectedly got laid off 5 monhths ago. I had been looking for a descent reliable replacement income but among others my luck has been so unfortunate. I am currently living with my ex-husband but obviously my son and I need a place to live as soon as posible. Also I am collecting unemployment for my very little souce of income at this point but I need to find a full time job first in order for me to get an apartment to rent or affordable house to buy. I know that there is a lot out there like me who need outmost help. Whoever out there please help us.
    Sincerely,
    Eva

  16. alicia farmer says:

    I am a single mom of three,lost my job a year ago…and then got evicted,I really want to relocate to NYC,what direction can I take to make this a reality…..need help.

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