The cost of living seems to be higher than ever these days. The prices of basic necessities have rapidly increased over the last few years. It has been tough on everyone. Families that were already struggling to make ends meet may feel like their situation could become desperate. If you find yourself relating to that, don’t lose hope! There are plenty of options that you can consider to help your situation. Some options include seeking out government assistance.
Various Housing Assistance Options to Consider
With housing costs being considerably higher these days, understanding your options is more important than ever. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), affordable housing expenses should not be greater than 30% of the household income. Households that end up spending a higher percentage of their monthly income on these expenses can potentially become cost-burdened. Cost-burdened households need to find a way to get their housing costs down to ensure they don’t further worsen their situation. But how exactly can you do that? One way could be to seek assistance from a variety of government housing programs.
The federal government provides housing opportunities that can benefit different groups of people with different needs. The program that can best help you depends on your specific circumstances. The following programs may help your situation:
- The Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)
- Public Housing
- Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program
The Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)
The Housing Choice Voucher Program provides millions of families each year with access to affordable housing. Unfortunately, due to this program’s popularity, approved applicants are often placed on a waitlist for a while. However, don’t let that discourage you from getting help from this program! The benefit of getting assistance from the HCV program is that recipients are able to find their own rental to live in. Recipients are given monthly vouchers that are used towards their rent. It’s important to know that not every rental unit qualifies for this program. The landlord of the property must accept vouchers in order for the recipient to live there. This can make it tricky to find a place to live once accepted into the program! The benefits definitely outweigh the obstacles that may come up when attempting to get assistance with the HCV program. You have nothing to lose, as it’s completely free to apply!
When people think of housing assistance, this is typically the first option that comes to mind. Similar to the HCV program, approved applications are often placed on a waiting list before they can get the housing that they need. Right now, there is an affordable housing crisis, with the cost of living seemingly higher than ever in most major U.S. cities. In the present day, there are over 1 million households living in public housing units, with many other families waiting for their turn.
Applicants and recipients of public housing deal with the local public housing authorities (PHAs), as they are responsible for managing the program. Whereas, the HUD provides the funding to make it all possible.
Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program
This housing assistance option is unique in that they only help qualified seniors who are 62 years of age or older. The elderly can often be especially vulnerable, which is why having programs specifically dedicated to helping them is so important. Seniors who are low-income can benefit from this housing support program.
Low-Income Individuals May Benefit from These Home Loans
Housing assistance is extremely helpful for getting families and individuals back on their feet as they go through a rocky time. However, these options might not work for everyone. Someone who is interested in putting down more permanent roots may benefit from a financing opportunity. There are home loans that are specifically meant for low-income individuals. These include:
- Farm Labor Housing Loan
- Rural Homeownership Direct Loan Program
Farm Labor Housing Loan
Those that can benefit from this type of loan include farmers, Native American tribes, non-profit organizations, family farm corporations, and more. This loan is meant specifically for farm laborers. It allows for the recipient to make housing purchases, improvements, and repairs, as well as the ability to build from scratch.
Rural Homeownership Direct Loan Program
These types of loans are meant for individuals who want to build or renovate homes in rural areas. A couple of the biggest advantages to this loan program are that the interest rates are subsidized and that no down payment is required! Both manufactured and mobile homes are included in this assistance opportunity. In addition to all of that, a part of the loan can also be used to move a home to a rural location.
Best Practices for Applying to One of the Above Housing Assistance Options
When submitting an application for one of these assistance options that we covered, you should be prepared to provide certain documentation. Providing your local PHA with accurate and thorough information can have a positive impact on whether you join the program. The documentation that you need depends on the program and where you live. Your local PHA can provide you with the most up-to-date and relevant information on this topic. There are many ways to get started. You can contact your local PHA by phone or visit the office in person. Some states also have the option to do everything online!
Financial struggles can be very stressful! One of the biggest expenses we face is housing. While rent and other housing bills can be costly, they are necessary. According to the HUD, your housing costs should not be greater than 30% of your income. If you find yourself spending more than that each month, you could find yourself cost-burdened soon. In an effort to ensure this doesn’t happen, you can get help from a variety of sources. The federal government provides multiple opportunities for low-income individuals and families. If you can’t benefit from any government options due to the requirements or wait time, you’re not completely out of luck! Local programs and charities may also help your financial situation.