The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides housing grants to ensure low-income households have safe and decent housing options. Those most vulnerable to increases in living costs, such as seniors and people with disabilities, benefit from HUD's housing grants. A HUD-approved housing counselor can help you determine which programs are available in your area and if you are eligible for help.
Long-term Rental Assistance
HUD's Public Housing and Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Programs provide a rental subsidy to income-qualified households. Families who participate in these programs are responsible for paying 30 percent of their income toward rent. HUD pays the remaining portion. The difference between the programs is how the rent is subsidized. Families that live in public housing will have their rent lowered as long as they remain in that specific building. The Section 8 voucher allows families to reside in any housing unit of their choice and still have their rent subsidized.
Help for Homeless Families
Several federal agencies are working toward keeping families off the streets. HUD's Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program provides up to 18 months of rental assistance to homeless families and those at risk of becoming homeless. Families that have already lost a home can get help to pay for a security deposit, utility fees and other moving expenses. To qualify for help the family's income cannot exceed 50 percent of the area median income. The Department of Veteran Affairs has a similar program for homeless veteran families and those at risk of becoming homeless. The family can get help to pay rent, a security deposit and moving expenses. The veteran's family income can also not exceed 50 percent of the area median income. The family can get help with child care, housing counseling and transportation services.
Housing Programs for Single Moms
The Second Chance Home program is for teenage single mothers who want to obtain an independent lifestyle. The group home setting is adult supervised and girls are provided supportive services, such as health care and child care, to get them on the road to self sufficiency. The moms must agree to obtain a high school diploma or GED to participate in the program. Girls between the ages of 14 and 20 are appropriate candidates for the program.
Affordable Housing Development Grants
HUD provides funding to local governments and nonprofit agencies committed to providing affordable housing options to their communities. The Neighborhood Stabilization Program provides grant funding for local governments to purchase abandoned and foreclosed homes. The properties are rehabilitated and sold at an affordable price for low-to-moderate income families to purchase. Other grant programs, such as the Community Development Block Grant and HOME Programs, allow local governments to create low-income rental housing, down-payment programs for the purchase of a home or even grants to rehabilitate a home. Call your local government to find out what programs are available in your area.
- HUD.gov: Housing Choice Vouchers Fact Sheet
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program
- U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs: Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program
- HUD.gov: Second Chance Homes
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Neighborhood Stabilization Program Grants; February 2011