Housing help assistance may be a good option for you if you are struggling to make your rent payments. If you have fallen behind on your rent, you should know that you are not alone. Millions of Americans struggle to afford their rent each month and need to receive temporary help from a housing assistance program. There are multiple programs available, from country-wide initiatives like Section 8 to smaller independently managed programs. 

Regardless of your situation or where you live, there is likely a government housing assistance program that can help you in your time of need. It’s important to do your research on the programs offered near you and the eligibility requirements. Each type of assistance has different eligibility requirements and application methods. Read on to see if you may qualify for some of the most common types of assistance.

Section 8 Housing Vouchers

One of the most popular housing assistance programs is Section 8, otherwise known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program. This program is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and then managed by local housing agencies (HAs). 

It was created to help those who are unable to afford their rent by administering vouchers that cover a portion of the rent payment. These vouchers are delivered directly to the landlord, and after they are accepted the recipient must simply pay the remaining balance due. 

To see if you qualify for Section 8 housing you must submit an application that provides certain information, such as your family size, income and citizenship status. You will then be put on a waitlist for a period of time before it’s determined if you are eligible. The waitlist for Section 8 can be extremely long, sometimes even lasting a few years, so it’s important that you apply as soon as possible to secure a spot on the list.

Public Housing Assistance Program

HUD also operates the public housing program. This type of housing is partially funded by HUD so that the rent amount is more affordable. These federal funds go to housing agencies that manage the units and offer them at lower rates. If you are unable to afford the rent at your current home, you may want to consider moving into one of these units.

If you think that public housing only consists of small apartments in the city, then you would be surprised to know that there are multiple types of units available, including single-family homes in certain areas. 

The income eligibility requirements for this type of HUD housing assistance vary from area to area, so it’s important to contact your local housing agency or your local HA office to see if you qualify. 

Local and Non-Governmental Housing Assistance Resources

In addition to national government housing assistance, there are also local housing support resources as well. For instance, you may qualify for charitable grants from faith organizations or secular nonprofits in your area. Most state and local governments also offer various types of assistance as well. A few examples of this include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Eviction Defense Collaborative in San Francisco. If you live in San Francisco and you are facing eviction from being behind on rent payments, the Rental Assistance Disbursement Component (RADCo) may be able to help. This organization provides interest-free loans and grants to tenants that can’t afford their rent due to a temporary financial setback. 
  • Catholic Community Services. The Catholic Church provides many services, including emergency housing assistance and affordable housing units. The Catholic Community Services organization also provides financial assistance to those who are faced with imminent eviction. 
  • HRA HOME TBRA in New York City. This program is funded by the HUD but managed locally by the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA). Under the program, households will pay approximately 30 percent of their income towards rent for an approved apartment, and HRA HOME TBRA will pay the rest. 

Those are just a few of the many housing assistance programs offered across the country. It’s likely that similar programs exist in your state.