Learn About Government Housing Assistance Options

Government housing assistance is available to low-income individuals and families who need help affording safe homes to live in.

Different circumstances can cause residents to need these supportive services and there are different programs available, depending on applicants’ situations.

Whether parents and their dependents have just survived a natural disaster or they are unemployed and cannot afford rent, there are public house assistance programs that can help support them.

In general, petitioners who wish to obtain housing assistance must apply before they can collect benefits from these programs.

Furthermore, claimants must note that the majority of these programs are regulated through the federal government.

Therefore, there are certain requirements they must meet before they can receive benefits through these programs. For example, these initiatives only serve individuals who are able to qualify financially for assistance.

Regardless of why individuals are without homes or are struggling to afford places of residency, there are government housing programs that help to lessen some of these financial burdens.

Who can collect HUD housing assistance?

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) helps to provide low-income households with access to adequate rental properties.

More specifically, this program aims to help landlords across the nation to rent to families with limited financial resources.

In turn, qualified applicants may rent these HUD homes for reduced costs. Generally, these locations are classified as government subsidized housing facilities.

In any case, this program allows families to live in homes they otherwise may not have been able to afford.

With this public housing system, the federal government distributes funds to neighborhood housing services agencies (HA) so they can supervise and maintain these HUD facilities.

The government determines who can live in these facilities based on:

  • Gross annual income: To qualify for HUD housing, individuals must meet income guidelines.These limits are established based on the median income for the counties or urban centers where they live.
  • Qualification status: Officials must determine how candidates can qualify for housing assistance.Generally, petitioners may qualify by being elderly, disabled or having families.
  • Citizenship: In order to receive benefits from this program, individuals must be U.S. citizens or possess specific immigration statuses that qualify them to receive funding from the government.

Do I qualify for Section 8 housing?

Section 8 housing, which is technically part of the Housing Choice Voucher Program, is one of the primary housing assistance initiatives that the government oversees.

With this program, families, disabled and elderly individuals who do not earn much income have the opportunity to rent living facilities at affordable prices.

In addition to finding Section 8 houses for rent, qualified enrollees may also use the program vouchers they receive from this program to rent apartments and townhouses.

With this program, HUD distributes federal allotments to a local public housing agency (PHA). In turn, these agencies must distribute the vouchers to petitioners who demonstrate financial need. Similar to HUD homes, individuals who use Section 8 to afford their homes must meet immigration and income requirements.

However, receiving these vouchers is competitive. This is partly due to the fact that PHAs are legally obligated to provide three-quarters of their vouchers to candidates who do not earn more than 30 percent of the area’s median household income level.

As a result, many individuals are placed on a waiting list until funding becomes available. Once claimants are approved to receive Section 8, they must find landlords who will rent to them and accept payment through this voucher system.

What qualifies as emergency housing assistance?

Some emergency housing assistance is available to petitioners through the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program. Similar to the aforementioned programs, ESG receives its funding through the federal government.

This initiative’s purpose is to help reduce homelessness in cities and other populated areas throughout the country. Generally, individuals who qualify to claim benefits from this government housing assistance resource earn limited income.

Furthermore, this program strives to help stabilize individuals who are currently homeless or who recently experienced a housing crisis.

Unlike the other HUD programs mentioned above, individuals generally do not apply for ESG funds. Instead, states and cities usually apply for these grants and qualified individuals can collect the program funds after completing the application process.

Generally, ESG funds help facilitate housing assistance programs that relate to individuals who are:

  • Currently homeless.
  • Living in shelters.
  • About to become homeless.

Who can receive FEMA housing assistance?

When a disaster strikes a particular area, FEMA housing assistance may be available to families who live in the afflicted regions. FEMA stands for Federal Emergency Management Agency.

One of the ways this part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) works to support communities in the wake of a disaster is to provide them with interim housing opportunities. During a disaster, this emergency housing assistance program works to support residents who have recently undergone trauma.

Oftentimes, FEMA springs into action after a natural disaster devastates a community.

The FEMA housing program works to support individuals during this transition period in their lives. When hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes impact an area, there are various stages of relief that victims can seek. While the disaster hits, families can reside in shelters.

However, these facilities are temporary. These individuals will need to search for more long-term public housing solutions while they rebuild their homes. While the affected communities are searching for permanent housing facilities, they can stay in FEMA facilities.

Generally, individuals can reside in these structures from the day the government declares a disaster in the area until 18 months after this date.

In order to collect this emergency government housing assistance, petitioners must live in an area that the president recently declared as a disaster zone. Regardless, candidates must remember that this support system does not as heavily rely on petitioners’ incomes to determine eligibility.

However, families who are under greater financial stress will likely receive more prompt assistance than those who can support themselves using their own funds during this time.