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Rent Assistance

Rent Assistance Opportunities Are Open

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has created multiple housing assistance programs that are available all over the country. If an applicant is eligible for any of the available programs, he or she will have access to affordable housing options. Applicants will need to meet the individual criteria set by each program and fill out all of the corresponding documentation. If you need assistance and think you may qualify for a housing assistance program, you can apply for government assistance that will reduce the burden of housing on you and your family. You can read over the sections below to find out more about the rent assistance.

Additional Resources Rent Assistance

Eligibility for Rent Assistance Programs

Rent assistance programs are available to low-income families and individuals. Some programs are open specifically to the elderly, individuals with disabilities, and other in-need or low-income groups. Depending on the structure and gross income of your household, your local housing administration will decide whether or not you will be eligible for an affordable housing program. For some programs, your gross income will be compared to the median gross income of the county you live in to determine your eligibility, and other programs may compare your gross household income to the state or nation. Your eligibility for housing depends on the program to which you are applying. You need to be aware of the various monetary and situational requirements. With the help of our rent assistance guide available for download at food-stamps.org, you can learn about all the available housing programs and their individual eligibility criteria.

Apply as Soon as Possible

Housing is a resource that has a very high demand and applying early is the key to avoiding a long wait. Many agencies have waiting lists and determine priority based on your individual circumstances. Veterans may be eligible for special programs that seek to help them avoid homelessness through rental assistance. It is also important to apply for assistance as close as possible to where you live as many agencies also determine priority based on proximity.
You can also be excluded from such programs depending on your criminal history, particularly if you are on the lifetime sex offender’s registry, you are not eligible for rental assistance. Additionally, you may not be eligible if you have been convicted of abusing federal aid in the past or if you have current substance abuse issues. Some agencies may ask for recommendations from previous property owners before making their decision on eligibility.

Additional Resources Housing Assistance

How to Apply for Rent Assistance

Before you apply to a rent assistance program, you will need to decide which program to apply to. You can choose between privately owned subsidized housing, public housing and Section 8 Housing. Section 8 housing has specific exclusions and requirements that are different from privately owned complexes that offer rental assistance. Section 8 applicants must apply and them be placed on a waiting list. This list is organized by need as well as your proximity to the public housing office to which you are applying.

Additional Resources Section 8

Public Housing

Public housing is available to low-income household, the elderly and people with disabilities for little to no required rent. You can request specific public housing options to accommodate any disability and ensure that the home you apply for will suit your individual needs. Public housing also requires you to meet monetary or circumstantial requirements to qualify for rent assistance. Section 8 housing provides qualifying household with housing vouchers that will cover all, if not most, of their total rental costs at designated residential areas.

Additional Resources Cheap Rentals

Affordable Privately Owned Apartments

If you choose to apply for a privately owned apartment, you will need to directly apply with the management office of that complex. This complex has agreed to offer discounted rent to approved residents. However, you will still need to meet certain monetary requirements to qualify for housing at private housing facilities. These rental options must still cooperate with some allowances such as modifications for disabled tenants and rent that is affordable and fair in terms of the average income level in the area in which you are applying. Additionally, future tenants must meet requirements for legal status and abide by complex rules concerning drug use and other illegal activity. Applicants may not be accepted if they have a history of misuse of government assistance or certain legal offenses on their record. Some complexes are restricted by age such as senior-specific rental assistance.

Additional Resources Rent to Own Homes

Report Unsafe Apartments

In addition to a detailed overview of the application process and eligibility requirements, renters should understand their rights when applying for and obtaining housing assistance. Residents with disabilities have the right to request accommodations that help them have equal access to facilities where they live. There are specific laws that govern disability rights renters have regardless of where they live.

Avoid Discrimination

It is important to learn how to identify discrimination in public housing facilities and how to file a report against it. No housing assistance program is permitted to deny applicants based on their race, gender, ethnicity, age or disability. You can file a written complaint against the property owners and request an investigation be opened concerning your treatment if you are denied housing due to being a member of a protected group, or you experience discrimination after receiving housing. Additionally, if a housing complex violates safety regulations, you can also file a complaint. All agencies and housing establishments that do not abide by these rules run the risk of being shut down or facing serious fines. HUD has a particular department that handles all complaints concerning discrimination so that tenants can protect themselves and their households from discrimination and other violations of tenant rights. Renters have a right to a safe dwelling that is free of mold or other structural defects that could cause harm. Inspections are often required on a yearly basis to be sure that property owners maintain their facilities.

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