Low Income Housing Guide for Renters

If you regularly struggle to pay your monthly rent, there are housing programs that help relieve that stress for qualified applicants. The Low Income Housing Guide for Renters has all the information needed for Americans who are in need of federal housing programs provided by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Applying for affordable housing can be involved and complicated, and this guide has been written to make that process easy to understand.

There are multiple HUD programs that assist low-income renters, and each have their own specific benefits, policies and procedures. Interested applicants can follow the easy to read step-by-step instructions for the entire application process - including eligibility, how to apply, and what happens after applying.

Select a housing program below to learn more:

Section 8 Voucher Program

The Section 8 program is the most well known and sought after housing program in America. The offices that administer this program are called Public Housing Authorities. There are more than 2,400 housing authorities nationwide that provide Section 8 assistance for a specific jurisdiction, whether it is a city, county, or region of multiple areas. Program participants pay 30% of the household’s monthly net income towards rent, and the rest is paid to the landlord by the housing authority that manages the household’s voucher. The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program allows voucher holders the freedom to rent out any unit that meets the program’s guidelines, including privately owned apartments and houses. Read More

Public Housing

The Public Housing program provides affordable communities and scattered homes and apartments that give rental assistance to participants. The offices that administer this program are called Public Housing Authorities, and they own the properties where assistance is provided. There are more than 3,300 housing authorities nationwide that offer Public Housing assistance for a specific jurisdiction, whether it is a city, county, or region of multiple areas. But, not all housing authorities offer the Public Housing program. Program participants pay 30% of the household’s monthly net income towards rent, and are required to live in the specific community or scattered site they applied to. Read More

Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC)

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program helps create affordable apartment communities with lower than market rents by offering tax incentives to the property owners (not the tenant renting the unit). Properties may contain market rate units that are not financially assisted, in addition to reduced rent LIHTC units under a tiered rent structure. A tiered rent structure means that it’s possible for the same unit to have different rent amounts for occupants with different incomes. Private management companies and individual owners manage these low-income housing apartment communities. LIHTC units may also have a rental subsidy program attached to them, such as the Project-Based Section 8 program. Read More

Project-Based Section 8

The Project-Based Section 8 program provides affordable apartment communities that are owned by private landlords with a rental subsidy that helps pay the rent for low income tenants. Called the Total Tenant Payment (TTP), program tenants pay either 1) 10% of their monthly income (gross income minus exclusions), 2) 30% of their monthly adjusted income (gross income minus exclusions and deductions) or 3) a minimum rent of $25. The Project-Based Section 8 rental subsidy may be available for every unit in a property, or a select number of units in the apartment community. Read More