For renters who struggle to afford housing, there are government programs that help renters and
home buyers keep a roof over their heads. However, applying for affordable housing can be difficult and
time-consuming, especially since different housing programs have many different rules and qualifications.
To help renters save time and frustration on their housing search, easy-to-read guides have been
written by Affordable Housing Online's team of housing experts about the different types of housing assistance.
Learn how to qualify and apply for low-income housing in the guides below, and get relief from high
The Section 8 HCV program is the most in-demand low-income housing program in the country. Renters can choose their own rental home, and pay a portion of their monthly income for rent.
As one of HUD’s longest running low-income housing programs, Public Housing apartments are available in many areas of the country. Apartments are available in developments, or smaller “Scattered Sites,” and have income-based rent.
LIHTC developments have apartments with affordable rent that is lower than the area’s market rate. While this federal program does not provide income-based rent, other rental assistance programs may be combined with LIHTC units to make rent based on the household’s income. So, the type of housing assistance available varies for LIHTC developments across the country.
For the Section 8 PBRA program, HUD partners with private owners and housing authorities to give tenants income-based rent for some or all apartments in a development. This is a long running housing program, and many Section 8 PBRA developments are located nationwide.
When a natural disaster causes destruction to an area, it can significantly affect local renters during, and well after the event has occurred. There are federal programs and guidelines that are important for renters to know about before, during, and after a natural disaster.
To help immigrants who are in need of affordable housing — including those who are noncitizens — there are federal programs that give assistance to eligible renters. Some housing programs also have no citizenship requirements, meaning that households with undocumented family members may be eligible.
The Section 811 Housing For Persons With Disabilities program offers supportive housing to renters with verifiable disabilities. Developments assisted by the Section 811 program have income-based rent, and supportive services to help tenants live independently. There is no relation between Section 811 units, and the Section 8 HCV program.
Similar to Section 811, the Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program offers supportive housing to senior renters who are 62 years of age, or older. Section 202 developments have income-based rent, and supportive services for tenants to help them live independently.
For years, HUD has updated its rules to make it easier for renters with a criminal record to qualify for low-income housing assistance. While federal program requirements have been relaxed, it’s important for renters with a record to know the strict conditions that must be met.
There are many types of housing programs nationwide that assist seniors who are age 62, or older — and also “Near-Elderly” renters who are age 55, or older. This assistance includes low-income housing for seniors, as well as available accommodations.
In addition to seniors, low-income housing programs in the U.S. also assist renters with disabilities. This includes direct housing assistance, and accommodations for residents and applicants. Only renters with verifiable disabilities are eligible for this assistance.
The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program allows voucher holders to transfer their voucher to pay rent in anew area, once certain conditions are met. This is officially called portability, as defined by HUD.
There are many important steps to becoming a homeowner, and these details are important to know before starting to look for affordable homes that are for sale. Many services are also available for future homeowners — including mortgages, loans, and counseling — which provide great help for renters buying an affordable home.
When a landlord gives a tenant an eviction notice, there are many steps to the legal process that must be followed by both parties. It’s important for renters facing eviction to know their rights and options to take, or they risk losing their home.
If a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher tenant gets a notice that their benefits have changed or been terminated, they can request an Informal Hearing with their housing authority to argue against the decision. There is a long process for Informal Hearings, and if the participant does not abide by the rules of the process, the Informal Hearing may not be granted.
Do you have little or no income?
Kimberly Leighton says: