Affordable Housing Online is monitoring the federal government's response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. As of March 13, 2020, Public Housing Agencies across the nation are closing their doors to the public. Most offices are still running and will communicate by phone, email, or mail. Some offices have drop boxes installed outside, so documents can still be hand-delivered. Visit the housing authority's website for the latest on its current operations, if one is available. If there is no information online, contact the housing authority directly. Due to a high volume of calls and modified office hours in most areas, expect a long wait time (days or weeks) for a response. To find your local PHA's contact info, browse by state here.

An extensive list of coronavirus resources for low-income households can be found here.

Are there HUD emergency housing assistance programs?


No, HUD's affordable housing programs are not emergency housing programs, and due to high demand, it is common to be on a waiting list for several months or years. Generally, large metropolitan areas have long waiting lists, while lower populated areas have shorter waiting lists.

However, your state may have its own emergency assistance program that helps with rent, utilities or other emergencies; and HUD has made that information easy to find.

  • If you are in need of emergency housing, or at risk of losing your current housing, visit HUD's website here. Select the link for your state, and on the next page, scroll down to the "I Want To" section. There, select the "Find Homeless Resources" link for a list of available local resources. Helpful resources include:
    • Shelter locations (Locations will be listed for men, women, and children)
    • Emergency rental assistance
    • Avoid foreclosure
    • Help with your utility bills
    • Food banks
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
    • Homeless service groups
    • Legal assistance
    • Social Security offices
    • Homeless veterans
    • United Way
    • Jobs and job training
    • Help hotlines
    • HUD resources
  • If you need to find an affordable apartment quickly, waiting lists for apartment communities run by private management companies are usually shorter than a Section 8 or Public Housing waiting list managed by a HUD housing authority. However, many waiting lists are still months or years long, and applicants must go through an approval process that takes some time.
    • You can search for an affordable apartment in your area here. Type your city or county in the search bar at the top of the page, and then select the area in the drop down menu. The pages for many communities listed on Affordable Housing Online include a way to directly contact the management office for more information. If these options are available, you can call the phone number provided on the page, or send an online message directly to the office through Affordable Housing Online's form. If these methods of contact are not available on a community’s page, visit the community's location for more information.

More FAQs from Low Income Households

  • Can I be evicted if my HUD apartment is sold?
  • My income will be lower after I move. Would I apply using my current income, or the income I will receive after moving?
  • Does HUD help if you are homeless or living in a shelter?