In addition to Section 8 housing, there are a variety of programs that provide rent assistance and supportive services to qualifying applicants.
These applicants include the elderly, the disabled and homeless veteran families and individuals struggling to afford housing and live independently. For example, Section 202 housing provides assisted living services for frail seniors who need help getting dressed and bathing. On the other hand, HUD VASH provides housing and health services for homeless veterans. While there are programs that work more directly with low-income families and individuals, there are also programs that provide additional funding to these facilities and nonprofit organizations. More specifically, these programs provide housing grants to nonprofit groups to build and rehabilitate supportive housing facilities. Review the following sections to learn more about the different types of housing assistance programs available across the United States.
Section 202 Housing
If you are a low-income senior aged 62 or older, Section 202 housing can provide you with rent assistance and supportive services. These supportive services include cooking, housekeeping and providing means of transportation to doctor’s appointments and social outings. Seniors may also receive assistance with daily living activities, such as dressing and bathing. Additionally, these buildings are designed to keep residents safe from physical injuries and avoid premature enrollment in a retirement home or similar institutions. As needed, these apartment buildings feature grab bars, ramps and elevators to support frail seniors.
To be eligible, seniors must meet the age requirement, and their incomes must fall below 50 percent of their area’s median income. They will be required to pay 30 percent of their income in rent. To apply, seniors must find senior living communities funded by Section 202 that will accept their vouchers. To make the process easier, seniors can utilize the HUD’s online affordable apartment search system to find participating senior housing listings that meet their criteria.
Government Resources for Retirement
Section 811 Housing
The Section 811 program provides rent assistance and supportive services to individuals with disabilities. The program creates a stable living environment by providing supervision, personal assistance, housekeeping and meal services to qualifying residents. Depending on their disability, residents will also receive counseling, case management and training in everyday life skills. To meet eligibility requirements, disabled individuals must be at least 18 years of age and have a physical, mental or emotional impairment, illness or developmental disability. As with Section 202, qualifying residents in Section 811 are only required to pay 30 percent of their income to receive disability housing.
Low income housing for disabled persons may be offered through townhomes, apartments or single-family homes. To apply, those interested must find a property that participates in Section 811 housing and express interest in a unit. Qualifying applicants will then receive a disability housing application to complete. Upon receiving approval from landlords, applicants will be able to move into their apartment or be put on a waiting list for up to a year.
Energy Assistance Programs
If you need help paying your utility bill, you may be eligible to receive assistance from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The program offers regular utility assistance, assistance during energy crises and emergency energy assistance after weather-related disaster to low-income families and individuals. Situations where crisis energy assistance is needed may include a household’s energy service being shut off or an insufficient amount of fuel, propane or wood during winter. Emergency energy situations may include an insulation or window repairs for weatherization.
To receive regular utility assistance, recipients must meet eligibility requirements. This includes an income that falls below 150 percent of the poverty line set each year. To apply for LIHEAP, you must complete an application online, in person or by mail and provide the appropriate documentation. To learn more about LIHEAP, click here.
Housing grants are funded by HUD and offered to low-income families and individuals to purchase, make renovations to or maintain their homes. There are a variety of housing grants available to organizations, families and individuals facing extenuating circumstances. These grant programs include the Emergency Solutions Grant program (ESG), the Home Investment Partnerships program (HOME) and the Choice Neighborhoods program.
The ESG provides grant money to states, cities and counties to improve the quality of homeless shelters. The program also provides grants to families losing their homes or living in emergency shelters. On the other hand, HOME provides funding to local nonprofit groups for the purpose of building and rehabilitating housing to provide rent assistance to low-income families and individuals. The Choice Neighborhoods program provides grants to struggling neighborhoods in efforts to transform them into safe, mixed-income communities with better schools.
First-Time Homebuyer Programs
If you need assistance buying a home, you can utilize the services providing by a homebuyer assistance program. There is a variety of programs available in each state that can help you find a home in your direct housing market. Additionally, there are federal programs, such as the Federal Housing Administration, which provides homebuyers with insured loans to help them get better deals on their single-family homes. This includes low down payments and low closing costs. To qualify, applicants must have a decent credit score and a debt-to-income ratio below 43 percent.
Other home buying assistance programs include Good Neighbor Next Door (GNND), homeownership for public housing residents and Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program. GNND offers a 50 percent discount to law enforcement officers, teachers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians for living in properties exclusively for sale under the program. Section 184 is a homebuyer assistance program for qualifying American Indians, Alaska Native families, Alaska villages or tribes.
If you are a homeless veteran, you may be eligible to receive rent assistance and supportive care under the Veterans Administration Supportive Housing Program (HUD-VASH). The main purpose of the program is the end homelessness within the veteran community and provide them with the health resources and counseling they need to function independently in society. This may include mental and physical health treatment, as well as counseling for substance abuse. To be eligible for HUD VASH, you must be homeless, accept case management and cannot be a sex offender. You must pass a background screening conducted by your local VA homeless program. Upon acceptance, you will receive a low income housing voucher, similar to Section 8, and housing placement assistance from a case manager.