Low-Income Housing Assistance Programs


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides funding for low-income housing assistance programs across the country. The local housing authority administers the majority of the housing programs for low-income families. These programs ensure that low-income households have access to safe and decent housing options. A HUD-approved housing counselor can help you determine if you qualify for help. Since funding is limited, you may be placed on a waiting list.

Rental Subsidies

HUD has two housing assistance programs that provide a rental subsidy to low-income households. HUD Public Housing provides a rental subsidy to families that live in a federally assisted housing unit. Families that participate in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program are able to live in any rental housing that will accept a voucher as form of payment for a portion of the rent. Both programs allow the family to pay 30 percent of its income toward rent. HUD pays the remaining portion of rent. To qualify for a rental subsidy, the family’s income cannot typically exceed 80 percent of the area median income. Some areas have more restrictive income limits that applicants must meet to obtain housing assistance.

Homeownership Voucher Program

Section 8 voucher recipients may be eligible to convert their rental assistance payment into a mortgage subsidy. The homeowner is responsible for paying 30 percent of her income toward the mortgage. HUD pays the remaining portion of the mortgage. To qualify for the Homeownership Voucher, the applicant must be a first-time home buyer and meet minimum income requirements. Any welfare assistance received is excluded when calculating the annual income. The home buyer must be able to qualify for a home loan with a mortgage professional. She also is required to attend homeownership counseling to participate in the program.

Temporary Assistance

The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program provides temporary housing grants to homeless families and those at risk of becoming homeless. The family can receive up to 18 months of rental and utility assistance. To qualify for help, the family’s income cannot exceed 50 percent of the area median income. For those who have already lost their housing, the family can get help to pay for a security deposit, rent and moving expenses. The family is eligible to get housing counseling from a HUD-approved counselor.

Second Chance Home Program

The Second Chance Home program provides housing to teenage single mothers. The adult-supervised group home setting provides a safe place for girls and their children to live while they get on the path to becoming self-sufficient. To participate in the program, the mom must agree to obtain her high school diploma or GED. Supportive services such as childcare, job skills training and parenting classes can also be provided. Girls between the ages of 14 and 20 are targeted to participate in the program.

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