How You Can Find Rental Relief: Government Programs To Help Pay Your Rent

Rental assistance is available to qualified people in need. The U.S. federal along with many state government agencies provide emergency housing assistance programs to people at risk of losing their homes due to financial hardship. Primary qualification requirements include meeting income or poverty level-based thresholds and verifying your financial burdens.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) facilitates the primary housing assistance program in the country today. Multiple other options exist as well. Continue reading to learn all about the many rental relief and housing assistance options available to you today.

Need Rental Relief? Find Out How to Get It with These Government Programs
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Help with rent is available through multiple sources to qualified applicants. Some of these sources are facilitated by the U.S. federal government. Individual U.S. state government agencies and private charitable organizations also offer assistance with paying rent to qualified U.S. residents. The primary purpose fueling all these organizations is the prevention of homelessness due to unexpected or uncontrollable financial hardship.

These types of programs are not simply available for all people in all situations, however. It is therefore important to understand program policies, types and requirements prior to submitting applications.

Four primary emergency rental assistance programs exist in the U.S. today. These programs include the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8), Emergency Rental Assistance, Continuum of Care (CoC) program and Public Housing programs. Continue reading to learn more about each program.

Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)

The Housing Choice Voucher Program was formerly referred to as Section 8. Section 8 houses for rent are paid for partially via government funds and partially by each approved tenant. The amount of discount you receive on your rent depends on your finances, qualifying disabilities and overall situation. Because government funds pay for a large portion of rent amounts, the pursuit of this program’s benefits is a highly competitive process. Applicants must typically be entered onto a waiting list with the Public Housing Authority (PHA) in their state prior to getting approved.

Emergency Rental Assistance Program

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program has a different name in each state. This is a pandemic rental assistance program designed to provide rental relief to households experiencing specific COVID-19-related financial hardship. The Emergency Rental Assistance Program is available to qualified families and individuals alike who cannot pay rent or energy/utility bills.

Continuum of Care (CoC)

Certain emergency rental assistance programs are proposed to help mitigate and even prevent nationwide homelessness. The Continuum of Care (CoC) is one such program inspired by this specific goal. Qualified applicants potentially receive Emergency Solutions Grants (ESGs) to help pay rent. Qualified applicants also might be eligible for free legal advice from housing or tenant-rights attorneys.

Public Housing

The Public Housing program is not the same as Section 8, but it does have similarities. Public Housing provides rental help through local Public Housing Authority agencies. Section 8 allows applicants to choose their own homes, however, whereas Public Housing provides a home to approved applicants without their preferences taken into consideration.

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