3 Resources for Americans Struggling to Pay Rent

(TargetDailyNews.com) – Facing an eviction can be frustrating. An imminent eviction can make you and your loved ones homeless, especially now that rental protection is no longer in place. However, several resources are available for people like you. You can use these resources to halt the eviction until your income stabilizes. Moreover, you can move to alternative public housing units with cheaper rent rates. Here we will look at three resources to use when faced with eviction or homeless.

Rent Assistance

You can get help from tenant-based rental assistance to pay your monthly rent. The tenant-based rental aid or Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher is a federal program that helps eligible renters meet their rent utility. The program is administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) at the Federal level and Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) at the state or local level.

Under the Housing Choice Voucher program, eligible tenants receive vouchers that they can use to pay their rent. Since the program is tenant-based, beneficiaries are not restricted to particular apartments or neighborhoods. You can use the voucher to pay rent for a house or apartment of your choice, provided the housing units meet HUD requirements. Moreover, you can shift from one apartment to another without losing the benefits. In some cases, the Housing Choice Vouchers can help buy a home.

Eligibility for Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher

You can only benefit from the housing choice voucher program if you meet the criteria set by HUD. While the allocation criteria may vary slightly from one state to another, it is based on household income. Your household income should be between 50% and 80% of the local area median income. HUD sets the median income for each local area annually. Priority is given to households earning below 30 percent of the area median income. In addition, you must be a US citizen or a documented immigrant to benefit from the program.

How to Apply for Housing Choice Voucher

If you are struggling with rent payments and are interested in the Housing Voucher program, you can apply through your Public Housing Agency (PHA).

Housing Alternatives for Low-Income Families

You can also use the alternative housing programs if you struggle to pay your current rent. The federal government provides alternative housing units for low-income households through the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Rent in these alternative houses is subsidized to make them affordable to low-income earners. You can find these public housing developments in high-rise and low-rise neighborhoods. The public housing units include children’s play areas and other essential amenities regardless of the location. You can apply for subsidized housing using the HUD map.

Some local governments and not-for-profit organizations also provide low-cost housing for needy households under the mixed-income development program. Eligibility criteria for public housing development houses and mixed-income developments may vary from state to state. Contact your nearest public housing agency to check your eligibility.

Talk to Your Landlord

Sometimes rent payment challenges last only for a while. The challenges can arise from loss of employment or other financial issues. You can negotiate with your landlord on how to clear rent arrears or monthly payments while you look for an alternative source of income or wait for your first salary. You can also request your landlord to:

  • Adjust the rent due dates to align with your payday
  • Accept partial payments as long as you clear payment within a specified period
  • Waive late payment fees when you make partial payments

Some landlords can also help you apply for tenant-based rent assistance to ease the rent burden on your household. Start a conversation and make the landlord understand your situation and possible solutions.

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