If you can swallow your pride and admit to being vulnerable there are government assistance programs for single moms who are having housing issues. Below are a few to consider. You should also check your local city and state for city and statewide assistance programs also.
Income-Based Housing Assistance For Single Moms
If rent and the cost of living in your area are too high to afford, you can see if there are any low-income housing programs in your area. Low-income housing also referred to as income-based or subsidized housing, is offered through specific public and private apartment complexes and townhouses allowing tenants to only be responsible for paying rent that amounts to approximately 30 percent of their monthly gross income.
If you are a student or pay for childcare, your rent rate can possibly be reduced even more. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) makes this possible by covering the rest of the tenant’s rent amount.
In order to qualify, your income needs to prove that you can’t afford to pay the market rent rate in your area and cover other housing related expenses. Only applicants with low incomes compared to state and Federal regulations will qualify. Once you are approved, you will most likely be put on a waiting list that operates on a first-come-first-served basis. When a unit is available based on your preferences, you will receive a call to confirm if you are still interested.
Waiting list times can range anywhere from 6 months to 3 years or more. To learn more about income-based housing or to see if you qualify, you can find more information on the HUD’s website.
It’s important to only utilize income-based housing if you truly need it. Most programs are strict and the landlord is required to raise your rent if your income increases substantially.
This is what happened to me when I decided to try income-based housing for a few months. I wasn’t making that much money at the time and I got accepted into a very nice subsidized housing 2-bedroom apartment. It was just like living in a regular market rate apartment. My neighbors were really nice, the property manager kept up with the units and the grounds and it was overall a nice place to live.
When I found a new job that almost tripled the income I was making before, I reported my income and my rent rate skyrocketed. I decided to move because my new rent rate would not differ that much from the market rate.
SECTION 8 HOUSING
Section 8 Housing is very similar to low-income housing where you will only be required to pay a portion of your rent, but with Section 8 you receive a voucher and have more flexibility to choose where you live. The application process for Section 8 is much more detailed and rigorous than with low-income housing and it often takes a longer time to get approved for a housing voucher.
Applications are completed by county and you’ll need to apply when your county’s waiting list is open. An applicant can be on the waiting list for Section 8 Housing anywhere from 1 year to 5+ years so it’s a good idea to have a backup plan.
When you get approved for Section 8, you’ll have to take your voucher to a landlord at an apartment, townhouse or single family home that accepts Section 8.
After you live in the county where you were granted your Section 8 voucher for one full year, you’ll be eligible to move out of the county or even out of state if you choose and take your voucher with you.
Again, the amount of financial assistance you receive each month can vary if your income increases or decreases.
THE OPERATION HOPE HOME BUYERS PROGRAM
Operation HOPE helps single moms with lower incomes secure an affordable mortgage through its Home Buyer’s Program. HOPE was established in 1992 and has partnerships with private sector companies, non-profit organizations, schools and government entities.
When you sign up, you’ll be prompted to attend a workshop that provides an overview of the process along with housing counseling to help overcome any issues like debt, bad credit, low savings etc.
Operation HOPE provides the following services to prospective home buyers:
- Loan products from FDIC-insured financial institutions
- FHA loan programs
- Down Payment Assistance programs
- First time home-buying programs for people with low or moderate incomes
- And more!
Operation HOPE has offices located in various major cities throughout the country.
USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT HOUSING ASSISTANCE
If residing in a large city has never been your preference, there may be a government program to provide you with housing assistance. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Rural Development has a program to help low-and-moderate-income households the opportunity to own a safe and modest single family home in a rural area.
To be approved you must meet income eligibility requirements, be a U.S. citizen and contact an approved lender. Eligible applicants will have the ability to build, rehabilitate and improve upon a dwelling in an eligible rural area if they wish.
I love how this program lets you pick your house in a sense by utilizing ‘eligible address search’ feature to determine is the property your interest in will qualify for the program.