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Affordable Housing

HUD Affordable Housing

Everyone needs a safe and clean place to live. Unfortunately, housing can be very expensive and paying for rent or a mortgage can put a big drain on your families finances.

If you are in need of affordable housing, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has several different affordable housing programs for very low and low income individuals and families.

In general, if you pay no more than 30% of your annual income on housing, then your housing is considered affordable. If your family pays more than 30% of your family income for housing, that puts an additional burden on your finances and then it can be difficult to afford some of the basics like food, clothes, and medical care.

HUD has estimated that about 12 million homeowners and renters now pay more than 50% of their annual incomes on housing. Also, a family that has one full-time worker that earns minimum wage cannot afford a local fair-market rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the United States. Obviously, there is a need for affordable housing.

Basically, there is a lack of affordable housing and that is a great hardship on low income families that also need to pay for healthcare and feed their families.

To help provide affordable housing for families with low income, HUD and the Office of Affordable Housing manage three different programs.

1. HOME  Investment Partnerships

The HOME program provides the largest Federal block grant to State and local government agencies in order to provide affordable housing for low-income families. Every year, around $2 billion is distributed to States and local governments.

HOME funds can be used for several different purposes:

To provide home financing assistance to eligible homeowners and new homebuyers.

To build or rehabilitate housing for ownership or rent.

For reasonable and necessary expenses that involves the development of non-luxury housing.

In order to be eligible for HOME assistance it depends on the type of housing the program funded. For rental assistance and rental housing, at least 90% of the families that benefit from the program must have incomes that are no more than 60% of the HUD median family income for the local area. If there are five or more assisted rental units, at least 20% of those rental units must be occupied by families with incomes that are not greater than 50% of the HUD median income. The incomes of families that receive HUD housing assistance must not be more than 80% of the median income for the area.

2. Homeownership Zone

At the present time, the Homeownership Zone (HOZ) program is not being funded.The program allows communities to reclaim vacant and rundown properties, promote economic revitalization by creating neighborhoods of new, single-family homes, and increase homeownership.

3. Self-Help Homeownership Program (SHOP)

This affordable housing program provides money for eligible non-profit organizations to develop and improve the conditions needed to develop sweat equity and volunteer-based homeownership programs for low-income individuals and families. The homebuyers have to be willing to contribute a large amount of their own time and energy toward the building of the housing units.

The SHOP funds can be used for buy land, improving the infrastructure, and administrative costs. For each home, the total cost of buying the land and improvements can not exceed $15,000. The administrative costs can not be more than 20% of the amount of the grant.

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The official U.S. Government HUD Web site is HUD.gov


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