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Low Income Housing
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Low Income Apartments and Homes
If you don't make much money, it can be difficult to find clean and safe housing that you can afford.
Fortunately for you, there are several Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) housing assistance programs that can provide you with low income housing. These HUD low income housing programs include shelters for the homeless, low rent apartments, and low rent houses.
These programs are commonly called low income housing, low rent apartments, subsidized housing, housing assistance, and public housing.
The HUD low income housing assistance programs are designed to meet your needs. These programs can help you pay for your rent, provide you with low cost rentals, and in some cases help pay your utility bills. To qualify, you must have very low income, low income, be a senior citizen, have a disability in the family, or are homeless.
Remember, these low income housing programs were designed to help people that are in need of housing.
If you are homeless, you may be eligible for emergency housing or admitted to a shelter.
If your annual income is at the very low or low income level, you may be eligible for low income housing.
If you currently own a home, but are having a difficult time making your mortgage payments due to losing your job or medical bills, there are low income housing programs that may be able to help you keep your home.
HUD Homeless Assistance Programs
Homelessness has become more prevelant in the United States. There are many people have ended up living on the streets because they lost their home and have no other options. The HUD Homeless Assistance programs were designed to provide homeless Americans with options.
The HUD homeless assistance programs are divided into two different types. The programs are the competitive and non-competitive categories.
The competitive program awards funds cometitively that require the development of a Continuum of Care system in the community. The continuum of care system tackles the homeless problem by identifying the specific needs in the community and building a system that meets those needs. This particular approach is based on the idea that homelessness is not only caused by having no shelter, but also involves physical, social, and economic needs that aren't being met.
The Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance Program includes three different programs:
1. Shelter Plus Care Program - This program provides grants for rental assistance if you are homeless and have a disability.
2. Single Room Occupancy Program - If you are homeless, you are provided with rental assisstance and you assist with moderate rehabilitation of the single room occupancy dwelling.
3. Supportive Housing Program - This program provides you with housing that has an environment that is supportive and includes a service component that is planned.
The Non-Competitive (Formula) Program provides formula grants to state and local entities that improve the quality of exisiting emergency shelters. This is called the Emergency Shelter Grant Program and it was created to provide essential social services to individuals or families that are homeless and to prevent homelessness.
Low Rent Apartments
The most popular housing assistance programs for low income individuals and families are the low rent apartments. For the most part, the rent for these apartments are much lower than the cost of a renting a house.
There are several different HUD Housing programs that can proved low rent apartments to individuals and families that meet the low income requirements.
The HUD programs that include low rent apartments are:
1. The Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) - Formerly known as the Section 8 Housing program, the Housing Choice Voucher program allows you to find your own apartment and then use vouchers to pay for all or a portion of the rent.
2. Privately Owned Subsidized Housing - Also called subsidized apartment rent, this program helps apartment owners provide lower rental rates to low income tenants.
Low Rent Houses
The low income housing program allows you to rent apartments or houses. Rent for a house is typically more expensive than for an apartment. You may prefer to rent a single family house for your family because it is typically quieter and offers more privacy than renting an apartment.
The low income housing programs for renting houses are very similar to the apartment rental programs. You can live in government owned houses, known as public housing, or you can live in a house that is privately owned and HUD helps pay for your rent, known as subsidized housing, or you can select your own house to rent and get housing choice vouchers (Section 8) from HUD to help pay for your rent.
Are You Eligible For Low Income Housing?
No matter which low income housing program you select, you need to be eligible for the HUD low income housing program. This means that your total annual family income must be below a calculated Median Family Income (MFI) level for the area in which you live.
The Median Family Income is typically based on a family of four. What this means, is that half of the families that live in your county or metropolitan area make an annual income of less than the median income and half of the families make more than the median income. The median is the number where half of the people make more money than the median and half make less than the median.
Once HUD has determined the median family income for your area, different percentages of that median income is used to determine whether you are very low income or low income.
To qualify for low income housing, your total annual family income must be less than 50% of the median family income for your area. For example, if you are a family of four and the HUD median family income for your area is $60,000, then if your total annual family income was less than 50% of $60,000 = $30,000, then your family may be eligible for low income housing.
The median family income can vary by State, County and metropolitan area. Your local Public Housing Agency (PHA), sometimes called the Public Housing Authority, manage the HUD low income housing programs at the local level. To determine if you are eligible for low income housing, contact your local public housing agency or local HUD housing office.
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