Your Guide to Section 8 & Rent Assistance

Searching for an affordable home can be a challenge for a low-income household or individual. Perhaps you pay too much rent for your current rental space.



Luckily, there is assistance available for you. If you qualify, government programs can provide you with the financial assistance you need to pay your bills. 

There are various rental assistance programs at your disposal and all you need to do is find the right one.

Each program will have their own requirements and benefits, so it is crucial to find the right information. Continue reading the sections below to find which program suits you best. 

Learn About Section 8 Rental Assistance

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers the Housing Choice Voucher program, formerly known as Section 8 housing.

This housing program can give you the tools you need in order to find the right home for you and your family.

With the housing voucher, you can use the voucher to pay for a portion of – or all – of your rent. 

However, these funds are only available to eligible participants. The main factor considered for this program is income limit.

In addition to income limit, the public housing agencies (PHAs) will ask for assets and the family composition as well as each household member’s personal information.

Once you qualify, you may be placed on a waiting list. The waiting lists tend to be very long, so contact your local PHA to see if you qualify for local preferences to move up the list.

Image Source

Find Out About Government Grants for Housing

The HUD administers different kinds of financial assistance to families in need of a safe and sanitary home. One type of financial assistance HUD provide is grants. This department provides over 20 grant programs that support their mission, including rental assistance. 

One general grant for qualifying HUD participants is the Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grant program. This program not only applies to residents, but also to local businesses and local government infrastructure.

Another grant program is the Mainstream Voucher program, which awards PHAs grants to pass on financial help to individuals who are suffering from homelessness or a disability.

There are varying types of HUD grants, so it is important to look through each grant program to find which will suit your needs.

Learn About Emergency Rental Assistance Programs

If you are in desperate need of rental assistance, you have a few options available to you if you qualify. For instance, the Emergency Solutions Grants program was created with the purpose of providing families who are at risk of homelessness with permanent housing.

This grant program exists in most metropolitan cities and urban areas, so if you meet the requirements contact your local HUD office for more information.

If you qualify for Section 8 housing and your local PHA priority list, there is a possibility of receiving emergency assistance sooner than most.

This HUD program is beneficial if you want long-term rental assistance. Local organizations can provide financial assistance such as the Department of Social Services (DSS) and local charities.

Certain local charities that can help in times of crisis are the Salvation army and the Red Cross. The Salvation army have a program called the Emergency Assistance and Homelessness Prevention program.

This program give a sum of money to qualifying households. This money goes towards basic personal and housing needs like utilities, food or clothing.

The Red Cross also provides financial aid to individuals who had any sort of military affiliation. Persons who are active duty service members can also be eligible.

You will have to provide your legal and personal information to verify if you are qualified.

For the DSS, the eligibility requirements will vary by state and the amount of funds available.

If you are at risk of homelessness, the government also provides across the U.S. Contact your local homeless assistance office for more details.

About the HUD VASH Program

The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) is working with HUD to create the HUD and Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) program.

This program helps veterans and their families who are homeless find substantial and permanent rental housing. There are certain factors to determine eligibility such as health care eligibility, homelessness status and income.

Veterans who have chronic mental illness or chronic substances and abude disorders are given priority within the waiting list. You can learn about rehab services here.  

In order to receive assistance, veterans and their families must be receiving VA case management services. This ensures that veterans are receiving the help that they need, like health care and mental health treatment, to recover and pay for their home.

If you are a veteran that has experienced repeated homelessness, then this program will be beneficial to you.

Learn About Financial Calculators for Veterans