Are you looking for affordable apartments, townhouses, or houses but cannot seem to find units within your budget? Rental assistance programs can reduce your rent, so it is only around 30 percent of your household income. Housing vouchers and subsidies can save you tens to hundreds of dollars monthly.
The Section 8 voucher program, Public Housing, and tax incentives make living costs more affordable if you are part of a low-income household. The amount local housing authorities consider low income depends on the area’s median household earnings. Learn more about getting cheaper rent through government programs and other methods.
Instead of looking at cheap apartments for rent, check out housing assistance funds to cover rising living costs. The housing market and rental prices seem to increase faster than personal incomes. In some areas, landlords can raise rent up to 4 percent, whether or not your employer raises your salary.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) oversees many housing programs that help make rentals more affordable and homeownership more attainable. One program is the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, which reduces rent obligations by paying the landlord a portion directly.
Landlords often use the term Section 8 for rental units that participate in the HCV program. Not all landlords accept Section 8 vouchers. However, many properties have Section 8 houses for rent, and you can locate ones near you using the HUD website. The local Public Housing Agency (PHA) may also have a list of nearby rentals.
Rent prices in the HCV program are typically around 30 percent of the household income, and rent and utilities cannot be more than 40 percent of the household income. A PHA caseworker will review a household’s application and financial information to calculate the monthly voucher.
Additional voucher plans include the following:
• Homeownership Vouchers to help pay mortgages
• Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Vouchers exclusively for veterans and their families
• Vouchers for Persons with Disabilities for families with disabled non-elderly household members
• Family Unification Program for families close to out-of-home care and adult orphans leaving foster care
Section 8 is not the only rental assistance program. HUD also has rental units in government-owned residential buildings. Instead of paying funds to a privately owned rental organization, the government acts as a landlord.
Public Housing may have the cheapest rental units available. Discover more about housing with rent prices based on your income next.
By Jennifer Symonds –