Finding Programs That Pay Rent and Utilities!

Housing assistance programs can reduce your rent, mortgage, and utility costs. Imagine getting up to 70 percent off your monthly rent. A mortgage or rental assistance program will cut your monthly payment, and a utility grant will cover a portion of your bill. 

Several housing programs that help with rent and other living costs are government-run. However, you can find non-government organizations that provide funds for families in need. Discover more details about how to get financial assistance to help pay your rent, mortgage, or utility bills.

Top Rental Assistance Programs
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The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is the federal government entity that manages most housing programs. It provides regular housing assistance and emergency rental assistance for families that meet the requirements.

The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program is the eighth section of the Housing Act of 1937, so many refer to it simply as Section 8. The HCV program reduces residents’ monthly rental responsibility by paying a portion of the rent. 

Vouchers may reduce the rental amount by up to 70 percent. If you qualify for rental assistance, the program outlines that at least 30 percent of your income must go towards rent. Your rental portion cannot be more than 40 percent of your household income. 

Each local Public Housing Agency (PHA) has unique income requirements and other qualifications. The median housing cost differs from state to state and county to county, so the PHA must set the limits as they relate to the area. 

Generally, your household income cannot exceed 50 percent of the median income in your area. If your household income is at or less than 30 percent of the local median income, the PHA may prioritize your application. PHAs may also prioritize households that are:

  •     Homeless or will be homeless.
  •     Living in substandard housing.
  •     Paying rent that is at least 50 percent of household income.
  •     Responsible for elderly or disabled family members.

Since there is a high demand for housing assistance and limited resources, the local PHA may place you on a waiting list even if you qualify. Some PHAs prioritize applicants with very low household incomes, very young or older family members, or individuals with disabilities. 

You can apply to multiple PHAs in your state. Income requirements and available resources can vary by county, so you may qualify in one area but not another. 

If you need rental assistance due to an unforeseen circumstance or emergency, you can apply for the Emergency Rental Assistance program funds. Learn more about it on the next page.

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By Admin