How to Get Emergency Housing Assistance

alt="housing assistance programs"

Introduction to Housing Assistance Programs

In the U.S., national housing assistance programs are critical in providing affordable housing solutions for low-income individuals, families, and vulnerable populations. This article offers an in-depth look at these programs, debunking myths and highlighting their importance for many citizens.

Current Trends and Data in Housing Assistance

Recent data shows that the 2023 State of the Nation’s Housing report reveals alarming trends in the U.S. housing market. The report underscores significant issues such as unprecedented unaffordability, a critical shortage of housing, and substantial obstacles for first-time homebuyers. These findings are especially relevant to Habitat for Humanity’s initiatives and the communities they support, highlighting critical focus areas to address these pressing housing challenges.

Expert Insights

Jenny Schuetz, from the Brookings Metro, said of the growth of pro-housing policies in various cities. These policies are designed to make more homes that people can afford and offer different types of housing. She points out that we need up-to-date research to understand whether these policies work. Insights provide a deeper understanding of the intricacies of housing policy and its impacts on communities.

Detailed Case Studies

  • Case Study 1: I have a family member who lost her home, and she and her children moved in with her mom. She had not one but two jobs and still needed help to afford her place. She went to a long-term shelter when you could no longer stay with family. She continued to work and go to the shelter’s financial education program. After less than a year, a fantastic duplex apartment became available. Everyone has their room and is so grateful.
  • Case Study 2: Maria, a single mom in Queens, NY, found it hard to afford a home in a city with high costs. She found a program that helps her with cheaper housing. This allows her to spend more time on her work and her kids’ school. Maria also got involved in her neighborhood, made new friends, and felt more a part of the community.

Challenges and Creative Solutions

The Biden administration has allocated $2.5 billion of government funds for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to accommodate undocumented immigrants. 

ICE uses this funding to offer a range of services that go beyond necessities. These include food and accommodation but also medical and dental care, recreational activities, and other services. 

Low-income Americans without homes are furious and have been how they have been bypassed by the government and given preferential treatment to the newcomers. We in this country need to learn to balance charity with wisdom.

Comprehensive Resource Section

Find more information and apply for programs at:

FAQs about housing assistance

What Exactly is Housing Assistance, and Am I Eligible?

  • Understanding the Basics: Housing assistance encompasses various programs the government provides to aid individuals and families who struggle financially to afford housing. This includes low-income families, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
  • Eligibility Criteria: Eligibility is primarily based on your income level, family size, and, in some cases, citizenship or immigration status. You must check with your local Public Housing Agency (PHA) for specific criteria in your area.

How Can I Start the Application Process for Housing Assistance?

  • First Steps: The journey to applying for housing assistance begins by contacting your local PHA. You can find their contact information on the HUD (Housing and Urban Development) website or through a quick internet search.
  • Application Essentials: Be prepared to provide detailed information about your household’s income, size, and other relevant factors. Patience is key, as there’s often a waiting list.

What Are My Options in Housing Assistance Programs?

  • Exploring Choices: Housing assistance comes in various forms, such as public housing, Section 8 vouchers, and special programs for the elderly and disabled (like Sections 202 and 811).
  • Finding Your Fit: Each program has unique eligibility requirements for different needs. It’s worthwhile to research or speak to a housing counselor to understand which program aligns with your situation.

How is My Rent Determined in These Programs?

  • Rent Calculation Explained: Most housing assistance programs calculate your rent based on your income. A typical standard is 30% of your monthly income, ensuring affordability.
  • Keeping It Fair: This sliding scale approach ensures that you pay a rent amount proportional to your financial capabilities, making housing costs more manageable.

Do I Have Freedom in Choosing My Residence with a Housing Voucher?

  • Your Choice Matters: With a Section 8 voucher, you have the freedom to choose any eligible housing that meets safety and health standards. This includes apartments, single-family homes, and townhouses.
  • Landlord Participation: Not all landlords accept vouchers, so it’s important to confirm beforehand. Additionally, your chosen housing must be inspected and approved by your PHA.

These FAQs aim to provide clear, useful information for individuals exploring housing assistance options, guiding them through the basics of eligibility, application, program types, rent determination, and housing choices.

How Subsidized Housing Works

The Housing Authority partners with privately-owned housing to provide subsidies for needy people. It is the Housing Authorities’ responsibility to screen applicants for this housing. Once a tenant is approved, the Housing Authority signs the lease and pays the difference between the tenant’s pay and the apartment’s market rate.

The lack of available housing is why there is such a long waiting list and a tremendous need for low-income housing all over the U.S. The government is now discussing cutting some of these entitlement programs, so the future of government-assisted housing opportunities is always subject to change. Check with your city and state for changes.

Types of Subsidies:

  • Direct Housing Subsidies: The government (often local or state) owns and operates housing units specifically for low-income residents. Rent in these units is at a fixed, affordable rate.
  • Housing Choice Vouchers (often known as Section 8): Instead of providing a specific housing unit, the government gives eligible residents a voucher. The resident can choose safe and clean housing, and the voucher covers some of the rent.
  • To ensure that only those who qualify for assistance, households in subsidized housing often need to recertify their eligibility annually. Screening involves providing updated income information and other relevant details.

Landlord Participation (for voucher programs)

  • Landlords must agree to participate in voucher programs and comply with program regulations.
  • Housing units must meet specific health and safety standards.
  • Once a landlord agrees to rent to a voucher holder, the local housing authority will pay the subsidy amount directly to the landlord, and the tenant pays the difference.

Government Housing Assistance Programs

Public Housing

Description: Managed by local PHAs, this program offers low-income families, older adults, and those with disabilities.

Eligibility: Similar to Section 8, varies slightly by location

Section 8 – Housing Choice Vouchers

Eligibility: Determined by the local Public Housing Agency (PHA) based on annual gross income, U.S. citizenship or eligible immigration status, and family size.  Section 8 Housing can include apartments, public government housing, or private homes.  

Section 202 Supportive Housing

Description: Provides subsidies to support the creation of multifamily housing for very low-income elderly persons.

Eligibility: Primarily for seniors with very low incomes

Tax Credit Apartments – Income Restricted Communities

Most people are familiar with Public Housing and Section 8 or Housing Choice programs. Affordable housing is the same thing. All three programs help low-income people by paying rent according to their income needs. Tax Credit Housing Communities are less readily available but are more modern and easier to apply for and be approved. Click on the links below to find out in-depth info about each program.

Section 811 Supportive Housing

  • Description: Similar to the Section 202 program, specifically designed for low-income adults with disabilities.
  • Eligibility: Adults with disabilities and meager incomes.

USDA Rural Housing Service (RHS)

  • Description: This includes loans, grants, and guarantees for single-family homes, multifamily housing, and farm labor housing.
  • Eligibility: Varies depending on the specific program; generally focused on low-income individuals and families in rural areas.

Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)

  • Description: Provides housing assistance and supportive services for low-income individuals with HIV/AIDS and their families.
  • Eligibility: Based on medical diagnosis and financial need.

Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program

  • Description: Offers grants to support street outreach, emergency shelter, rapid re-housing, and homelessness prevention.
  • Eligibility: Varies by locality and specific services provided.
  • Homeless Assistance Grants

Description: Funds programs to assist people without housing, including Continuum of Care (CoC) and Rapid Rehousing.

  • Eligibility: Aimed at individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

Applying for Government-Assisted Housing

In 1962, the U.S. Housing Act expanded the program with Section 23. Potential tenants are placed on a waiting list for housing. Many people require this service; the waiting period can be extremely long.  Single Women with children have priority over individual residents for obvious reasons. Children need to have a safe and comfortable home in which to live.

Qualifications for Receiving Section 8 Housing 

To receive Section 8, you must be below 50% of the area median income. The process of applying for low-income housing is free. If you encounter anyone wanting to charge you or the application, say no thanks and look further.

When looking for housing assistance programs, you can also go to to locate government-assisting housing programs in your state—alternatively, housing authority agencies.

    • Call or visit the housing authority.
    • Get on the waiting list.
    • Make sure you have proper documentation.

Other Government Housing Programs

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

How to find HUD Subsidized Housing Properties?  With the assistance of HUD, those looking for subsidized housing can locate available properties that offer reduced rent options to low-income families.

HUD has a list of private and public subsidized housing. Go to and enter your county, city, the number of rooms, etc., to see what is available. Contact the location for further details.

For more information – 800-998-9999.  Public housing, sometimes called projects, assists the elderly, disabled, veterans, and disadvantaged families in finding affordable housing—contact number – 704-336-5183.  

Section 8 is a voucher program that issues prospective tenants with an acceptance voucher for low-income housing. You have to look for a property owner that will accept their voucher. For more information, call 704-336-5183 or visit Section 8 Housing.

Mortgage Assistance Programs

This program works similarly to the other programs, except mortgage assistance helps those who need help to pay their mortgage.

In Conclusion

You can wait years to enter low-income housing. Go to Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to request a list of landlords taking Section 8. Be patient; if your situation changes, be prepared to bring this proof to the housing agency. Soon, they will call you and your family to move into your new affordable home.

Most of these programs have waiting lists due to high demand, and eligibility requirements can be specific and may vary by locality. It’s crucial to reach out to the appropriate local agency or organization that manages these programs to understand the available options and the application process.

Pamela Lipscomb

We understand that finding financial assistance can be overwhelming and stressful. Our site provides information on potential programs, eligibility guidelines, and more. Please remember that this information is for guidance only, and we cannot guarantee assistance. For personalized advice and support, we strongly encourage you to consult with financial advisors, legal professionals, or the program providers directly.

67 thoughts on “How to Get Emergency Housing Assistance

  1. My mom is currently in the process of being evicted she has no help from family. The landlord or person in charge at her apartments is bribing her and making it hard for I’m currently in college and can’t help right now so I’m trying my best.

  2. Pingback: How to Qualify for SNAP Benefits | Free Financial Help
  3. Pingback: Best Ways to Rent an Apartment with Bad Credit - Free Financial Help
  4. Pingback: Free Assurance Wireless Phones - Free Financial Help
  5. Pingback: Financial Assistance for Disabled Adults and Children
  6. Pingback: Best Free Government Cell Phone Companies
  7. Pingback: Indiana Rental Assistance Programs - Free Financial Help
  8. Pingback: Benefits and Grants Programs - Free Financial Help
  9. Pingback: Colorado Utility and Heating Assistance - Financial Help Paying Bills
  10. Pingback: Christmas Financial Assistance Programs for Low Income Families
  11. Pingback: Jacksonville St Vincent de Paul Assistance Programs & Parishes
  12. Pingback: Texas Rent Assistance Programs - Free Financial Help
  13. Pingback: North Carolina Assistance Programs - Free Financial Help Paying Bills
  14. Pingback: Rent Assistance for Single Mothers - Free Financial Help
  15. Pingback: Affordable Housing Options For Seniors With Fixed Income
  16. Pingback: Where Can I Get Free Toys for Christmas? - Free Financial Help
  17. Pingback: Free Roof Repair or Replacement Programs - Free Financial Help
  18. Pingback: Low-income Housing With No Waiting List | Free Financial Help
  19. I have a home that I wish to renovate so that I can rent it as a starter home. Who do I contact for a grant to repair the home. Your help is very much appreciated.

    1. Hello, Beverly Danner. Please contact the agencies to find out how to get help.

    2. Hello I’m TANDEKA I need help we are not working at my home so the roof get a rain inside when we sleep and furniture it’s old we don’t even have enough rooms please help sir or madam my cell phone number is 0634046582

  20. My roommate
    Passed away the day after
    My birthday am just getting back to work rent is past due after Thursday eviction proceedings will start and she is charging $20 a day in late fees

  21. Really need to get on section 8 I have three boys and one is autistic will asperges, sensory disorder, ADHD, OCD, ADD, depression it’s so hard to find a house to move into I have been stuck living in a hotel for the past 8 an a half months cause I signed a lease thinking I found the right home to move into and come to find out it was all a scam it was nationwide all over about the largo house scam and how the couple scammed over 18 different family’s with signed leases given keys to all family’s and a move in date on top of taking first last and security to secure the property for when they moved out and into there supposed brand new home they had bought and instead on my end alone got away with $3200 of my money and I can not move into any apartment complex cause of my one son and I would just let to no how can someone in my situation be able to get onto section 8 faster or how to up Tain a section 8 voucher to be able to get on/approved for section 8 faster then waiting on the five to six year waiting list

  22. My disabled daughter’s husband is legally blind and their home has black mold and is sinking into the ground. How can she get help to free them of the problem”s.?
    (01) Do they have Grants to eliminate the Black Mold from her home?

  23. I am looking for a water heater for a disabled grandmother, whom is raising four of her grandchildren on a disability income. Please let me know if you can help.

  24. My dad is a veteran and elderly. We have been approved for a $2000 grant to have a barrier free shower installed in his bathroom but the cost to have it completed is $7000 which nor I have. Are there any other grants to help him get the job completed?

    1. Hi, Manny. Tell your Day, “thank you for his service to our country” for me. I would try contacting HUD for help with this issue. Also, contact the organizations in this post, Home Repair Grants Also contact the VA. and HUD.

  25. My mom has her own house, paid for.The roof is leaking. Every time u plug in something the socket Sparks.She is 92 yrs.of age.At the moment I am the only child helping her and that’s only a little money wise..,Are there any agency that can help for free, also the heat and AC unit needs work worth 800.00 dollars.PLEASE HELP!!!!

  26. I’m trying to find a grant or something like that to help make some home repairs we need a new roof and new floors very badly what can I do I live in the state of South Carolina

  27. Hello! My name is Nancy, and I have a disability and need someplace to go! My landlord is going to throw me out on Friday and I will be on the streets of Quakertown PA. If I don’t have $170. By then. I have all the things that I could take out of my eviction. And no way can I be out walking around the streets of Quakertown PA with a walker and companion registered dog! I have food here and clothing plus other important things. PLEASE HELP!!

  28. Hi I am trying to find some grants to help us fix up our home. My husband is disabled, I work part time & we have 5 children so there isn’t much money left after paying bills to fix up our home.
    Any info or help would be greatly appreciated.

  29. I really need help with paying my rent for this month, my rent is 1,623 i dont have it and i have been served and evidence have to be out by the 7th of next month. Is there away i could get help?

    1. Hello, Kasandra. There are a few places that can help you. First, the Department of Social services offers once a year financial assistance for rent, utilities, food. HUD and the Salvation Army may be able to help if funding is available. If you still can’t get help call 2-1-1 which is the United Way.

  30. Its just me and my soon to be husband he lost his job due to the oil field, I am working as a waitress trying to make ends meet and I’m no where near close. I need help I have less than 36 hours to come up with $580.65 and if I don’t we will become homeless I need help!

    1. Hello, Victoria. You are really in a tight situation. I would suggest going to the Department of Social Services. They help with once a year financial assistance with rent utilities, etc.

    1. Hello Erica. To get help with bills, contact St. Paul de Vincent Catholic Church, Salvation Army, or Catholic Charities. To help stretch you money go to the food banks for help. Also go to the department of social services to get emergency assistance, and a referral to a food bank. You may also be eligible for emergency government assistance. Good luck.

      Pamela Lipscomb

    2. Im in need of help for rent we r 2 months behind and about to get evicted im unemployed my girlfriend is pregnant she works part time and i dont no what to do my email is or phone number is 563-650-1197 if u can help me in some way i would appreciate it so much thank you
      Joshua osborn

    3. Hi, my name is Maria and I’m in need of help with my rent. I have been current with my rent until this month. I have ran in to financial problems and can’t pay my rent this month . my rent is 595 but I have a late fee of 35 and 5 dollars for everyday after. I’m the only income coming in at the moment. Please help so I don’t lose my place.

  31. I have not been able to work since June 2015. I suffered an aneurysm which I am still recovering from. I an currently applying for disability. I have depleted all my resources to pay all my bills. My landlord is preparing an eviction notice.
    I really do not know where to seek assistance.

    1. Stephanie, I am sorry for you recent medical problems, but glad they caught the aneurysm in time. Take a copy of your eviction notice to the any of these agencies: Department of Social Services, Catholic Charities, St Paul de Vincent Catholic Church, the Salvation Army. If approved they will contact you landlord notifying them they are working in your behalf to pay your rent and that should put a stop of the eviction.

  32. My fiancé got hurt at work and hasn’t been able to work for two weeks. we have rent and light bill coming up. His boss man is not giving him any workers comp. We need at least 1,000 to get caught up. If you, o anyone knows or can help please do. Thanks. God bless you all.

  33. I am behind on my rent do to loosing my job of over 10 years.I own a mobile home and the park has filed in court to take possession and to evict me.I have nowhere to go and currently no income,My last paycheck was in april,ive been selling my belongings for food money.I have a vehicle but the tags are due so if i drive it it will get towed.My car is in impound because i drove it while the tags where due.And i dont have the money to get it out of impound.I applied for unemployment but have never reieved anything.I was in trouble when i was younger but got out in 2002 and have worked until the present.I am so cofused right now.if i commit crime nothing good would come of it.So that isnt an option.Is there any help available for me..On the first ill be about 2’500 behind.

    1. Gary, I am so sorry you are in this situation. First off I don’t know of any agency that will get you money to get your car out of impound. Please see if a friend or family member can help with that so you don’t lose your car. For the rent, contact HUD, the Salvation Army and Catholic charities. They will also give you a list of churches in you city who help with bills and food. Good Luck.

  34. My name is Sally Garcia..I’m a mother of 5 kids..I really need help with a house or something.. I’m tired of living with family members..I get paid 7.50 an hour I don’t even make enough to pay bills or buy my kids there needs…

    1. Sally, it is a real challenge to raise children, even when you have a good job. There is no way you can take care of yourself and 5 children on that salary. Perhaps while you are living with family you can take a college course or two, that will help you get a better paying job. If you apply for TANF, which is assistance for children, you will also be able to attend school for free. There are a lot of assistance programs for single mothers look around the site.

  35. Need cash today, about to be evicted 72hrs. Me and my son will be homeless, have section 8,have a job.
    Just need to pay this rent . Been to DSS and been denied. What would you do . Called some charities, they say they don’t have it. I have section 8, need help ASAP!!!!! Don’t want to move.

    1. Maurice, try contacting HUD for rent assistance. It takes several months to put someone out for non-payment of rent. Hopefully you will get the help you need. Also, check and see if there is a Crisis Assistance program in your state.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts