A middle class income is no longer sufficient to maintain a quality lifestyle, especially if you live in a major metropolitan area. With housing prices shooting through the roof after the Great Recession, more and more moms are looking for low income housing for single mothers. Housing services are especially needed for single mothers who struggle to pay the bills and put food on the table.
For 2016, the President, along with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, have set aside nearly $50 billion for the sole purpose of increasing the amount of available housing vouchers. The majority of this funding will go to a variety of housing programs that include homes for single moms, rental assistance vouchers and homeless assistance.
Taking Advantage of Single Parent Housing Benefits Offered by the Federal Government
There are numerous programs available throughout the United States that are perfect for single mothers.
The Housing Choice Voucher Program
The most widely known housing program is the Housing Choice Voucher program. Also known as Section 8, the federal government offers rental assistance to those who meet certain income qualifications. The funding subsidizes rental payments, which means the money goes directly from the local housing authority to landlords. Tenants then cover the rest of the housing cost out of their own pockets on a monthly basis.
Section 8 is one of the most popular options for rental assistance for single mothers. Single parents should apply directly with their local housing authority to determine whether or not they can be admitted into the program. Applying early is key however, because spots often fill up fast and the wait time to actually receive assistance could be several years.
Private Housing Assistance for Single Mothers
Navigating the red tape that makes up most of the federal government housing often causes a lot of stress. For women looking for housing help for single mothers, programs like the Rental Assistance Program can be a life saver.
Private housing assistance programs are also funded by the federal government and HUD. Prospective housing tenants use these programs to help find the best option for them. Housing specialists analyze income information, family needs and match them with the best option. Single mothers are then connected with the correct housing agency and are given specific instructions on what to do.
Some private housing assistance programs also offer single mother housing help by building their own apartment complexes and renting them out. The private housing assistance organization is then compensated by the federal government to cover additional rental costs that bring the monthly price closer to the current market rate.
Because other government housing assistance programs can often fill up fast, single mothers should use private housing assistance as a secondary option.
The Rental Assistance Program and Help for the Homeless and Financial Independence
Many single working mothers often find themselves in dire need of basic housing. Whether staying with friends or family, low income housing for single mothers is the right long term, permanent solution.
A variety of non-profit organizations across the country offer programs that are geared towards helping single mothers of all ages. Commonly known as “Housing Assistance for the Homeless”, people receive assistance with long term temporary housing and then are placed with various government housing programs as more vacancies open up. Free financial independence education is also given to single mothers who enroll in these programs.
There are a variety of non-profit housing organizations across the country that always have room for single mothers.
How Do You Qualify for Various Single Mom Housing Programs?
The best way to figure out whether or not you qualify for rental assistance is to speak with a qualified housing specialist who works for a non-profit organization or government agency.
Most single mothers can get a basic idea of how much assistance they qualify for by simply evaluating their current family makeup and financial status.
- Financial standing – There is a basic calculation that is used to determine eligibility based on annual income, financial assistance, and bank accounts. If more than one person has
- Family makeup – The amount of assistance people receive is also determined by how many people live together. Usually, depending on the household income, more assistance will be given to larger families.
- Childcare expenses – Expenses related to taking care of your children include daycare, healthcare, and some basic household expenses. When applying for housing, they may ask you to itemize this type of financial information.
How Long Does the Process Take?
The process varies greatly depending on what type of assistance you’re looking for, your location and the number of vacancies available.
Housing authorities are located in every zip code across the United States. As primary providers of housing to single mothers, these agencies use similar methods for approving housing assistance and experience similar extensive waiting periods.
In major cities like New York and Los Angeles, housing authorities often set up specific days throughout the year when prospective tenants can come in and register for the waiting list. Once on the waiting list, it can take anywhere from a few months to several years for names to be called. As more vacancies open up or new complexes are built, the authority will begin the screening process and background check over a three to six month period. Once an individual has been approved, the housing authority begin to provide assistance to them.
When all is taken into account, the actual process can take anywhere from six months to a few years to complete.