Many Americans are facing burdens when it comes to securing affordable housing. COVID-19 and supply chain issues have only intensified the housing crisis. Not only are many families faced with spending more than fifty percent of their income to pay for housing, but their living situations might also be unsafe in terms of construction and crime.
While housing assistance is available, knowing where to find that help isn’t always clear. Here are a few agencies that are working to help families who are experiencing the burden of finding affordable, safe housing.
Public Housing Programs
The U.S. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) works with local housing agencies to find apartments for low-income families. Qualification is determined by age and income, as well as disability and citizen status.
Rental Assistance Programs
During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC issued an order suspending residential evictions through the end of the year. But when that order ended, families were once again facing evictions with months of back rent coming due. Applying for a hardship exemption is one way to buy more time when trying to catch up on months of overdue rent.
Temporary Housing Assistance Programs
These programs are for families facing homelessness. The goal is to get help quickly for families facing job loss and eviction. Depending on the location, shelters or temporary housing are used to keep families off the street until they can secure a more long-term solution.
When a homeowner is facing hardship in paying their monthly mortgage, the best place to look for help is with the lender. Some lenders offer payment restructuring programs to ease the financial burden. Similarly, various types of refinancing may be available. And if payments have been missed, federal programs that offer foreclosure counseling are available too.
Even once a family finds an assistance program, getting assistance isn’t always easy because the demand is high. Many of these programs are location-specific and have lengthy application processes; it’s important to start the process as soon as someone begins facing a housing crisis. Also, be sure to follow each application process carefully, meaning gathering the necessary documentation and making appointments as necessary to avoid processing delays. Whenever possible, keep notes regarding appointments and contacts to avoid confusion.
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