Affordable Housing for Single Moms: A Resource Guide

When you’re raising a family on your own, finding a home that meets your budget can be a big challenge. The good news is that affordable housing for single moms is out there; you just need to know where to look.

That’s why we put together this handy guide for single moms. Keep reading to discover where to find affordable housing!

Prosperity Now

If you’re a single mom, you probably already know that when money is tight every month it can be challenging to put aside the money you need for things like the first and last month’s rent for a new apartment or even a down payment on a home.

Prosperity Now is a national organization whose core goal is to help adults acquire new financial tools that allow for saving money each month. The money you save opens up many additional options for home rentals and home ownership for single moms.

Additionally, Prosperity Now has an Affordable Homeownership Network dedicated to taking most of the risks of buying a home. If you’ve always dreamed of having your own place and thought that dream could never come true, Prosperity Now may be able to help you transform that dream into reality.

To save money each month and make rent or mortgage payments more affordable, it’s important for all qualified applicants to apply for WIC.  

Take Advantage of WIC 

Part of finding affordable housing for single moms is making sure you have enough money for your family each and every month. If you’re pregnant or have small children, WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) benefits can be a big help in meeting your family’s nutritional needs.

WIC is useful for many single mothers, but it is primarily designed to help pregnant mothers or mothers of young infants. That is because these early years are critical to the development of the child. This program can help pay for things like baby formula and food to take care of your child’s nutritional needs.

Like other programs such as SNAP, this is not a program that ties directly to housing, but WIC offers a way to help take care of your family while potentially also freeing up money in your monthly budget that you can use to pay for housing.

Now, let’s take a close look at some of the programs that can help provide low income housing for single moms.

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity is a very famous organization. Despite this, many single mothers don’t know what this organization is about and how it can help take care of their housing needs.

Basically, Habitat for Humanity is a faith-based nonprofit organization. Through the help of donations and generous volunteer labor, they can repair and renovate existing houses and build houses from the ground up.

To take advantage of their services, you can apply for the program today. While the most “popular” program option is to build an entirely new house, Habitat for Humanity can also help repair and renovate your existing house and transform it into the home of your dreams.

While Habitat for Humanity is a wonderful program, you may discover even more opportunities through HUD.

Explore Options With HUD

Single mothers who are struggling to find a place to live should explore options through HUD. Their affordable housing options provide critical housing assistance for 4.8 million American households.

Here is how it works: HUD calculates the Average Median Income for your area. If you are making 80% or less of that AMI, you are considered a low-income household.

Once you know this information, you can apply for a voucher through your local Public Housing Authority. If you qualify, you can use the voucher to pay for qualifying housing (either a standing house or an apartment). Additionally, HUD offers other options such as public housing and special rental prices for low-income applicants.

To fully understand how HUD works, let’s take a closer look at the differences between public housing options and housing vouchers.

Financial Differences Between Public Housing and Vouchers Through HUD

Many people think that HUD only offers a few housing options to qualified applicants. In reality, there are some key differences in what HUD offers, and it’s important for you to figure out what works for you.

For example, public housing options may feel more restrictive because in this scenario your local housing authority is your landlord. However, if you are using a voucher, you must directly deal with a different landlord who is getting his own subsidy for the services he offers.

At the same time, the voucher program can be more expensive. Generally speaking, public housing options through HUD are limited to no more than 30% of your income. In contrast, those who use housing vouchers may have to pay up to 40% of their monthly income on housing.

If you’re still on the fence about HUD, it’s important to learn more about where you want to live.

Housing Through HUD: Where Will You Live?

There are many housing options that may be available to you. However, all major housing moves begin with a simple question: “where do I actually want to live?”

This question becomes even more important if you are working with HUD. Simply put, the HUD housing options you use may ultimately affect where you can live.

This is an area where HUD vouchers can be the better choice. If you have an approved HUD voucher, you have more options to choose from as you can draw from a wider pool of private properties and landlords, as long as they are set up to accept vouchers. This is particularly useful if you’re not yet sure where you wish to hang your hat.

By contrast, those who apply for public housing through HUD must live in the same area in which they apply. While this isn’t a problem for those who want to stick around their hometown, those who are hoping for a serious change of scenery may want to take a long, hard look at what the voucher program can do for them.

If you’re ready to explore HUD as an option, you need to know how the organization’s waiting list works.

Getting on the List

These HUD options may seem too good to be true. But one “catch:” you must prepare for spending some time on a waiting list.

Basically, there are more people that apply for HUD housing benefits than there are benefits available. This means that most who apply must wait on a waiting list before they can begin receiving benefits.

When it comes to public housing vs housing vouchers, which option has the shortest wait? It depends on the exact circumstances and your exact area.

Most of the time, public housing waiting lists are shorter than housing voucher waiting lists. A public housing list may take applicants all year long. Compared to that, voucher waiting lists may close throughout the year as more applicants come available.

Again, there is no inherent advantage between public housing and housing voucher opportunities. If you are operating under a time crunch, you may be better off applying for public housing rather than vouchers.

Qualifying for HUD Housing

At this point, you may be ready to apply for HUD housing. However, it’s important that you know about the eligibility criteria that all applicants must meet.

Basically, there is a screening process for HUD applicants that is similar to the screening you must pass for most apartments. This screening process may vary for different places and different kinds of applicants, but there are a few consistent qualities.

For example, screenings usually consider references you have for previous landlords. They look at things like your credit report to determine your financial stability. They are also likely to do a background screening.

HUD is definitely worth pursuing for most single mothers. But in the meantime, don’t forget to take advantage of programs like WIC and SNAP that can help you save money.

Ultimately, it may take many resources to help you find affordable housing and make monthly payments as needed. Using the resources we have provided in this guide today, however, may help ease some of your financial burdens when it comes time to pay your rent or your mortgage.

Find Affordable Housing For Single Moms Today

Hopefully, our guide to finding affordable housing for single moms has been helpful to you. However, when it comes to the journey we mentioned above, this is just the first step.

Fortunately, there are many other programs out there to help make housing more affordable. Only you can decide what is best for you and your children.

Save Money on Your Wireless Phone Service

If you qualify for HUD benefits, you also qualify for Lifeline service. Lifeline is a federal benefit program that makes it possible for low-income consumers to receive access to free or heavily discounted communication services. Click here to find out more and apply for this valuable benefit.