Do I Qualify For Low-Income Housing?
Now more than ever, it’s important for families to understand all the readily-available resources put in place to get everyone into a stable living situation, despite income level. Depending on which avenue you decide to go down, different eligibility requirements must be met before qualifying for government or charity aid.
Many factors are considered when applying for low-income housing, including past renting behavior, job status, and whether there are children in the household. Statewide and countrywide programs ensure equal opportunity for low-income families looking to move or relocate into better living situations. In this article, we will cover a few programs available to help families get back on their feet, along with the eligibility requirements to receive assistance.
Affordable housing properties are units set at a reasonable rent price based upon your salary and how it relates to the average salary in your area of your residing state, referred to as the Area Median Income (AMI). The Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulates these income standards every year to most accurately assess which properties are deemed affordable.
Housing Choice Voucher
In recent years, the HUD has concluded that anyone paying 30-50 percent of their income on housing costs is heavily affected and may be entitled to a housing voucher. The HUD provides accepted low-income families with a housing voucher through the Housing Choice Voucher Program, which can be used to help pay for a home. Money is given to local public housing authorities (PHA) that distribute those funds to families in need per the landlord who receives a PHA subsidy. You can choose your own property to live in as long as it meets the PHA requirements.
Qualification standards and benefits priority level is based on your salary concerning the AMI. Individuals making 30 percent of the Area Median Income are considered extremely low-income and therefore would be the first to receive aid. Earning 50 percent of the Area Median Income is considered very low-income, with a maximum earning capability set at 80 percent, putting those families into the low-income category.
Contacting your local PHA can shed more light on the application process to get your family on a waiting list promptly. However, it’s important to note that the HUD only supplies housing vouchers for US citizens or eligible immigrant status individuals. Being evicted for a drug-related offense could limit your aid package and eligibility level. For more info on this program, visit Housing Choice Vouchers Fact Sheet | HUD.gov / U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Along with the Housing Choice Voucher program, low-income families have other readily available resources to help individuals and families find the right home. These programs are great for people who fall into unspecified income levels or find themselves on a never-ending waitlist. While affordable can be very relative based on your desired area of living, low-income housing programs are not based on the AMI.
Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
The FHA, a HUD department, works with local landlords to aid in low-income families or individuals’ home buying process. All FHA loans come insured by the government ensuring both the landlord and renter are at minimal risk. For first-time home buyers, an FHA loan may be the perfect choice for you.
Because the home seller knows a federal program backs them, it’s possible to cut the down payment and closing costs to a more reasonable amount. The FHA does all its own research to confirm a home is the right fit for both the lender and the family. Oftentimes, receiving an FHA loan is the cheapest way to lower interest rates on a long-term mortgage. For more information on FHA, please visit: Loans | HUD.gov / U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Low-Income Housing Credit Program
This countrywide program was put into place to ensure despite rising rent prices and new developments being built daily, low-income individuals will always have a cheap place to live. The Low-Income Housing Credit Program, also called Section 42, works directly with developers and investors to designate units within their buildings as low-income rentals for tax credits or incentives.
Developers continue receiving this tax credit as long as a certain percentage of their units are aimed to help low-income renters. This program is a win-win for both parties and is worth looking into in your local area!
The HUD’s Public Housing program is put in place to provide low-income families and individuals with safe and affordable housing in correlation with your local housing agency (HA). Elderly low-income individuals, along with people with a disability, can also be eligible to receive benefits.
If you earn between 50-80 percent of your area’s median income, you may be eligible to receive assistance. Eligibility requirements include investigating your annual income, citizen or immigration status, disability or elderly status, and past references. Income limits are based on your area’s salaries, meaning you may qualify for public housing in a suburban area but might not qualify in a metropolitan area, or vice versa!
Qualifying For Low-Income Housing
Most low-income housing programs in the United States are based on a few of the same eligibility requirements, including annual income and how it relates to most of the population in the area you reside in, disability and elderly status, and a citizen or immigration level.
Be sure to be up to date on your area’s housing programs to get you into a safe living situation today. These programs are designed to help low-income individuals who need it the most while prioritizing those that fall in the lowest income bracket.
We know how difficult this past year has been on families, especially those already functioning on a fixed or low-income level. Now more than ever, it’s important to know about all the government and state-aided programs to help you land back on your feet while ensuring a safe, hospitable environment for your family or loved ones.
Be sure to contact your local HUD office for more information on the programs and housing units available in your area and start working towards a more comfortable living situation.
Those who qualify for low-income housing may also qualify for other assistance programs like Lifeline. Check for eligibility in one easy click. How To Qualify For Free Lifeline Phone Service | StandUp Wireless