Finding affordable housing is an issue many low-income Americans deal with regularly, and with the housing market going haywire, they’re running out of options, fast.
Thankfully, the federal government is aware of this ever-present issue, and it’s why they created Section 8, otherwise known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program.
With this federal assistance program, qualifying Americans can receive vouchers, which they can then use to cover a portion of their rent costs or even a portion of a home’s purchase price.
This way, the government ensures that every American has access to a roof over their head and a warm place to sleep at night.
Apart from the standard Section 8 benefits, there are several other voucher programs focused on solving different issues, and we’ve compiled a list of all of them, to give you a better idea of what to expect and what to look out for.
Housing Choice Voucher
This is where it all started, and it’s the most basic version of the housing voucher program, focused on offering low-income families the opportunity to secure a home in the private rental market.
It’s important to note that these vouchers can only be used with participating landlords, and while this does limit your options to some degree, you’re still looking at hundreds of different homes that are available to you.
Unlike most other housing assistance programs, the applying family is tasked with finding the home they’ll use their voucher for, and upon finding one, will have to make and sign an agreement with the landlord.
In order to increase the number of properties available to these needy Americans, the government offers numerous benefits to landlords participating in the program, including tax incentives.
This way, everyone’s getting something out of the program, and most importantly, more homes are made available to those who need them the most.
Emergency Housing Vouchers
With the help of this program, the government hands out EHVs, which are vouchers intended for assisting families and individuals that are currently experiencing homelessness.
These are also available to anyone fleeing domestic violence, sexual assault, or human trafficking or anyone who could benefit from receiving assistance that would prevent them from being homeless.
That being said, EHVs are only given to families that a homeless service provider refers to the program, meaning that families or individuals that are currently without a service provider or case manager should get one ASAP.
Homelessness is a major issue in the US, and any program that battles it will have its work cut out for them, but it’s a cause that can’t and shouldn’t be abandoned.
Homeless families and individuals tend to fall back into homelessness even after using shelters for more than 6 months, and rental assistance can help prevent that.
HUD Veterans supportive housing
Veterans in the US have access to numerous assistance programs aimed at making their lives ever so slightly easier.
The HUD-VASH program combines housing vouchers with some of the clinical services that the Department of Veterans Affairs has to offer.
The VA screens the applicants and refers them to Opportunity Home, where they’ll be directed to their rental.
Applying for the program is fairly simple and can be done both in person and online, although it’s recommended to get more information before committing, as some documentation has to be provided upon application.
You can contact your local VA office to learn more about how HUD-VASH works and how you can maximize the benefits you’ll receive, as well as how the program itself works.
Moderate rehabilitation program
With the help of the MOD-Rehab program, low-income American families and individuals can receive project-based rental assistance.
This form of the voucher is only applicable for properties that have been rehabilitated through the Housing Assistance Payments Contract.
Applications are only completed online, and you can contact your local Section 8 office to learn more about how this program works.
Lack of affordable housing is a growing issue in the US, and low-income families often find themselves priced out of the market entirely, to the point where some of them become homeless.
Homelessness is yet another problem that the federal government has to address, and it’s why numerous housing assistance programs were created.
From the public housing programs and utility assistance to the voucher programs we just covered.
With the help of these vouchers, low-income families can be given an opportunity to rent out a home that wouldn’t normally be within their financial capabilities, with the voucher serving as some form of a discount.
This way, they can devote only 20% of their income to housing expenses, which makes it an affordable option, while also focusing on dealing with other financial troubles they’re experiencing, until they eventually overcome them and reach financial independence.