Rental assistance programs.

Find help paying your rent from various government, local, national, non-profit and charity programs. Some of the resources may provide direct rental or financial assistance, while others will offer referrals. Applicants can get help in signing up for public funding or private resources.

State assistance programs and organizations

Many states and local governments operate agencies and administer public assistance type programs that can help you with paying your rent, security deposits, and other housing expenses. For example Massachusetts offers RAFT, the TDHCA rent assistance program is available in Texas, the Florida EFAHP program, Connecticut RAP, and there are many other government housing benefits available. Each program is focused on offering short term financial assistance to help pay a portion of the rent that is due in an effort to reduce homelessness in the community.

The goal is to provide temporary rental assistance to low to moderate income tenants. To learn more or to apply, contact the assistance agencies and programs in your state to get information on rent help from these types of resources. Or call your local community action agency to learn about what other government services and programs that may be available.

Rent assistance from Federal Stimulus Program

The federal government is providing billions of dollars for housing and rental assistance as a result of the stimulus program. The money is being allocated across the nation with thousands of non-profits providing grants to qualified applicants. There are funds being allocated each and every year to families that are struggling to keep up with their housing needs.

The name of the program being funded is The Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (more on this program), and most of the rental help is being distributed at the local  government level. Your local social service agency, county government, charities and other organizations will process applications.





Rental Assistance from Federal Government Organizations

The largest program is HUD (Housing and Urban Development). Almost 1.5 million families use this program and it helps those in need pay their rent as well as security deposits. There are also vouchers available from HUD that can help the disabled as well as senior citizens pay any rental arrears they may have. Other housing costs such as energy bills may be paid for as well.

It is targeted to low income individuals, including senior citizens and the disabled. In addition to offering grants that help pay rent, the government Rental Voucher Program also helps to increase the availability of affordable housing choices by allowing families to select privately owned rental housing. More.

USDA Rural Development provides affordable housing, vouchers, and rental assistance for struggling rural families. Beneficiaries tend to be low-income residents, disabled, and the elderly who live in multi-unit housing buildings. Continue.

Veterans and their families can get help with paying rent from a federal government resource known as Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program. It is a grant based program that can help for one or more months. This service is providing rental assistance vouchers and security deposit assistance to both veterans and their family members. More.

Receive legal advice to prevent evictions. Over one million people per year receive some form of free legal assistance and counsel to help them deal with eviction notices. The assistance is provided from the federal government funded Legal Services Corp. Attorneys can try to mediate a solution with your landlord and advise you on your rights. Or they can help you apply for government benefits such section 8, help with solving housing discrimination, and provide other aid. Click here to read more.

Or if you are being evicted because your landlord is facing foreclosure, read about your tenant - landlord foreclosure rights.

Apply for government or private grants. There is money available for paying rental arrears and related housing costs. Many non-profit private organizations as well as the government have information on or offer cash grants that can be used to help pay rent.

Eviction prevention programs

Find emergency rental assistance from programs that prevent homelessness and evictions. The federal government as well as many local and state governments as well as non profit organizations have emergency eviction prevention programs in place. The assistance is targeted at low and moderate income individuals and families.




Many of the programs will try to prevent evictions and associated lawsuits, with a goal of stopping homelessness. Some even try to stop foreclosures. They provide resources such as mediation, landlord and tenant assessments, conflict resolution, direct rent payments or grants to tenants, and other forms of rental assistance. Or an agency may be able to help you locate more affordable housing. Learn more.

Rent assistance from charities and other local resources

For short term rent help look to your local community, including non-profits and charities. Churches may also have some funds available for housing expenses or they can show tenants how to get help. If you are experiencing a difficult time in paying your rent for a month or if you think you may soon fall behind, you should contact community based and local agencies that may be able to help you and your family. Many have money that can help with paying housing costs, rent and security deposits.

There are many community groups, churches, and charitable organizations that will sometimes have funds that can help people who are having financial difficulties. Some of the organizations, such as the Salvation Army and United Way, can assist with making rent payments if they have funding available. Priority is often given to people living in an apartment who are faced with a short term financial hardship or crisis.

Dozens of national and local charities help with rental expenses. They will also often provide case management, referrals, and other social services. Even if they do not have funding, staff from a charity often can provide information on how to apply for free grants for paying back rent. See the following link of organizations that can help.

There are also additional charities and not for profit organizations that can help with paying other housing costs, such as utility and heating bills. Resources provided are often one-time-only or they are given on a first-come-first-served basis, so you should not depend on these sources over the long term for rent or housing assistance. Calling these organizations, even if you are affiliated with their group or already a member, can sometimes get you the financial help you need. Or if an organization does not have funding, many can refer people to another agency that can help with paying rent and bills if your need is great.





Some examples of agencies that can help with these types of expenses include Catholic Charities, government social service offices, the United Way, American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and Legal Aid Society. There are other organizations that can assist in a crisis, such as applicants dealing with unexpected unemployment or a reduction in household income. Find more emergency rent assistance agencies.

Many local churches are increasing their assistance programs, including offering more rent help, electric bill aid, and more. However many of these churches rely heavily on donations from the community and therefore tend to have very limited funding available.

Short term and transitional housing programs are operated by numerous non-profit agencies. For families that are behind on their rent and facing imminent eviction or individuals that are currently homeless, these programs can help them find a place to live, such as a shelter or low income apartment. They can also help clients gain self-sufficiency.

Once stability occurs, get assistance in locating a new, low income home or apartment to live in. While more limited, some of these transitional services can direct qualified clients to resources that can help them pay for expenses. There may be financial help to pay for moving costs, a security deposit, or maybe even the first months rent that is due to the landlord for their new home. Read more.

Communication is always key as well. Contact your creditors, as well as your landlord, and communicate with them and tell them exactly what is going on. You need to be very honest about every part of your financial picture. You can ask for a lower temporary monthly rental payment, or even ask for a skipped payment schedule or some type of installment plan. The landlord and creditors will appreciate you being proactive, and in many cases they would rather keep you as a tenant than have to evict you, as it can cost them thousands of dollars to go through the eviction process. It is costly to market the site, find a new tenant, run background checks on the new tenant, etc. It is many times in their best interest to work with you to find a solution.

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