Get help with rent and find housing assistance programs.
Find help with rent from government agencies, non-profit organizations and charity programs. Some of the agencies may provide ongoing financial aid. Or learn how to apply for one time rental assistance as well as get referrals for longer term housing support. The exact type of assistance available, whether for a past due or upcoming rent payment or other bill, will depend on the amount of funds available as well as the tenant’s situation. Applicants can either get help with paying rent or they can get support in signing up for public housing or other resources.
State and local government organizations that help pay rent
Many states as well as local governments operate agencies that administer public assistance type programs that can provide help paying rent, security deposits, storage fees or other housing expenses. For example Massachusetts offers RAFT, the THHSC is available in Texas, the Florida EFAHP program, and there is the Connecticut RAP program. These are some of the state administered rent assistance programs available for struggling tenants, but each is only for residents of those states. Other states have their own housing and rental assistance resources.
The organizations offer one time or ongoing funds. The rental assistance is offered either by issuing free grants and there are many other government housing benefits available as well. Each state run program is focused on offering short term financial assistance to help pay a portion of the rent that is due, and this is done 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 on how to apply for funds, contact the assistance agencies and programs in your state. The case managers will provide information on how to get rent help from these types of resources. The programs are local. Therefore each county, city, and town will often have numerous local agencies that can offer rental payment assistance, and they are also listed on the page.
Housing assistance from charities and non-profits
In addition to the government organizations above, there are many other non-profit options available for rent help, including churches, charities like the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, the United Way and other groups. Many of them partner with the government, and they too will offer assistance for paying rent and related housing costs. Some of the non-profit organizations, such as the Salvation Army and United Way, can assist with making back rent payments if they have funding available. Find how to contact, and apply at, some of these charities below.
The demand for any time of rent assistance is always very high. Priority is often given to people living in an apartment who are faced with a short term financial hardship or crisis and that also have some form of income. Many of these charities as well as non-profits have some type of money that can help with paying housing costs. Funds can be used to cover back rent, energy bills, moving or storage expenses and even security deposits.
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 or even cash loans for paying back rent. See the following link of charity organizations that can help with rent.
Or call your local community action agency to find how they can offer low income families short term rental assistance. Case managers will go over what government services and grant type programs that may be available. The staff can help tenants fill out applications for funds for paying back rent, energy or heating bills, or more. Staff can also provide information on low income, affordable housing units.
Referrals are always available if an agency does not have any funding to pay back rent or other housing expenses. Calling and applying at these organizations, even if you are not directly 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 as well as other bills if your need is great.
There is a search box above to find local programs that can offer help with paying rent or other housing costs. The search feature is also effective at locating local agencies for referrals. Be sure to type in your need (such as need help for back rent), city, county, or state to search for assistance.
There are also additional charities or not for profit organizations that can provide help with paying other housing costs, such as utility and heating bills, in an emergency situation. Resources provided are often one-time-only or they are given on a first-come-first-served basis. This means that you should not depend on these sources over the long term for ongoing rent or housing assistance.
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, St. Vincent de Paul, the Salvation Army, and Legal Aid Society. There are other organizations that can assist with rent 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 rent help or agencies that help with moving-deposit costs
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 as they stay in this short term housing. then, once ready to leave, case managers direct the client to a local rental assistance program to help them get settled.
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, storage fees, or maybe even the first months rent that is due to the landlord for their new home. Find a list of temporary transitional housing programs, including apartments or shelters.
Non-profits as well as charity organizations may also offer help with paying rental deposits. In general, if a family is living in a now unaffordable home, or if an individual was homeless and they now have a job, assistance may be provided. There may also be help in paying for moving costs or first month’s rent that a landlord requires.
Financial help for a security deposit or moving expense is not as common. An agency will often want the applicant to be stable before any money is provided. However there may be short term rent assistance available as part of a rehousing program or other government backed program. Find more details on security deposit help.
Find help with rental payments for single parents, disabled, families in poverty, and seniors
Some agencies focus their resources on certain situation. As an example, there may be rent assistance available for the disabled, senior citizens, or maybe single parents. Other programs support families living in or under poverty guidelines or if the tenant does not have a job. Find solutions for single mothers, who may be given a cash grant that covers housing, including rent and moving costs, for themselves and their child.
Low income households with a physically or mentally disabled member may qualify for rent help. The federal government has two different voucher programs as well as income subsidized apartments, and this is in addition to any SSI payments. Government grants can help with paying rent, there may be funds for paying energy bills as well as other housing costs. The goal is to ensure the individual with a handicap has a home or apartment to live in. Find how to receive rental assistance for a disability.
Very low income families can get assistance with their rent from income based programs. The main one is HUD (Housing and Urban Development) section 8 vouchers, and this can also help families who live in poverty. This will require the family to pay a portion of their income for their housing expenses, including rent, utilities, and other costs. HUD also can provide loans or grants to help a family eventually buy a home when the time is right.
Most of the support is for families living in or near poverty. But there is also rental assistance for low income senior citizens, the mentally or physically disabled, and victims of domestic abuse. The government will provide financial aid to the client, and the funds or vouchers can help pay some of their rent while the family will need to pay the balance of what is due. Read more details on HUD section 8 housing choice vouchers.
Rental assistance from Federal Government organizations or grant programs
The federal government provides billions of dollars each and every year for housing as well as ongoing rental assistance. There is the Emergency Solutions Grants program, which is the main one. Additional support includes HUD vouchers, free legal support, and a wide variety of other assistance programs that may all help with making rent payments. The government and ESG will also provide additional funds on an annual basis to local agencies.
The money is allocated across the nation with thousands of non-profits receiving grants. The funds are given directly to qualified applicants by those agencies. All of the money issues has a goal of helping tenants pay past due rent or even utility bills. 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 primary resource being funded is The Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program, but there are others. 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. Learn more and find how to apply for homeless prevention services, and discover how it combines rent help along with case management.
The largest organization is HUD (Housing and Urban Development). The agency administers several different programs for the homeless, tenants facing eviction, and low income families. Almost 1.5 million families use one or more of their programs. Housing and Urban Development 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. Or the vouchers can be used to access subsidized housing. Other housing costs such as energy bills may be paid for as well.
Most of the financial aid 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. This is also available for veterans, single parents, and the vulnerable. It does this by allowing families to select privately owned rental housing, including apartments or townhomes. Read more on local HUD housing programs.
USDA Rural Development provides affordable housing, vouchers, and rental assistance for struggling rural families. Beneficiaries tend to be low-income residents, disabled, immigrants, farmers, and the elderly who live in multi-unit housing buildings in smaller cities or towns. Continue with USDA rental assistance programs.
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 provide financial help for one or more months. This service is providing rental assistance vouchers as well as security deposit assistance to both veterans as well as their immediate family members. It can also be used to stop evictions from happening. Read more on rent help for veterans.
Receive legal advice to prevent evictions. Over one million people per year receive some form of free legal assistance or counsel from an attorney to help them deal with evictions as well as pay or quit notices. Lawyers not only provide advice, but often can refer clients to resources that can help them pay their rent or address other housing expenses. The assistance is provided from the federal government funded Legal Services Corp.
As part of this federal government funded service, attorneys can try to mediate a solution with your landlord in order to help with any rent payments and advise you on your rights. Or they can help you apply for government benefits such section 8, offer help with solving housing discrimination, represent the tenant in housing court, and provide applications to other forms of financial aid. There may even be lawyers that can represent the tenant in housing court, and this process may refer the client to a place that can help them with their rent. Find more details on free legal advice.
Apply for free government or private grants for paying rent. The funds will not need to be repaid. 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.
Housing First is a solution that combines money for paying rent, moving costs, lease application fees, and other costs along with a home or permanent, affordable apartment to live in. The federal government, using agencies such as HUD, partners with states and non-profits to offer this solution. The rental assistance as well as placement into permanent housing helps reduce homelessness in local communities. Learn more on Housing First programs.
Eviction prevention programs
In a crisis, tenants can find emergency rental assistance from programs that prevent homelessness that are caused by evictions. The federal government, many local and state housing authorities as well as non profit organizations have emergency eviction prevention programs in place. It combines everything from free legal aid to short term housing as well as help with paying past due rental costs. The assistance is targeted at low and moderate income individuals as well as families that have notice from their landlord.
Many of the programs will try to prevent evictions and associated lawsuits by assisting with a small portion of past due rental costs, 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, as well as other forms of expedited rental assistance. Or an agency may be able to help you locate more affordable housing. Continue with eviction prevention.
Families with an eviction on their record due to unpaid rent or even energy bills often find it difficult to lease a new home or apartment. They often need assistance is trying to work through any legal issues or credit score challenges. Lawyers, along with non-profits, can provide help. They offer everything from free advice on dealing with courts to resources that provide help for rent, deposits, and credit counseling. Find more information on renting with a past eviction on your record.
Need Additional Rent Help or Assistance?
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