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Financial aid from Greater Washington Urban League.

The Urban League of Washington DC is a resource for low income and struggling residents. The non-profit and its specialists will help with housing needs, including both mortgage or rent assistance. The organization also partners with companies on offering utility and water bill assistance programs to those facing a disconnection. They are also involved in other programs as well, such as free food from CSFP, job placement, and counseling.

Find help with rent, mortgage, and utility bills

GWUL also provides resources for tenants. The main service offered is the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) Program. This is partly funded by the District of Columbia Department of Health. When possible, TBRA assists clients in obtaining and maintaining stable housing and avoiding homelessness. The guiding concept is to act as a bridge leading to long term assistance programs, such as Section 8, or to self-sufficiency. Participation in the TBRA program is voluntary and conditional.

The League has provided assistance with paying natural gas, heating and electric bills to community members. This is done in partnership with PEPCO. Assistance is available once per year, with a limit of $500 as funding allows. To receive a grant for their energy bills, applicants must apply with the required paperwork and receive approval.

In partnership with (WASA) D.C. Water and Sewer Authority, The GWUL Urban League helps needy and eligible families pay their water bills during times of crisis. Residents are encouraged to apply for assistance through the program known as SPLASH, or Serving People by Lending a Supporting Hand.

The number of families that are supported is small, as it is funded solely with contributions from community members, non-profits and fellow WASA customers. It is also for emergency situations as well.

The GWUL Housing Division provides assistance to residents of metropolitan Washington DC who are making the transition from renting to owning homes. The Housing Division also conducts programs throughout the year in regard to financial literacy, budgeting and self-sufficiency for both young people and adults. This can give them an understanding of resource investment and wealth accumulation, which is knowledge that can help families escape poverty and achieve long term economic security.




District of Columbia government employees are offered an opportunity to become first-time homeowners with the help of the Employer Assisted Housing Program. The DHCD also known as the city's Department of Housing and Community Development, matches closing cost funds and also coordinates deferred second trust loans. Applicants have their choice of lenders and banks to use.

This is only for government employees. To be considered eligible, applicants must be full-time employees who are first-time home buyers in metropolitan DC. Additional requirements include a good credit rating as well as a demonstrated ability to pay a mortgage on time. Typically, government workers are eligible to benefit from this program, and fire-fighters, teachers, police officers can also enroll.

Individuals and families earning low or even more moderate incomes may have access to affordable Washington, DC housing through the Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP). Those who apply at the Greater Washington Urban League programs (GWUL) and are found to be qualified can receive tens of thousands of dollars in financial assistance or grants. All of the money issued needs to go toward the purchase of single-family houses, cooperative apartments, or condominiums.

A combination of factors, including household size as well as income and the amount of assets available for a home purchase, are considered in determining the amount that can be issued of a no-interest, 5-year deferred loan. Funds can be used for paying closing costs or acquisition assistance.

Additional Urban League services in Washington DC

Food and free groceries are provided. Using funding from the federal government as well as the Washington DC Department of Health, the Greater Washington Urban League's Commodity Supplemental Food Program, or CSFP, provides free, nutritious food to low income residents who meet eligibility requirements.





The aid is targeted at children up to six years of age, pregnant women, women who have delivered a baby in the last year, and senior citizens aged 60. They are eligible to benefit from the program, which provides a grocery bag of food on a monthly basis.

In order to participate, residents are required to apply for certification at the Urban League. If you require recertification, the applicant must visit one of the local sites and present documentation, such as a photo ID, birth certificates and more. For additional information, call 202-265-8200.

The GWUL Career Center offers a broad array of job search activities, employment programs and services for the purpose of connecting employers with community residents who are looking for work.

The free Urban League Career Center provides job referrals, training, resume preparation classes, and work readiness workshops. They are held in small-group and/or one-on-one settings. Additionally, the League works with area businesses, the DC Department of Employment Services, and community-based organizations to hold job fairs for the public.




The location of the Greater Washington Urban League is at 2901 14th Street, NW, Washington, District of Columbia, 20009. Call 202-265-8200.


By Jon McNamara

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