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United Way rental assistance programs.

The United Way 211 service will provide emergency or long term rent assistance to qualified families. The national non-profit organizations provides free referrals to clients. United Way 211 centers near you direct low-income families to programs that help pay rent, with more information listed below. All of the information is free. The end result is that those in need of help can get rental assistance from the United Way near you.

The agency does not offer its own funds. Instead the information from the United Way rent assistance programs will direct tenants, the homeless, section 8 housing choice voucher recipients and others to charities, churches, or government programs near them in their community. Whether it is a loan, cash grant or non-monetary support (such as free legal aid in housing court), the United Way is a great place to go for information on rent or even security deposit help.

Rental or United Way security deposit assistance

The United Way 211 rental assistance programs are extensive. The organization will have details on all sorts of emergency rent as well as long term financial aid programs, legal resources, grants, charities, eviction prevention services and more. 211 is a free service to learn about local housing programs. Customer service staff from the United Way will be able to refer callers to resources near them for paying rent.

As with any type of financial help, especially cash programs, the funds are limited. Most agencies will not be able to offer assistance. Only some callers to the United Way 211 rent service will be able to be assisted. It is unfortunate, but as noted all funds and charitable resources are limited. In fact, the United Way relies on charitable donations from corporations and individuals as well as generally federal government grants.

This means that the Salvation Army, Saint Vincent, local charities near you, churches, and other groups have limited resources. Note some people may be able to get various forms of housing assistance from the United Way, ranging from emergency rent help in same day to utility bills to security deposits, motel vouchers and more. So, there is not always just one solution.

Other United Way rent assistance is for specific situations. As an example, some grants will only assist veterans or the disabled. Other United Way housing programs may be for single moms or dads, pregnant teenagers, senior citizens, the medically ill and others.




Low cost or subsidized housing from the United Way

The non-profit, free 211 phone service from the United Way, provides information on a wide variety of housing assistance programs.  There is of course details on section 8 income based HUD vouchers, which help pay a portion of rent for a home or apartment. This is part of the federal and state government program for families in poverty, senior citizens or the disabled. The United Way has information on these programs and details on applying.

Another option from the United Way will be temporary, or transitional housing. This is short term placement into an apartment or home in which the client still needs to pay some money for the rent as well as utility bills. It also involves the tenant getting stabilized, saving money, and meeting other guidelines. This will be one of the various other United Way rental assistance options as it is a form of short term housing. More on temporary housing.

There are also homeless shelters that the United Way will have information on. They can help provide a place to stay for a night or two. People staying there may get food, clothes, eventual funds to pay for rent, and other assistance. The United Way 211 service will refer the homeless to a nearby shelter.

Help from homeless prevention and rapid rehousing

This will only for current tenants who rent their home or apartment or it can also help the homeless. It is often a comprehensive approach that is used by many partner agencies of the United Way. The federal government, through ESG grants as well as other tools, may also offer rent assistance from the United Way.

This is homeless prevention program mostly for struggling tenants. On the other hand, the homeless may be able to get first months rent help, deposit assistance, moving cost help, or other support from the United Way 211 referral service. It also offer debt counseling, job programs, budgeting, and other self-sufficiency.





In general, this United Way rental assistance program relies on federal government grants. Some of their annual fundraisers may also contribute, but it is usually government grants. This means if and/when there are no grants offered, or funds run out, then the program ends. In that case, find other local homeless prevention assistance.

Applying for rental or housing help near you from the United Way

As noted, all of the financial help for rent payments is from referrals only. The non-profit acts as a referrals service. The rent assistance from the United Way relies on those partner agencies. They do not offer their own funds. However, referrals and information about all of the services near you is free, and find a state below.

























New Jersey

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Other resources are offered too. The United Way is a comprehensive social service agency. There is immediate rent help, shelters, grant money and more. Call 211 for information on United Way rent assistance near you.


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By Jon McNamara














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