When there’s only one income coming into a household, it can be difficult to afford a place to live that is safe for you and your children. It’s true that many low cost housing options are in high crime areas, but there is hope for a safer place to live.
Housing assistance from the government and organizations across the country is available to help you with the cost. All you need to do is find out where you need to apply for it.
Types of Housing Assistance
Emergency housing helps people who find themselves without a roof over their heads for a short period of time. This may be because of a domestic violence situation or a fire destroyed where they were living before. Emergency housing options include shelters, boarding homes, group homes, and even hotel rooms paid for by social services and other organizations.
Affordable housing has low cost rent or in some cases a low monthly mortgage payment. Affordable housing can be granted with Section 8 vouchers or can be part of a neighborhood where the apartment units and houses are offered at a reduced price.
This housing is only for people with a low income. There is usually a maximum amount of money someone can earn before he or she is able to live in the apartment, townhouse, or house.
Rental assistance helps people with their rent. The government or organization will give people money to use towards their rent, or they will work with the landlord to decrease the rent for the resident.
Emergency Housing for Single Mothers
Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program
The Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program is for non-profit organizations, and state and local government agencies to fund housing options for people with low incomes. The money runs homeless assistance programs throughout communities to help individuals and families needing housing stability after homelessness.
This grant program provides funding to agencies providing shelters and programs such as street outreach, homelessness prevention, and data collection.
The Camillus House used to provide shelter to Cuban refugees. Now, it provides housing and services to people who are poor or homeless. Most of the people who use the services the Camillus House provides do not have any other assistance available to them. They have no money, housing, or family to help them. The Camillus House strives to be their family.
Eligibility depends on availability and needs. People who are suffering through the direst circumstances end up receiving the most help. To find out whether you can receive assistance, you need to submit an application.
Emergency Shelter Program
The Emergency and Funding Shelter Program by the United Way provides funding to human services agencies to help communities build, rebuild, and purchase housing for people with a low income. This program is only for private and public agencies.
Non-profit, state, and local government agencies are eligible to receive this funding. The amount agencies receive depends on the need for affordable housing for community members the agencies serve.
Affordable Housing for Single Mothers
Housing and Community Facilities Programs (HCFP)
These programs serve the housing options for people with low income in rural areas. Due to the economic deprivation of rural areas, many don’t have enough options for people who can’t afford the cost of living. The funding from these programs fund single family homes, apartments, nursing homes and many other housing options.
These programs are only for non-profits, Indian tribes and agencies that fall under the state and federal government. Any agency interested in funding for affordable housing in rural areas, must apply with the USDA.
Family Unification Program
The Family Unification Program provides Housing Choice Vouchers to Public Housing Agencies (PHA). These housing vouchers make it possible for people with a low income to secure an apartment or house to live in a safe location. Most people don’t have to pay for the housing, while others only have to pay a small amount. The amount the voucher covers depends on the financial need of the person receive it.
Families that do not have a home are first priority. Youth need to be younger than 21 years old but older than 18 years old. Each PHA has their own limitations on incomes for receiving the housing voucher, so check with your local PHA.
CoAbode Single Mothers House Sharing
This is a program that helps single mothers find stable housing, get help with caring for their children, and receive the emotional support they need. Each mother must find another single mother to live with and they split the rent. All of the household duties are shared, which can be a major relief to some single mothers. The program helps single mothers find other mothers to work the program.
Single mothers who are struggling with safe affordable housing options and could stand to live with another person can use the services this program offers.
This organization is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit that helps people find affordable housing. It uses the website socialserve.com to list housing opportunities in each state. It is updated regularly and there is support staff available each weekday to answer questions.
There are no eligibility requirements. All housing options are for people who are in need of affordable living.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity wants to help people by providing a safe, affordable place to live. The organization builds and repairs houses for people in need all over the world. Sometimes the organizations receive houses to repair as donations.
Families that need a house to live in may be eligible to receive the services of Habitat for Humanity. Some of the houses built or rebuilt may come along with a mortgage, so the ability for families to pay that loan is considered. Circumstances matter, so all interested individuals should apply.
Low Income Housing for Single Mothers
HUD Public Housing Program
Every state has a Public Housing Agency (PHA), which provides housing that’s affordable to families with a low income, the elderly, and people with disability. The housing options are available in different sizes and locations.
People with a low income are eligible to receive assistance from PHA. Low income is determined by considering annual gross income. It must be at least 80% of the median income for the county. Those at 50% of the median income are considered in desperate need. Family size is also considered. All individuals must be a U.S. citizen and have references that prove they are good tenants.
Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)
The Housing Choice Voucher Program, mostly known as Section 8, gives people with a low income a way to afford safe, decent, sanitary housing. The place a person wants to use the voucher must be part of the program, and there is usually a list of available housing options to choose from.
Total annual gross income and family size are considered when determining who should receive the voucher. Seventy five percent of the vouchers must be given to people who have an income that isn’t more than 30 percent of the median income of the community. Since incomes change every year, the median income that is used for consideration differs year to year.
This is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization that provides transitional housing to single mothers and their children who are homeless. They also provide separate housing to single men who are recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.
The Vision House requires people’s income to be 30% below the median income of the area. They must be homeless as well. The maximum amount of time anyone can living in their transitional housing is two years. If people decide to pursue a four year degree, they may be able to stay longer.
The Nurturing Network helps woman who are faced with an unplanned pregnancy. They provide support during pregnancy and after the baby is born. Services include homes, medical services, legal assistance, counseling and help with finding a job. This is a 501(c) 3 non-profit charity organization that operates off the donations they receive from beneficiaries, sponsors and foundations.
A woman must be pregnant and need the services offered by the Nurturing Network. Women must be willing to care for herself and her baby.
National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC)
The National Low Income Housing Coalition is an organization that seeks to improve the housing availability for low income people across the United States. The coalition educates and advocates to help community agencies understand the desperate need for more safe, decent, affordable housing. They seek to preserve federal housing assistance and expand that assistance as much as possible.
Since this is an organization that seeks to be the voice for individuals everywhere who can’t afford housing, there are no eligibility requirements.
Low-income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC)
The Low-income Housing Tax Credits program helps increase the number of affordable rental housing options for areas. By giving property owners a tax credit if they provide affordable housing, they have more people wanting to offer their apartment units, townhouses, and houses for a lower rent. With the credit, the property owner lowers his or her tax liability.
To be eligibility for the tax credits, people need to have a residential rental property. They must commit to the requirements for the low-income occupancy threshold, and lower rent and utility charges for their property.
The Mercy Housing organization is nonprofit and operates in the United States. It strives to help people in poverty find quality housing for a low price. They believe that affordable housing revitalizes neighborhoods by helping more people move into the area that can use their money to help communities grow.
The Mercy Housing communities are limited. Each community has its own eligibility requirements for the available apartments they have at the time people need them. Call the Mercy Housing main number to find out if there are available housing options near you.
Low Income Housing Institute (LIHC)
The Low Income Housing Institute has communities of low income housing available across the state of Washington. It develops, owns, and operates them. The institute also has services to help people become self-sufficient such as job coaching, money management, and more.
To be able to take advantage of the low-income housing communities, individuals’ income much below the area’s median income. Those who have recently been evicted from other properties may not be eligible. Criminal history will be considered, but sex offenders and those with a history of arson will not. Applications will not be accepted if there has been a felony conviction within five years.
Bridge of Hope
Bridge of Hope strives to not only prevent homelessness for women and children, but end it. This organization uses churches to help them. They work to secure permanent housing for women and their children, help them find employment, and increase their self-esteem through friendships.
This is a Christian-based organization. They reach out to churches to find people who are willing to help homeless women and children. Bridge of Hope provides opportunities for those who want to help and be helped. Women wanting help must be U.S. citizens and they must be homeless.
Rental Assistance for Single Mothers
The Salvation Army helps communities in many ways. They provide food, disaster relief, rehabilitation, and financial assistance with housing. They use donations, corporate contributions and the sales they make from their Salvation Army Family Stores.
Families that have a need for housing, food or utility payment assistance can benefit from the Salvation Army. The services available and eligibility for those services depends on the needs of the community. You’ll need to contact your local Salvation Army to find out more.
Catholic Charities provides many services to people with a low income. Many of the services are offered on a sliding scale. Their programs include support for finding affordable housing, providing information on food assistance, and counseling to empower people to find better paying employment.
People do not have to be Catholic to take advantage of the services Catholic Charities provides. Anyone with a low income can seek the assistance this organization provides.
The YWCA advocates for women. They do what they need to do to ensure women and girls get what they need to feel as though they are valuable and worthy of the same benefits anyone else receives. They promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity.
Some of the programs the YWCA offers are:
- • Domestic Violence
- • Violence Against Women
- • Women’s Health Programs
- • Racial Justice
- • Job Training and Empowerment
- • Early Childcare Programs
- • Financial Literacy Programs
- • Military and Veterans Programs
- • YWCA STEM/TechGYRLS Programs
- • Yong Women’s Scholarships
Eligibility to participate in these programs depends on your needs and the availability of the services offered in the programs.