Subsidized Housing Assistance for Single Parents

Last Updated on January 16, 2024 by Lori Pace

This article discusses how the HUD housing program can be beneficial for single parents, and we take you through the application process step-by-step. Juggling a job, caring for the children, and keeping up with the month-to-month bills? Life for a single parent can be very stressful. As a single parent, the burden on a household lies solely on you – doing your job twice as hard.

Single-parent households are more likely to earn low incomes than two-parent homes, whether you are single mothers or single fathers. Moreover, a budget-friendly housing arrangement may be challenging to find.

What is financial support available for single parents looking for housing? If you need help getting information on low-income housing assistance programs.

The HUD Public Housing Program for Single Parents

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) introduced this prevalent subsidiary local public housing assistance program. The U.S Department of Housing provides local, affordable, and low-income public housing to:

  • Single mothers,
  • Low-income families,
  • The disabled, and
  • The elderly.

Below, find information on affordable rental help programs like HUD Housing Program. What does HUD stand for, and how does it work?

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is a Federal government agency. Responsible for services like policies and programs to address Americans’ housing needs. This Department also enforces fair housing laws.

Developed in 1965, the HUD housing program collaborates between the government and several housing agencies to increase affordable housing, homeownership, and community development.

The government directly pays apartment owners to decrease rent. This results in them charging low-income families a price they can actually afford.

The Department offers public housing to help eligible low-income single parents who may be eligible for decent and safe rental assistance for their families. Public housing comes in all sizes, from high-rise apartments (elderly families), to apartments, townhouses, duplexes, and single-family houses.

Eligibility /Income Limits for HUD

Various factors contribute to the eligibility of applications to this program, mainly the median annual income and the sizes and types of families.

To verify your eligibility for HUD assistance, administrators from the Department have the authority to review your bank account information. You must permit HUD to review your accounts during the application process.

How does HUD calculate your rent?

The rent you will pay will be 30% of your household median income. So if you are a single parent who earns $400, you will pay $280, including utilities.

How does HUD define affordable housing?

Affordable housing is defined as housing on which the occupant is paying below 30% of gross income for housing costs, including utilities.

Who qualifies for the HUD Public Housing Program?

  • U.S. citizens or eligible immigration status,     
  • Public housing is limited to low-income households,
  • Single parents, elderly and disabled individuals.

The HUD Housing Program For Single Parents Application Process

HUD Program For Single Parents

How to apply for the HUD Housing Program:

  • Contact the nearest HA agency to apply independently or with a representative.    
  • Fill out a written application.      
  • Your local housing agency will determine eligibility requirements based on your various factors,
  • Gross income: Submit documented sources of your family’s current income.                      
  • Geographic location: Submit current contact details and living circumstances, and detailed information about landlords and employers.     
  • Family size: Include the names of every person living in the unit)     
  • Submit proof of your U.S. citizenship or eligible immigration status.

If you qualify, an HA will check your references. To prove you have a good tenant history. The HA representative will verify this information and schedule an interview with you.

After the application process is completed and successful, you will be notified immediately in writing or placed on a waiting list.

What could hamper your application for HUD?

  1. Your HA finds out that you could harm other tenants or the project’s status, they will deny your request.  
  2. If you do not submit all the relevant documentation in your application.
  3. You do not meet any of the criteria stated above.

It takes about 60 days to process your HUD application from receipt.

5 Steps to Follow after Submitting your Application:

Step 1: Wait for your application to be processed.

Applications take about 60 days after receipt but dependent on the resources available to review applications.

Step 2: Confirm your waiting list status.

Check your application or public notices, which will contain information about your application. Alternatively, contact your State’s Public Housing Agency.

Step 3: Stay in contact with the housing office.

Regularly contact the housing office for updates and possible changes that may occur throughout your application process.

Step 4: Attend the final eligibility interview.

This step in the process is vital in finalizing your eligibility for your HUD application.

Step 5: Your family can move into the offered unit.

Once your application for HUD housing, you can sign the lease and move in.

Approved applications are based on the applicant’s median annual gross income and U.S. citizenship or eligible immigration status.

The HUD Housing Program For Single Parents Waiting Process

If you are eligible for housing assistance, your local Public Housing Agency (PHA) will add your name to a waiting list.

If you apply for public housing or Section 8 Vouchers and meet certain conditions but do not qualify for immediate assistance in case of an emergency, you will be placed on the waiting list.

These waiting lists are long and may close before your application reaches the top.

For any inquiries about the updated status of the waiting lists, visit your local PHA’s website. Once the list reopens, your local PHA will note it on its website.

5 Factors That Affect Your Place on HUD Waiting Lists

If you meet any of the following conditions, you may receive local preference for HUD housing assistance.

  1. You have a great and immediate need for public housing.
  2. You’re homeless or residing in substandard housing during the time at which you apply for assistance.
  3. More than 50 per cent of your median household income is currently paying the cost of the rent.
  4. You have been involuntarily displaced from your former residence
  5. Many other families on the waiting list do not qualify for immediate placement.

Depending on the community in which you live, your local PHA may honor other preferences as well. Review your PHA’s policy manual for specific information about these local preferences.

What happens once my name reaches the top of the waiting list?

Once your name reaches the top of the waiting list, your PHA will contact you. 

If you qualify for public housing, you cannot search for your own rental properties like you can through the HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program. As part of this program, various state-owned rentals are available to you, including single-family homes, townhomes, and apartments.

Once your local PHA offers you a home, you may choose to accept or reject it.

If you choose to accept a rental unit under the HUD’s public housing program, you will:

  • Sign a lease. 
  • The HA determines the rental amount, also known as the Total Tenant Payment (TTP). Based on 30% of your monthly adjusted income and 10% of your monthly income.     
  • The representative may allow certain deductions for families with dependent, elderly, or disabled members.     
  • Submit a security deposit.
  • Undergo periodic income examinations. The HA will contact you every 12 months to determine if you qualify to remain in public housing. Keep the house clean and safe to keep the lease.

What if I do not qualify for HUD Public Housing?

If you failed to qualify for assistance, the PHA would tell you why. You may ask for an informal hearing if you disagree with the PHA’s decision.

For more information, visit HUD Public Housing Program

Alternatives for Single Parents to the HUD Program

Housing Choice (Section 8) Vouchers

This program is a rental assistance program. Helping low-income single parents, senior citizens, and disabled individuals to select their own choice of local private market homes. Only individuals and families that earn less than 50 of the median national income will qualify for assistance.

The approval, application, eligibility criteria, and waiting list placement are similar to the HUD’s public housing programs.

If you a single parent drowning in your rental debt? There is help available!

For Additional Information about HUD Public Housing and the Housing Choice Vouchers Programs, use the information below.

Are you still not sure the HUD is exactly what you’re looking for to get help? We have lots more information on housing programs for single parents to assist you.

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!