The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has rent relief programs that could reduce your living costs. You might be familiar with the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program, which also goes by “Section 8 housing.” HCV allows you to pick a rental unit, and the government pays a portion of the monthly rent for as long as you qualify. 

Alternatively, you do not get to choose which Public Housing unit you can rent. Rent for Public Housing units is less than the market value since the government owns the building. This option can save you the hassle of finding a rental that meets the agency’s requirements and a landlord that accepts housing vouchers. 

Rent Subsidies Can Help Lower Your Monthly Payment

Your local public housing agencies (PHAs) administrate both housing programs. In most states, you can complete one rental assistance application for both programs, since they often have the same program requirements. PHAs consider the following criteria:

·      A household income less than your area’s limit

·      Your US citizenship or legal resident status

·      If you are applying for yourself or as part of a family

·      If you or a member of your family is elderly or disabled

·      How you have handled tenant responsibilities in the past

States set the financial qualifications, but the programs are meant to serve very low- and low-income applicants. The income limits for low and very low depend on the area median income (AMI) and how many family members are in your household.

HUD considers your earnings low-income if they are no more than 80% of the AMI. Your earnings are considered very low-income if they are less than 50% of the AMI. PHAs must provide 75% of vouchers for applicants who earn less than 30% of the AMI. 

Local agencies may prioritize applicants based on need, such as being homeless, at risk of homelessness, or having a disability. Likewise, PHAs may consider families before individuals. Some agencies have waiting lists that can take weeks to years to get to the top. 

You may lose eligibility if you have a bad tenant history, like missing monthly payments or damaging property. You can permanently lose rental assistance and other government programs if you are convicted of criminal activity at the subsidized property.

The HUD website has maps, online tools, and resources you can use to find units for a reduced rent without participating in either program. Property owners, developers, and investors build and renovate rental housing for low-income tenants thanks to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC). 

The government provides tax credits to individuals and businesses that create low-income housing opportunities. They can claim the tax credit for up to 10 years as long as the property passes an income test. 

To meet the requirements, one of the following must be true of the property:

·      At least 20% of the units have tenants with incomes at or less than 50% of AMI adjusted for their family size. 

·      At least 40% of the units have tenants with incomes less than 60% of AMI.

·      At least 40% of the units have tenants with an average income of no more than 60% of AMI, and no tenants have incomes more than 80% of AMI.

Do you own a home that needs some TLC? Repairs and renovations can cost hundreds to thousands, and loans with high-interest rates can make home projects more costly. The following programs might help you finance your construction and renewal expenses for less!