Locating affordable housing has become a major problem for Americans recently. The cost of homes has continued to rise at an alarming rate. In fact, the average home price increased by about 10.3% between January 2021 and January 2022.
However, there are some promising trends forecasted for 2023. The median existing-home sales price was down 0.2% to $363,000 in February compared to a year ago.
In most areas, average income levels have not kept up with those increases. Disabled individuals, individuals on fixed retirement incomes, and low-income families are finding it particularly difficult to locate affordable housing. If you are in one or more of those categories, the following information may help you locate cheap apartment listings.
The difficulties citizens are having with finding affordable apartments these days have not gone unnoticed by government officials. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers several assistance programs to help individuals and families find rentals and housing at affordable rates.
If you cannot afford to rent an apartment or house on your own, you may be able to take advantage of one or more government assistance programs that can help you find low-income housing.
One of the largest HUD low-income housing programs is known as the Section 8 program, formally known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program. The Section 8 Voucher Program is designed to provide safe housing for low-income families. It was also created to help families continue to reside in the areas where they want or need to live.
Section 8 provides a particular type of rental assistance in the form of partial rent coverage. If you qualify, you’ll receive vouchers you can present to your landlord each month for a discount on your monthly rental rate. Section 8 houses for rent are operated by landlords who have opted into the program.
When you join the program as a renter, the Section 8 program reimburses your landlord for the value of each voucher. You are responsible for making up the difference. Approximately 70% of the rental cost is typically covered by the voucher, but exact amounts vary by location and situation.
To get cheap housing through Section 8, you must have some flexibility. Your current landlord may not accept Section 8 vouchers. Therefore, you may need to move to a new low-income housing complex or building where Section 8 housing program vouchers are accepted.
To find out which landlords in your area participate in the Section 8 program, contact your local Public Housing Authority (PHA) and request a list.