Rental Relief Programs to Help You Pay Rent

Following the COVID-19 pandemic and rising inflation costs, more households are struggling to pay rent in America than in recent years. If you’re struggling to find affordable housing, you may not need to look far for relief. You may qualify for a federal or state rental assistance program, many of which have received additional funding through these recent crises. 

You may apply for renters assistance through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The HUD offers several programs, and while some may not be available in your area, most cities have at least some sort of rent help program you may apply for. Below, you’ll learn more about these programs and what’s needed to qualify for help paying rent.

Finding Rent Relief Options
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Do you need rent money now? This slide will provide you with an overview of some government rental assistance programs that may help. These programs are designed to help you avoid losing your home, whether you have a rental lease or a mortgage. 

Whether you need an emergency rental assistance program or you’re searching for long-term relief, here are four programs you may be able to get help from: 

The Housing Choice Voucher Program: Commonly referred to as Section 8, this housing assistance program provides rental assistance to low-income seniors, families, and disabled persons. Locally operated Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) pay a portion of the rent beneficiaries must pay to reduce their rent requirements, providing greater access to an affordable, safe, and stable home environment. 

However, there is a great need for rental relief, and so many applicants remain on a waiting list until help becomes available. You can submit a rent relief application by contacting your local PHA directly. 

Emergency Rental Assistance Programs: This program goes by different names in every state, but its purpose remains the same: to provide emergency rent and utility help to low and very-low income individuals and families who can’t afford their household expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Continuum of Care (CoC): CoC is a rent relief program designed to end and prevent further homelessness across the country. It provides qualifying households with free legal advice and, in the cases of emergencies, Emergency Solutions Grants (ESGs) that can be put towards the costs of rent or mortgages. 

Public Housing: The Public Housing program operates similarly to Section 8, but instead of providing rent payment assistance, it provides qualifying families and individuals with units governed by the Public Housing Agency.  

To qualify for the reduced-cost housing, you’ll need to meet family size and income-related requirements. Similarly to Section 8, you will need to submit a rent relief application directly through your local PHA.

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Updated on 09/16/2022