Grants for Rental Assistance

If you or someone you know if facing homelessness due to being behind on rental payments, there is help. There are federal, state and private grants for rental assistance to help keep that roof over your head.

Federal Grants. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) stands ready with rental assistance programs. They may be able to help with your current apartment, or help you locate a more affordable one.  They include links for state programs as well. Go to: http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD/topics/rental_assistance. Additionally, a new program designed to meet the current housing problem, The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program, is being funded with federal government stimulus funds. These funds flow down to states, charities and other non-profits so that they have the funds to directly assist their communities. While this program will only be in place a few years, it is a much-needed shot of funding for many overtaxed organizations.

State Programs. Many states offer emergency rental assistance. For example, Florida’s Emergency Financial Assistance for Housing Program (EFAHP) provides a one-time payment of up to $400 to families who are totally without shelter or face the loss of shelter because of non-payment of rent or mortgage.

Community Action Programs.  The CAA (Community Action Agency) funded by the federal government funds over 1,100 programs throughout the United States. Go to http://www.needhelppayingbills.com/html/community_action_agency.html for a listing of counties.

Organizations and Companies. Assistance can also often be found at the local level:

  • Churches may provide rental assistance, utility assistance and food.
  • Charities such as the Salvation Army and United Way.
  • Some employers have emergency hardship funds available for their employees.
  • Businesses sometimes have foundations for providing assistance to people in their community.Specific Needs. Some agencies and groups target rental needs of specific types of people.The USDA gives rental help to low-income rural families.

    Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program provides rental assistance vouchers and security deposit assistance to veterans.

    On-Line Resources. Although caution must be taken to avoid the various scams present on the Internet, there are organizations that will help you locate rental assistance funds. One such database is http://www.rentassistance.us/ which lists nearly 700 different agencies. Additions to the database are done by the agencies themselves.

    Before you turn that apartment in for a cardboard box, take the time to look into grants for rental assistance.

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