Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Finding Help Paying the Rent

Finding financial help with rental housing, in terms of Section 8 (subsidized) housing is fairly easy. You can go to the HUD website for just such a purpose, and find a state-by-state listing of section 8, which narrows down to the town or zip code, and type of housing you want to rent. Listings of public housing agencies are available also.

The tricky part is finding financial help for the rental housing that you occupy right now, so that you can stay there. How do you do that? There is a page called rentassistance, which lists local nonprofits and governmental agencies that help with housing. But some of them help with owner-occupied housing, or housing for particular population groups (such as AIDS patients) and many may simply not have enough money to help renters, so do not be surprised if the organization’s resources don’t match their goals—very few do nowadays. Also, some of the organizations listed are housing agencies that fund other nonprofits, but may not work directly with people in danger of losing their rentals. You might call those local agencies to see which agencies they fund. Here are some other strategies to consider:

1) Try the 211 center where you live if you have it. This directory can search by your zip code to see if you have this service. If so, operators should be able to tell you if rent assistance is available from an agency where you live.

2) Try a nearby faith based organization. To find one in your area, try one of the faith-based social service agencies nearby, like Catholic, Lutheran, or Jewish social services, or the Salvation Army.

3) If you are a veteran, contact your county or state veteran’s affairs. Counties may have emergency money for individual veterans.

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