The current real estate market offers many options for renters with low income. You no longer need to depend on what you see in the classified ads. Now there are low-income housing assistance programs which offer low-income renters a clean, modernized, and safe apartment or home to rent. These are government programs which give low-income renters a discount on the rent price. Not only that, they get to select their own rental too.
Below are the best housing options for low-income renters:
1) Housing Choice Voucher Program
The housing choice voucher program is better known as Section 8. It is a government program that links low-income renters with private landlords who offer low-income housing. If you get accepted into the program, 70% of your monthly living costs are covered by a grant.
Program recipients can even select whichever rental property they want. However, it must be approved by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Not only that, the landlord that owns the property is still going to want to do a background check and credit check. They may ask for references too. If all these things check out, then your application will likely be approved.
Private landlords like to join this program because it is an easy way for them to get tenants. But there are so many low-income renters who apply for these rentals, so they get rented out rather quickly. You will find waiting lists for these rentals in more urban settings.
See where the closest housing authority office is to you. Contact them to apply.
2) Mixed-Income Buildings
There are special apartment complexes called mixed-income buildings. These are privately-owned buildings which receive tax advantages for offering rentals that are income-based. These buildings have innovative features and amenities.
The Blue-Plate Artist Lofts in New Orleans is a good example of this. This is a mixed-income building which has modern concrete flooring, space for a community gallery, and kitchens that are fully furnished.
When you rent an apartment in a mixed-income building, the process is just like renting a regular apartment. There is no government assistance program that is going to pre-qualify you. Although, you will still be given a background check and credit check.
If you get approved for the rental, your income will determine your monthly rent price. You can search the low-rent apartment database on the HUD website to locate a mixed-income building in your location.
3) Public Housing
The government completely owns and controls public housing communities. The benefit here is that the housing is safe and available to low-income renters. The monthly rent is determined by your level of income.
In the last 10 years or so, many urban areas have seen their public housing facilities get upgraded with better amenities and features, especially where safety is concerned. You can expect long waiting lists to rent a unit in these facilities.
The Public Housing Authority office in your area must approve you first before you can qualify. A lease will need to be signed too.
The HUD website has a contact information database you can search to find a local PHA. Just apply at the one closest to you.
4) Temporary Assistance
If you cannot pay your rent because of a sudden financial setback, you can try finding short-term assistance.
First, you'll want to talk to your landlord. Sometimes they will have a solution for you. If that doesn't work out, go to the Housing Authority in your local area and see what they can do. Some of these housing authorities have grant programs which assist renters with temporary financial troubles.