Times are tough, and paying your rent can be a difficult feat. That’s why there are multiple rental assistance programs for people in need. Programs exist at the federal and local levels from charities, non-profits and government. Programs vary from direct assistance to referrals.

State Based Rental Assistance

Many government options exist for public aid with rentals, security deposits and other home help. Contact your local assistance locations to collect the aid and resources you need. Over 1,000 local action programs are available across the US to help the needy determine the type of aid they qualify for.

Federal Stimulus Program

Billions of dollars have been provided by the Federal Stimulus Program to help with housing of the needs under the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program. These funds are spread amongst local beneficiaries to be distributed through applicants from charities, social service agencies, county governments and other programs.

Federally Funded Rental Assistance Options

HUD, or the Housing and Urban Development program, is the largest provider of rental assistance in the US. Over 1.5 million families use their services to help with security deposits and rent payments. But that’s not all HUD helps with. They also help with paying utility bills like heating, air conditioning and electric. HUD mainly aids the elderly or disabled. They’ve also instated a rental voucher program that helps provide a wider range of available housing choices to needy families by providing them with private rental options.

Prevent Evictions

People are usually surprised by eviction notices, but there are ways to prevent this turn of events. Low and modest income families have multiple resources if they’re faced with this situation. The aim here is to prevent homelessness by evading evictions, lawsuits and foreclosures. Some of the options available to you are tenant and landlord valuations, direct grants, mediation aid or rental rewards on the part of the renters, skirmish resolutions and many other things. If the agency is unable to completely prevent the eviction, they’re also available to quickly find you new housing that you can afford.

Charity and Local Aid

Short term aid, like monthly rent payments for a short period of time, local programs are available and the most useful program for you. Community programs often pay for rent, security deposits and housing costs outright. Look to churches, charities or community groups for this sort of aid. Both the Salvation Army and United Way help people with rental assistance when they have available funding to do so. Priority is given to people who need short term solutions. These resources are also helpful when it comes to receiving referrals for other programs. You also have the option to receive help on paying bills like heating, air and electricity. Most of these organizations run on a first come, first serve system, and once again are a good option for people who simply need short term resolutions. These are not solutions for long term housing payments. Great places to look for these programs is United Way, the Legal Aide Society, American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Catholic Charities and most local churches.

Landlords or Creditors

Before you turn to rental assistance, try contacting your landlord or creditor. Explain your situation and why you’re having trouble coming up with your rent payment. Honesty is the best policy and sometimes they can be open to a temporary decreased payment or installation based payments. Finding someone to take your apartment or house is a hassle for landlords as well, so it would benefit them to keep you in your unit rather than filling your spot.