Understanding Your Rent Assistance Options
If you’re having trouble paying your bills, you’re certainly not alone. If there’s any good thing about the high number of people making ends meet, it’s that there are many financial aid options available.
It’s tough to say which specific expenditure is the most important, but having a roof over your head is a strong contender. That’s why there are several avenues specifically for getting rental assistance.
There are plenty of government programs out there for people struggling with rent. These can be divided into two categories: short-term and long-term assistance.
Short-term rental assistance can be one-time, or for a few months, and come from places like the Department of Social Services.
For many of these programs, you don’t need to be currently receiving government assistance to qualify.
These programs are often divided by specific needs, such as ones for working single parents or those who have recently lost their jobs. These typically vary by jurisdiction, so the options and methods open to you will vary depending on where you live.
Many jurisdictions are moving away from public-housing tenements as a long-term housing-assistance solution and are moving toward Section 8 and HUD housing. These subsidize the rent rate of private homes at the owner’s incentive. Intended for people with low or irregular income, qualification is based on household income versus the number of family members in the household.
Private and Religious Organizations
Many non-governmental groups are out to curb poverty by offering one-time grants to low-income households. The most notable donors are often religious bodies, such as the Salvation Army and various churches, but many smaller and local charities also offer aid to renters, such as Modest Needs.
The good thing is these are usually grants rather than loans, so you’re under no obligation to repay them. Unfortunately, the secret is out, and these organizations often run out of grant money, so getting these grants is often a matter of applying at the right place at the right time.
While these groups all have separate rules, they’re typically more insistent that the applicant is currently employed rather than between jobs, and often require proof of employment and hardship.
Credit and Loans
As is often the case, the most self-reliant method is the riskiest. You may be able to take out a bank loan to pay your rent if it’s due sooner than later. You can also ask your landlord if credit card payments are accepted.
But these are very much temporary solutions, as these can be quick ways to get into debt if you don’t have a feasible plan for repaying the loan.
With that in mind, if you’re usually good with your money and this just happens to be a tough month, this can be a decent solution for you. But in that event, there may be another option more suited to your situation.
This is a specific subset of assistance programs that come in many forms from many places. These can be loans or grants, and they can come from public or private organizations.
Emergency rent help is a one-time lump sum for people who are usually financially stable but are currently behind on their bills after an unforeseen event comes up. These can offer some much-needed relief during an otherwise-hectic time.
As long as there are people having trouble paying for their homes, there will be ways to make it less troublesome. Now you just need to decide which method is best for you.