Housing Help for Low-Income Families

Federal and state government organizations offer a wide variety of assistance programs for low-income families. These programs can help with your mortgage, rent or foreclosure issues, medical and utility bills, and an array of additional assistance. In addition, the government offers education and job training to help people get back on their feet.

This article will specifically discuss U.S. government housing assistance for low-income families.

Eligibility Requirements

Be certain to check the current Federal Poverty Guidelines for the programs mentioned in this article to determine eligibility.

The U.S. Government offers housing assistance for qualified low-income families.
The U.S. Government offers housing assistance for qualified low-income families. | Source

OWNING YOUR OWN HOME

There are a number of state and federal programs that are designed to help low-income families afford a home mortgage. The U.S. government wants to help people become homeowners as this helps to stabilize the economy during difficult times.

FHA

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which is now part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has been helping families with home loans since 1934 including credit approval, low down payments and closing costs. Here is a list of the type of assistance available.

  • If you are buying your first home, the FHA can help with a low down payment and roll your fees and closing costs directly into your mortgage loan.
  • If you are looking to purchase a home that needs a lot of work or repair a home that you already own, the FHA will help you refinance the cost of the repairs into your mortgage loan.
  • If you are looking to buy a factory-built home or mobile home, the FHA offers separate loan programs for this type of purchase.
  • For seniors, age 62 or older, who live in a home that they own, the FHA Reverse Mortgage Program allows you to convert some of your home equity into cash.
  • If you are looking to upgrade your home’s energy efficiency, the FHA will help you include the costs into an “energy-efficient mortgage.”

MORTGAGE and FORECLOSURE ASSISTANCE

Making Homes Affordable

In an effort to stabilize the U.S. housing market, the Obama Administration developed a comprehensive plan to assist homeowners who are struggling with their mortgage payments. The Making Homes Affordable (MHA) program offers solutions such as:

  • Mortgage refinancing
  • Lowering monthly payments
  • Avoiding foreclosure
  • Mortgage relief while job searching

The U.S. Government offers rental assistance for qualified low-income families.
The U.S. Government offers rental assistance for qualified low-income families. | Source

RENTAL ASSISTANCE

For information on a rental assistance program listed below, please contact your local Public Housing Agency.

HUD (Housing and Urban Development)

Assists apartment owners in offering rent to low-income tenants at a reduced rate. Search for a qualified HUD apartment complex and apply with the management office.

Public Housing

Offers affordable rental housing for the elderly, persons with disabilities and low-income families.

Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)

Financial assistance through vouchers for low-income families to help pay for part or all of their privately-owned rental housing. This can be any rental unit of your choice.

WEATHERIZATION ASSISTANCE

Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

Low-income families can reduce their energy bills with the Weatherization Assistance Program. The available funds provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are used to help make homes more energy efficient. These efforts improve the health and safety of low-income homes while lowering the cost of energy and reducing the country’s dependence on foreign oil.

HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

The mission of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is to assist low income households, particularly those with the lowest incomes that pay a high proportion of their household income for home energy, to meet their immediate home energy needs. The program consists of:

  • Bill payment assistance
  • Energy crisis assistance
  • Weatherization
  • Energy related home repairs

TELEPHONE ASSISTANCE

Lifeline Across America

This government program is supported by the Universal Service Fund. Lifeline Across America provides discounts on phone service ensuring that eligible households have the security and opportunities of having a phone for emergencies, job searching, etc.

Housing Help References for Low Income Families

Office
Website
FHA~Federal Housing Administration
http://www.fha.gov
HUD~Department of Housing and Urban Development and Public Housing Program
http://www.hud.gov
MHA~Making Homes Affordable
http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov
Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)
http://www.housingvoucher.org
Lifeline Across America
http://www.lifeline.gov
LIHEAP~Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
http://www.acf.hhs.gov
Federal Poverty Guidelines
http://www.familiesusa.org

Wrapping Up

As we’ve discussed, there are a variety of state and federal housing assistance programs to help low-income families that meet the specific guidelines. You may be interested in researching additional low-income programs that help with issues such as:

  • Children’s Services
  • Health/Medical
  • Nutrition
  • Veterans, Disabled and Seniors
  • Job Training
  • Education

Good luck!

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Comments 42 comments

KrystalD profile image

KrystalD 4 years ago from Los Angeles

Great topic and very informative :)


KevinMillican profile image

KevinMillican 4 years ago from Stilwell, OK

Great topic! Thank you for the tips!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Wow I am impressed Sharyn. I didn't realize there were so many programs available for low income families. I will be glad to share this hoping that those who need the help can find it!!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Sharyn...you know, after all this time, I just noticed where you are from...northeast OHIO? We're actually only separated by PA....right? if you are N.E. what part of PA is just above you?

Oh anyway....your hubs are always done so well, Sharyn. They are enjoyable no matter what you are writing about.

the information you provide here is so very valuable (especially at this low point and time in our sad state of affairs) You did some serious research. I say this hub is bound to make on page one of Google in no time!! UP++


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

An excellent hub featuring resources and packed with information for housing help for low-income-families.

There is so much out there. Wonderful! I will pass this on and rated up, useful, interesting, awesome!


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hi Krystal ~ Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Hope you have a wonderful day!

Sharyn


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hi Kevin ~ you are welcome! Thank you so much for stopping by!

Sharyn


KT Banks profile image

KT Banks 4 years ago from Texas

I have a sister in Real Estate, so I sent her a link to this hub. Great Info. - Great hub! Voted UP!


ThelmaC profile image

ThelmaC 4 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

Great hub. I have a friend that used LIHEAP for bill payment assistance for power bill for heating. Many people aren't aware of these programs. Thanks for an interesting hub.


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hi Kelly ~ I love it when I "impress" you, ha. Yes, there are a lot of programs out there to help people through rough times. Thank you for your feedback and sharing.

Sharyn


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hi Paula ~ Well, yes, I think that might be considered a "hop, skip and a jump" away from you! I think the closest area of PA is Erie or Sharon, PA.

Thanks for your kind comments. I certainly do skip around in the "topic arena." I like it that way :) I always appreciate your feedback ~ thank YOU!

Sharyn


TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

Fantastic hub! I've tried researching first time homebuying and there are so many resources out there, you did a great job putting them all in one easy to use and understand hub. Voting this up and more!


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hi Audrey ~ Thanks so much for your feedback and for sharing this information!

Sharyn


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hello KT ~ Thanks for your feedback and votes and forwarding this information to your sister. Very much appreciated!

Sharyn


unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

Very useful and informative. Great hub Sharyn!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Sharon....We're approx an 80-minute EASY drive to Erie PA. via I-90. I go there a couple times a year, as I have friends there and I love shopping at the Mill Creek Mall. In fact I lived in Mill Creek in the late 80's for awhile. Sooooo Slant...however far you are from Erie....that's how far apart we are!

The good news is....we're never far apart here on HP!!!


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

This is a great resource for families and the people who need a home the most. This will help many families cut through some red tape. Great hub!


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hi Thelma ~ I agree, many people do not know these programs are available. They are there and funded, so people that really legitimately need the help should check in to them. Thanks for stopping by!

Sharyn


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hi TT ~ Thank you for such positive feedback. There ARE many resources out there and it is difficult to weed through all of them. I really appreciate your comments and votes!

Sharyn


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

unknown spy ~ Thank you so much for stopping by to read and comment. I'm glad you found this informative.

Sharyn


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Paula ~ I would also take I-90 E to Erie, PA, but it would take me about 2 hours. In reality, and compared to all the great people we meet here from all over the world, we are quite close in distance. I've heard of Millcreek. I'd like to take a day trip to Presque Isle State Park (and Casino) this summer.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

What a great resource for those who need assistance with housing expenses. You've done a wonderful job of outlining the available help into one concise article.

Voted up and useful.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

Sharyn, you offer some wonderful suggestions. Many families are in great need. We are receiving help without mortgage now because I am unemployed. It has been a Godsend indeed. Thanks for the information.


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hi Tammy ~ Thank you for your compliment. There is so much information out there and it can be really confusing. I hope this little piece gives people a quick view on benefits that may help them and then they can look in to it further if they feel they may qualify. I appreciate your feedback!

Sharyn


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hi Gail ~ it's great to see you. I did think it was important to simply lay out what is available and be concise. Looking into these types of assistance programs can be overwhelming. Thank you so much for your positive feedback!

Sharyn


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hi Brenda ~ Thank you, yes, there are many people in need. I know what it's like to be unexpectedly unemployed and how fast things can change. It's great to know there is help out there for those who really deserve it. I appreciate your comments. Take care,

Sharyn


shea duane profile image

shea duane 4 years ago from new jersey

Great info. I'm one of the lucky ones, but I know so many people who can really use this info. Thanks for writing this.


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hello shea duane ~ I appreciate you stopping by to read and comment. Thank you so much!

Sharyn


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Excellent information, Sharyn, I can see that you have done your homework. And you have earned an A+ from me!


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hi Dr. BJ ~ well, thank you for the A+. Very much appreciated :) Thanks so much for the feedback!

Sharyn


mwilliams66 profile image

mwilliams66 4 years ago from Left Coast, USA

An excellent hub Sharyn. All too often people become overwhelmed by their situation and simply don't know where to begin to look for help. Your hub will most certainly be of tremendous aid to many. Very well written and laid out in a manner that is easily understood.

Voting across the board and sharing.


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hello mwilliams66 ~ Thank you for your kind feedback. I do hope this information helps many without overwhelming them. And welcome to Hubpages, best of luck!

Sharyn


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

This is a really resourceful hub - I think lots of people need a one-stop-shop to figure out their needs and where they can turn for help. Thank you for compiling this!


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hi Cyndi ~ Thanks for your feedback. I do hope this helps many who are looking for this information. When you try to do searches to figure things out, it can be quite overwhelming. Appreciate your comments!

Sharyn


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Great resource! All in one place. Many votes, including up!


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Such useful info! Thank you!


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hi Vicki ~ Thanks, that was my intent, for people be able to quickly see what benefits are available instead of going through tons of website pages. Thanks for the votes!

Sharyn


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hi Audrey ~ thanks for stopping by!


Nella623 3 years ago

A LINK to this gift of information was posted as a response to an article I was reading about what a terrible time it is to be poor and trying to rent. At age 55, for the first time in my life I don't make enough money to support my family -have earned M.Ed., was one of the first victims of 2 major lenders in Natl Foreclosure Lawsuit, rented the nicest place we have ever lived in and disaster in the form of a car accident has sent me into some sort of parallel universe. From one minute being comfortable to the next having to rely on the psycho disability claim system I purchased from my employer - one month the paperwork satisfies them I am disabled - the next month - I am not - so not only do I have no income without a warning-my medical insurance gets suspended-I can't re-qualify for disability (concussion, PTSD, 2-4 more surgeries needed for back and neck injuries, and now acute anxiety) if I don't see all of my health care providers at least once a month-without insurance - my co-pays are approx. 3G - which is about what my income is now that I receive 60% of my teaching contract before all deductions are taken. After going without a check for 12 weeks, I could not pay m y rent on time in August. I paid in full on the 8-22-12 without knowing on the 20th eviction papers were filed. In court the next week, I opted for jury trial, new date was sent for the following Weds - breathing room. 2 days later, the sheriff was at my door with a notice to vacate within 24 hours-it was 7pm on a Friday night-the office worker played her cards right-we had to move out before her shift on Mon. Long story short, I am homeless, have felt hunger, walked all night when no place to stay, hang out at mailbox with the hope my disability check will arrive. My credit has been destroyed, my brain injury has left me almost feeble at times (in a way it is good-I know things aren't right but don't remember what I went through a few hours ago trying to get food stamps. I have been told I make "too much money". I am the sole supporter of a 24 year old autistic son and 22 year old ft college student. Both kids were able to get holiday jobs - they will eat, thankfully. Is there any agency who will look at what I actually receive instead of what I am supposed to get? My daughter's room mates will be back in Jan. so I will be on the streets again - it is very cold in MN. Sorry comment is so long - I hope some of your followers, collaborators or sources might have a place for me to start with. I've received my once in a life $299.00 assistance "blessing" from my church, no family except the kids, and I can't take the chance of screwing up my disability by trying to sneak a job (plus, I truly don't know where I will be tomorrow so committing to a schedule would be difficult). Thank you for your willingness to share your research. I will definitely try the agencies listed but feel they are tied into the same guidelines about "poverty level".


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 3 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hi Nella ~ first let me say that I apologize for it taking me days to respond. Last week was extremely busy. I am so sorry to hear you are in this situation. I hope some of the resources in my article are a help to you. As far as medical costs, I am not sure where you live, but every hospital MUST offer care to low income people. They either offer no pay or a sliding scale. I do not have insurance. I am "rated" at my local Metro Health Medical Center and receive great services for minimal cost if any. Please check with your local hospitals for special programs they must offer (in the U.S.).

If any readers of this article know of any other possible services that would assist Nella and her children, please leave a comment.

I am really glad that you stopped by here. I wish you and your family the best.

Sharyn


joym7 profile image

joym7 3 years ago from United States

Very great resource for low income families.


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Sharyn's Slant 3 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA Author

Hi Joy ~ thank you so much for stopping by!

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