Housing Assistance: discover different programs that can benefit you
In this full review, you will learn all about the Housing Assistance program and the different types of services available for families in need.
Housing Assistance: See how you can improve your health and that of your family through affordable housing
In fact, we already know that the housing conditions of a family are a primary factor. Thus, this issue is directly related to physical and mental health and many other aspects of people’s lives. In this way, the government created a project to take care of the housing conditions of the most needy populations: Housing Assistance.
This is a comprehensive wellness program that breaks down into a number of smaller services. In this article, you’ll find out what Housing Assistance can provide you and your family. Check it out below!
What are Housing Assistance programs and who is it for?
Housing Assistance is one of the federal government assistance programs that guarantee quality housing for low-income people. In fact, most of the funds from this program are used to finance homes or provide financial assistance for renting homes.
However, the program has a broader concept, which goes beyond offering housing to the population. In this way, part of the budget is directed to defray common expenses of any house and family.
This is the case with the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. The objective is to offer financial help to families who have difficulty paying their own energy bills and expenses related to its use.
The housing allowance program is financed through a partnership between the federal government and each of the states.
As with other assistance programs, the State has some autonomy to establish eligibility criteria or increase investments in the program with its own income. However, who can benefit from this program?
Read the following topic and find out!
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Types of housing assistance programs and how to apply
Below, we will list the main housing aid programs and guide you on how to apply for them. So read carefully and find out if the government has any policies that can improve your family’s quality of life:
Public Housing is a program that aims to provide housing to the low-income population. By joining this program, families pay for their housing at affordable rent, well below market costs.
Also, it is not a program with paddock houses. In fact, there are smaller houses for small families (individual residents) and larger houses for large families. Public Housing is an exclusive program for low-income people.
The application takes into account your gross income (the amount received per month, before tax deductions). In addition, you must qualify in one of the categories below:
- Disabled person;
Also, only US citizens and legal immigrants can participate in this program.
To be accepted into this program, your gross income must be 80% or 50% less than the average income of the municipality or Housing Authority (HA) in which you wish to live.
To apply, contact your local HA. Another organization that can help you is the HUD Field Office in your region. In these centers, you will get more information about documents and other information about the process.
Know the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the federal program that can guarantee quality food for your family.
Emergency Rental Assistance Program
In recent years, the crisis caused by COVID-19 has produced a deep shake in the country’s economic scenario. As a result, many lost their jobs and income and today they still face difficulties in paying the most basic expenses.
Thus, the federal government created an emergency program to help families struggling to pay rent or public services. This is the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program.
This program is funded by the federal government, which sends funds directly to the states. In this way, each unit can decide which criteria it will use so that this aid reaches the population.
Thus, it is necessary that you seek information about the application on the official website of your state government. However, to apply you will need to inform:
- Personal and family data;
- Documentation of residence and monthly rent;
- Prove housing instability (send proof of overdue rent or any document that proves your current situation);
- Family income;
- Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic (effect on household income or illness expenses).
Finally, states must make payments by check or electronic payment available.
Housing Choice Voucher Program
The Housing Choice Voucher Program differs from the Public Housing Program in that it does not delimit a residence in which the family must live.
In effect, through this program, the government guarantees the financing of income to a specific family or individual. Thus, the beneficiaries of this program are free to choose a residence in which the owner accepts this voucher.
If the aid amount does not cover the total amount of income, the rest of the expenses must be paid by the beneficiary. To be eligible for this program, you must have a low or very low gross annual income.
In addition, you must prove that your current housing conditions lack decent, safety and/or sanitary conditions.
To participate in this program, in general, your income cannot exceed 50% of the average income of the municipality or region in which you wish to reside. This program is managed locally by the Public Housing Agency (PHA).
Therefore, to see what the eligibility conditions are for a particular region, you should consult your local PHA.
Generally, the value of this benefit is the standard rent minus 30% of the family income or the total rent of the chosen home minus 30% of the monthly family income.
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program
Needy American families can also count on aid to defray expenses with the use of electric energy. In fact, this program is more comprehensive.
In addition to offering assistance with paying energy bills, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) participants can also:
- Help with energy costs for heating or cooling homes;
- Air conditioning;
- Assistance in energy crisis;
- Power-related repairs.
To become eligible, you must prove that you have difficulty paying for the services listed above. Also, people who are already covered by wellness programs like SNAP, SSI, and TANF may automatically be eligible for LIHEAP.
Indeed, income criteria are defined on the basis of gross annual income. Also, the larger your family, the higher the income threshold that allows you to participate in this program.
Like most wellness programs, LIHEAP is also coordinated at the state level. Therefore, to apply, you must seek information from the LIHEAP office in your state.
Finally, for questions about this program, you can call the following number: 1-866-674-6327.
This is just one of the top six wellness programs available to the American population. If you are not covered by this program, you may benefit from others. To learn about another federal program, click on the link below and read the full review on the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
There is a federal program that allows you to recover your taxes. Click here to learn more about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
About the author / José Gonçalo
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