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Housing Assistance

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Housing assistance programs are designed to help low-income people obtain safe, clean and affordable housing. The federal government, through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers low-income housing aid on a local level. The local housing authorities (HAs) are responsible for managing and administering housing assistance to people who qualify.

Eligibility requirements vary depending on the specific program, but you might qualify for housing assistance if you are aged 60 or older, or have a disability. There are often more people in need of assistance than there are places to live. You will probably be placed on a waiting list because of this. It is a good idea to apply to more than one HA to give yourself the best chance of getting into a housing assistance program.

There are several different types of programs and housing structures that provide housing assistance. Some housing complexes are built to serve only low-income people. Others are pre-existing structures that have been converted into public housing. Others yet are houses or apartments owned by individuals (not the government), who agree to receive federal assistance in exchange for offering affordable rent. Finally, there are programs that help you pay rent for the apartment of your choice. In these “choice” programs, you are free to live in any qualifying apartment, condominium, townhouse or single family home. However, a landlord is not required to participate.

The two most common low-income housing programs, Public Housing and the Section 8 Housing Choice voucher program will be summarized in this section.