Rental Assistance and Apartment Grants
December 08, 2016 typesofaid.com Staff
The past few years have given America a roller coaster effect economically and, even though we’re finally seeing a level of stability, many people continue to have a hard time paying their regular bills. Rent is one expense that simply can’t be avoided since it is all that stands between having a place to stay and being homeless. Many people find themselves in constant fear of wracking up additional late fees, going to court, or even being evicted from their home.
Thankfully, there are assistance options available for people who are struggling to pay their monthly bills. Many non-profit organizations, charities, and even the government have stepped forward to provide individuals and families with the money they need to cover monthly rent payments.
If you’re struggling to pay your rent each month, we’ve put together some tips that will help you get out of the hole and back on your feet financially.
Talk to the Landlord
If you’re facing eviction, it’s important to start by talking to your landlord. Generally speaking, people don’t want to hear about your financial woes; however, when you’re in a situation like this, it’s time to bury your pride and admit that you aren’t simply slacking off. Let the landlord know about any lack of work, medical bills, or family situation that you may be going through. Some landlords will be happy to work with you to give you a temporary reduction on your payments or come up with a different solution. Finding a good renter can be a challenge, so the landlord most likely wants to work with you rather than kick you out.
Find Local Assistance
Too often, people find themselves homeless simply because they don’t know about the available resources that could provide help. While these programs may not help one who is simply a little behind, they are there if you truly expect to be evicted soon. Generally speaking, this kind of assistance is only short-term and can’t continue to pay rent beyond a set period. These programs are usually set in place and controlled by churches, charities, and local organizations. As such, you will have to go through certain steps that are set in place by the program through which you apply for assistance. If you are unable to find a community-based program, the Red Cross and the United Way are two organizations that help people pay their rent; however, they do require proof that you will be able to make your own payments following the short-term assistance.
Naturally, if you are having trouble paying your bills, rent isn’t your only worry. If you are struggling with your utility payments, there are also assistance programs to provide for those who need temporary help. These programs usually only help a certain number of people who ask for assistance and provide only for those who can ask before all the spots are filled. Utility bill programs are usually offered through the Red Cross, the United Way, and various local churches and charities.
Finding State Level Assistance
In some cases, the programs offered locally simply aren’t enough. If you need more assistance than what your community can offer, you can go forward to state level assistance. You can find out more about these programs by talking to local agencies and programs. Community action agencies can help you understand the funds that are available and whether your financial situation qualifies you for assistance. State level help is more broad-scale than local assistance, and usually provides security deposits and fee-coverage on top of monthly rent payments.
Federal Level Assistance Options
To serve the largest number of people, the Housing and Urban Development program has been put in place. This program regularly helps 1.5 million families with their rent. Not only does the HUD provide rent payments, but also services to help you with mediation, grants, and evaluations of landlords. In some cases, HUD is unable to prevent an eviction; they will then step up to help families find new housing in their area.
If you are struggling to pay your rent, this isn’t the time to turn a blind eye and simply hope things get better; instead, you need to take immediate action to receive the assistance necessary to get you back on your feet. Since these programs can involve a lot of paperwork and some wait time, it’s vitally important to get started before the day of your eviction. By pursuing rental assistance, you can continue to live in your home while you get your finances in order.
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