Government Assistance For Housing
Finding affordable housing is often difficult, especially if you live in a high cost of living area. These government-run housing programs can help keep you in your home.
Down payment assistance programs
If youre interested in buying a home, but need help with the down payment, there are a number of FHA grants available. Be sure to check the eligibility requirements for each grant, as they vary from program to program and state to state.
You might also be able to get assistance from a VA loan or USDA loan as well.
There are a number of government programs that help with paying rent, as well as a number of private charities and organizations. To qualify for HUD assistance, you must meet income eligibility requirements as well as guidelines for family size and composition. The type and amount of assistance varies from state to state.
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The three main programs supported by HUD are:
- Privately-owned subsidized housing
- Public Housing
- Housing Choice Vouchers
You can find out if you qualify for one of these programs by contacting your local housing authority. Please note that in most areas, the Section 8 waiting list is incredibly long and in some cities, the list is closed to new applicants.
Small Business Lending Fund
The Small Business Lending Fund , created as part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, is a dedicated fund that provides capital to community banks and community development loan funds to encourage those organizations to lend to small businesses. Information about this fund, including the location of lending institutions near you, can be found on the U.S. Treasury Small Business Lending Fund website.
Free Money From Taxes And Unclaimed Funds
Free government money doesnt always come in the form of need-based programs. Some are available to anyone, regardless of income.
While this isnt necessarily free money, it is money that is owed to you for some reason by some entity. This money can include uncashed paychecks, apartment or utility deposits, or safety deposit box contents.
Theres no one place to check for unclaimed money, and you might have it in multiple states so make sure youre researching all the states youve ever lived in. If your employer is headquartered in a different state from where you work, check that state as well.
The best places to start looking for your unclaimed funds are:
Old pension plans
In addition to unclaimed money or tax refunds, you might have money available to you in the form of old pension plans. If you or someone in your family worked for a company that provided a pension but hasnt collected those benefits, you might still be eligible for that money.
You can find out if theres money owed to you by visiting the Pension Benefits Guaranty Corporation and searching for your or your family members name.
Tax credits and deductions
An easy way to find free money is to adjust your tax withholding and deductions. If you havent done this recently, review the W-4 you submitted when you began your job. Figure out what you chose and then, using this list, make necessary and appropriate adjustments.
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Assistance With Day Care
Daycare today is extremely expensive. Finding affordable daycare so that you can work is frustrating for a single parent, especially when the costs take a big chunk out of your earnings. To help, the government offers assistance for single moms. Here are a few resources to get you started:
- Tax Credits Working families can qualify for a tax credit called the Child and Dependent Care Credit. File Form 2441 while doing your taxes. Depending on what you paid in childcare, you can save up to $600 per child.
- State Assistance Depending on your state, you might qualify for a childcare grant. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is where you apply.
- Help for Students if you are a student, check with your school to see if they offer assistance. Each school has a different policy so you will need to check with your individual school.
- Help for Military Families The government provides subsidies for military families. It depends on the military branch with whom you serve, but there are several agencies which may be able to help.
- Sliding Scale Fees Check with your local daycares and see if they offer a sliding scale fee for low-income families.
How To Apply For A Housing Choice Voucher
You will need to fill out a written application or have a representative of your local PHA help you.
The PHA representative will collect information on your family size, income, and assets.
The PHA will check this information with other local agencies, your employer, and your bank. This helps them decide if you qualify and how much assistance you’ll get.
The amount of assistance you may get is adjusted so you can afford a moderately-priced rental in your area.
The housing you choose must meet health and safety standards before the PHA can approve the unit.
After you’ve been approved for a voucher and found a place to rent, the PHA will inspect the rental before you sign your lease. These inspections are performed so the PHA can be sure the property is worth the rental price.
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Cons Of Government Food Programs
- Social stigma for recipients
- Consistency and quality of state-run programs vary
- Limitations on what products can be purchased
- Mandated work requirements difficult for adults with children
The table below lists eligibility requirements for federal food programs.
|60 or older and must meet state guidelines|
What You Could Get
Ontario Works offers two types of assistance:
- help with the essential costs of living and health benefits for clients and their eligible family members
- help to find and keep a job
If you are eligible for Ontario Works, the amount of money you get will depend on your specific situation. In most cases, you must participate in employment-related activities to get financial help.
If you are eligible for Ontario Works you could receive:
- $733 a month for basic needs and shelter
- additional amounts for benefits and other family members who live with you
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Career Training & Job Placement Assistance
A hard thing for a mother is being stuck in a dead-end job. Most of these jobs only offer long hours with little pay.
There are hundreds of job training programs out there for single mothers. There is also employment placement programs available. The key is finding the right ones for you.
- Goodwill Goodwill supports single mothers and offers a variety of programs for balancing your career, family and finances as a single mother.
- The U.S. Department of Labor This federal department has several resources available right on their site that can get you started in a career training program.
- Womens BureauThe womens bureau resources page has a lot of resources for job training and placing, as well as other programs to help women in the labor force.
- Local Career Assistance Centers Most cities and even counties and towns have career support centers. Most of these agencies work directly with the government and your states unemployment services. They can help with career training and aid in finding you better employment. To find a center near you, do an online search.
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program For Women Infants And Children
WIC provides low-income women and their young children with healthy food, nutrition counseling, and referral to health, welfare, and social services agencies. WIC is a federal grant program administered by the government through 90 WIC agencies and approximately 47,000 WIC retailers.
To be eligible, the mother must be pregnant, nursing, or postpartum with infants or children . There are additional income requirements posted on the WIC FAQ webpage.
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How To Get Cobra
Group health plans must give covered employees and their families a notice explaining their COBRA rights. Plans must have rules for how COBRA coverage is offered, how beneficiaries may choose to get it and when they can stop coverage. For more COBRA information, see COBRA Premium Subsidy. The page links to information about COBRA including:
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Am I Eligible For Emergency Rental Assistance
To be eligible for help covering your rent, you must have an agreement to pay rent for your home or mobile home lot. You dont necessarily need to have a signed lease, and your home could be an apartment, house, mobile home, or other place.
These three statements also need to be true:
Eligibility is based on a renter households financial situation and housing needs. If youre a landlord, eligibility is based on your tenants household needs. For details, start with the rental assistance programforyour state, tribe, or localarea.
Federal rules allow local rental assistance programs to cover rent or utilities for low-income families. This generally includes renter households with income up to 80% of the Area Median Income , with adjustments for family size. Use this Area Median Income Lookup Tool from Fannie Mae to find the AMI in your area.
Whats Available How To Qualify And Where To Apply
The COVID-19 pandemic put government assistance programs into overdrive, as many people who never needed them before now had to use them. Heres a descriptive list of major government assistance programs for individuals and businesses, with links to where and how to apply to them and applicable deadlines.
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How Income Is Calculated
When reviewing your application, we consider your “net income” on line 236 of your most recent income tax notice of assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency minus any:
- taxes payable line 435 on your notice of assessment
- Universal Child Care Benefit payments
- payments from a Registered Disability Savings Plan
- death benefit payments from the Canada Pension Plan or Quebec Pension Plan
- lump-sum income you used to pay for:
- your accommodation at a long-term care home
- an assistive device from the Assistive Devices Program
If you do not have a notice of assessment you may still be eligible.
During our review, we also consider:
- government benefits you are eligible for, even if you have not applied for them
- other non-taxable income
- income from private sources
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Cons Of Student Financial Aid
- Loan repayment required
- Lifetime limits on Pell Grants
- Private loans are more expensive and restrictive
- Defaulting on loans hurts credit
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, student loan payments, including principal and interest, on federally held student loans were suspended through Sept. 30, 2021, and extended again through Jan. 31, 2022. On Dec. 22, 2021, the pause on federal student loan repayments was extended for an additional 90 daysthrough May 1, 2022. However, the suspension only applies to federal student loans held by the Department of Education.
The Department of Education also stopped the collection of defaulted federal student loans. This applies to loans in nonpayment. As a result, garnishment of wages and any offset of tax refunds and Social Security benefits have also been stopped through May 1, 2022.
The American Rescue Plan passed by Congress and signed by President Biden in March 2021 includes a provision that makes all student loan forgiveness from Jan. 1, 2021, to Dec. 31, 2025, tax-free.
Government Assistance Programs For Utilities
One of the largest household expenses after food and housing is utilities. Keeping the lights on and heating and cooling your home can take up a huge portion of your monthly income. These programs can help offset those costs and help you save on energy bills.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
A federally-funded program designed to help low-income families with energy costs, LIHEAP provides financial assistance for paying heating and cooling bills.
National Grid US
It can also help with emergency or crisis issues, like having your heat shut off in the winter or weatherizing your home. It doesnt provide assistance for water or sewer bills.
Weatherization Assistance Program
This is a program run by the U.S. Department of Energy that provides grants to help low-income households reduce their energy costs by improving the energy efficiency and safety of their homes. Families must meet eligibility requirements to receive this type of assistance.
You can read more about the program and eligibility requirements by visiting the Weatherization Assistance Programs website.
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How Can I Show That I Am Eligible
Eligibility is based on a renter households financial situation and housing needs.
When you apply for emergency rental help, you will be asked to show that your income is eligible and that youre experiencing housing instability. If youre a landlord, eligibility is based on your tenants household needs, and youll be asked to show that your tenants household is eligible for assistance.
You must sign a written statement that the information in your application is correct and complete, and that you will use the emergency rental assistance for the costs it is meant to cover.
Local programs have different requirements. They may ask you for a written statement. Or they can ask you to show your income with other documents .
Starting May 7, 2021, landlords who accept direct payments of future rent are not allowed to evict you for not paying rent during the period covered by the rental assistance. When programs make direct payments to landlords to cover back rent, guidance strongly encourages them to prohibit eviction for 30 to 90 days after the period covered by rental assistance.
Learn About The Housing Choice Voucher Program
The Housing Choice Voucher Program is a program from the Department of Housing and Urban Development . It helps families with a low income, seniors, and people with disabilities pay for rental housing.
You can find your own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments. Housing Choice vouchers can pay for all or part of the rent.
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Types Of Disability Policies
There are two types of disability policies.
Short-term policies may pay for up to two years. Most last for a few months to a year.
Long-term policies may pay benefits for a few years or until the disability ends.
Employers who offer coverage may provide short-term coverage, long-term coverage, or both.
If you plan to buy your own policy, shop around and ask:
How is disability defined?
How long do benefits last?
How much money will the policy pay?