Help is Available for Housing Hardship
Housing costs continue to strain family budgets across the country. However, assistance is available for those struggling to afford housing payments. Both federal and state programs provide aid to households facing financial challenges.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to job losses and reduced incomes for many. In response, emergency rental assistance programs were created to help renters avoid eviction.
These short-term subsidies pay past due rent and several months of future rent. According to the U.S. Treasury Department, over $25 billion in federal emergency rental aid has already been distributed. The assistance kept millions of families housed during an unprecedented health and economic crisis.
While that nationwide program ended in 2022, some states still have funds available. For example, Delaware recently launched its Delaware Mortgage Relief Program.
It assists homeowners who fell behind on their mortgage due to pandemic hardship. Applicants must show a COVID-19 related reduction in income starting in January 2020.
Besides emergency aid, ongoing rental assistance comes from the federal government too. The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) enables public housing authorities to leverage public and private funding. This improves public housing while preserving affordability.
Since 2012, RAD has facilitated over $11 billion in capital investment in public housing.
States also have programs to promote housing stability among vulnerable residents. New Hampshire's Housing Relief Program offers short-term help with rent and utilities. It aims to prevent homelessness by keeping people housed.
Nonprofit organizations provide housing assistance as well. They offer counseling and education to empower families navigating housing issues. For instance, The Housing Consumer Education Center in California informs people about their rights and responsibilities as renters and homeowners.
The bottom line is that help exists for households facing housing hardship. Checking eligibility requirements for federal, state and local programs is the first step.
Avoiding eviction or foreclosure is critical to stability for families. With proper assistance, people can maintain safe and affordable housing even through financial challenges.