Popular HUD Assistance to Consider

A popular HUD assistance program providing money to a house.
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Whether you are looking for a home to rent or to purchase, the market prices can give you a shock. In general, there should be a balance between your monthly income and your housing costs. Otherwise, you will be struggling with other basic expenses. For this reason, it is important to find decent housing at an affordable price. Even though this might sound far from reality, it’s actually possible! There are a variety of housing assistance options available for people with low incomes. These options may help with rent, home buying, or even home repairs. You just need to know where to find these opportunities and how to take advantage of them. This article will highlight some popular housing support options available through the federal government.

How to Get Assistance with Housing Expenses

There are plenty of organizations offering various housing assistance options. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is an important agency that you should check out if you need support. HUD provides several housing assistance programs in addition to guidance and information to people in need. Through these support opportunities, people will be able to find affordable housing where they won’t have to put more than 30% of their income towards housing. According to the HUD, spending more than 30% of your gross monthly income on housing expenses can lead you to become cost-burdened. Some of these opportunities include the following:

FHA Loans

When people need assistance buying a house, they sometimes choose to take out a loan. Home loans can be a great option for paying for a property in installments over a specific period of time, instead of paying all of the money upfront. But before applying for a conventional home loan, you should consider an FHA loan. That’s because it comes with a package of benefits, such as lower down payment requirements and more flexibility with credit score requirements. These loans exist thanks to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which is a part of HUD. There are other FHA mortgage options than a typical mortgage, including:

  • Section 245(a) Loan
  • Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM)
  • Energy Efficient Mortgage
  • 203(k) Improvement Loan

Each of these loans focus on a different goal and has unique requirements. You will need to reach out to an FHA-approved lender to find out more about the loans available. Basically, FHA insures these loans to protect lenders against potential losses and financial risks. 

HUD Homes

If you are hunting for a property to purchase, you will find multiple resources to review listings. One great resource you shouldn’t miss is the HUD Home Store. It is a government website that features HUD-owned foreclosed homes, among other types of properties. This opportunity can save you a lot of money since the properties are offered at reduced prices. That’s because they are sold in their current condition as a result of a foreclosure. The reason why HUD owns these properties is because they were financed by an FHA mortgage before going into foreclosure. You will need to contact an HUD-approved broker if you want to buy one of these properties. 

Good Neighbor Next Door (GNND) Program

People in certain jobs who are willing to live in revitalization areas can get support through GNND. It’s only available for those with a full-time job in one of the following professions:

  • Firefighters
  • Law Enforcement Officers
  • Teachers (from pre-K to 12th grade)
  • Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs)

If you qualify, you will get a 50% discount on the listing price of the property you choose. However, you must use the property as your main home for a minimum of 3 years (36 months). It’s important to note that once you get the property, you will be required to sign a “silent second,” which is a note for the discounted home price, in addition to a second mortgage. At first glance, that might sound concerning, but you don’t have to worry. No payments or interest will be due on this silent second as long as you commit to the 3-year residency requirement.

Public Housing

So far, we have been explaining assistance options for homebuyers. But even if you don’t plan on purchasing a house, you can still get assistance with rent costs. There are many support opportunities that can help with that, including Public Housing. This federal program provides different types of housing, including apartments, single-family homes, and more. If you want to apply or get more information, you should contact your local housing agency (HA). That’s because this program operates at the state level through these HAs, despite receiving funds from HUD. Another way to get assistance with the application process is through your HUD Field Office.

Qualifying for the Public Housing programs requires meeting certain criteria. This is because the program aims to help those with low incomes afford appropriate housing. The eligibility requirements may vary depending on your area, but you can expect most HAs to consider the following criteria:

  • Citizenship Status
  • Income Level
  • Family Status
  • References

The term “references” refers to those who used to deal with you at your previous residence, such as your previous landlord and neighbors. Your references’ feedback about you can give your HA an overview of your rental behavior. So, negative feedback from references can result in rejecting someone’s application, even if they meet the other eligibility requirements.

Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)

While Public Housing has specific housing units to offer, Section 8, or the Housing Choice Voucher program, allows its recipients to choose a rental from the private market. This program is also managed locally through public housing authorities (PHAs), even though it is funded by HUD. The Section 8 program provides its participants with housing vouchers to pay a portion of their rent if the landlord accepts them as a form of payment. However, a rental has to pass an HUD inspection and meet the local PHA standards in order to qualify for the program. In addition, applicants should meet specific eligibility requirements to receive benefits. These requirements typically include:

  • Family status
  • Income level
  • Citizenship status
  • Eviction history

You should keep in mind that there might be additional or different requirements that your local PHA determines. For this reason, you should reach out to them to find out more and to start the application process.

Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)

If you deal with HIV/AIDS and need assistance with housing costs, you might be able to benefit from HOPWA. Despite the fact that qualifying people (and their families) cannot directly get support from HOPWA, they can receive assistance from HOPWA-funded services that are available in their neighborhood. That’s because this federal program provides grant funds, including formula grants and competitive grants, to different sources to offer assistance and supportive services to eligible people. These sources may include states, local communities, non-profits, and others.

In a Nutshell

Many people across the country are struggling with housing expenses, especially with the current economic hardship. If people can’t afford this basic need, they might experience additional issues. For this reason, support is necessary. Luckily, the federal government understands that people may need assistance to be able to maintain decent housing. As a result, it provides a wide range of housing assistance opportunities, such as:

  • FHA Loans
  • HUD Homes
  • Good Neighbor Next Door (GNND) Program
  • Public Housing
  • Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)
  • Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)

Each of these opportunities works differently to provide support to various groups of people with different needs. This is why it is important to review all of them and determine whether they can help you with your particular situation. There are many resources available for help, depending on the option you are interested in. However, you can find a considerable amount of information online with a simple search. 

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