How To Find Low-Income Housing
If you're looking for an affordable place to live, the Internet is a logical place to start. We've started the job for you, selecting a group of useful and reliable websites.
Where Do I Look?
Accurate information that can help you find an affordable home is readily available on the Internet. The trick is finding the sites that provide the information you need. Do you need to apply for benefits? Do you need to find affordable rentals? Do you need to know what's currently available in your area? Do you want to see pictures or HUD inspection scores? Knowing specifically what you're after will go a long way in finding the right resources.
Considering the volume of results you'll get when you enter the most common search queries, it can be difficult to know where to start. This article provides an overview of some of the most popular sites and what you can expect from them.
HUD and HUD Links
The website for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development is your first stop. As an official government website, it has the most current information on laws and policies. HUD consistently stays up-to-date on new programs being rolled out and old programs that have expired or are about to expire.
The official HUD website offers information on federally-funded, state- and locally-administered programs, such as the Housing Choice Voucher Program and the Choice Neighborhoods Program. You will find links to the PHA in your area as well as links to a database of privately-owned and public options, including information about programs specific to Native American interests. Tenant rights and fair housing laws are also spelled out in great detail.
Reading all the information on the main HUD site as well as reviewing links subpages will make you a much more knowledgeable tenant or homeowner. To visit the HUD website now and review their programs and requirements, click here
After reviewing the information on the official HUD site, you'll probably need to move on to other sites that give more specific information about your local region or about the region you're researching. Because rental prices are based on income, exact pricing is generally not available. The availability of an apartment within a certain range is more common.
Most sites carefully guard their database of available rentals. In order to protect their lists, they require that you provide contact information such as your phone number and email address. Few websites will give you access to their listing of rentals without an exchange of personal information.
Find Affordable Housing
- Similar to HUD, this site offers a wealth of information. You'll find a link to your local PHA, a guide for determining your HUD eligibility, suggestions to follow for negotiating rent and finding residences and more. Upon providing your email address and phone number, you will be granted access to a listing of Section 8 rentals. To visit this site, click here
- Once you've supplied basic contact information, you will be granted access to this site's database of affordable options. This site offers the distinction of providing pictures of its options in addition to a phone number, map, address, and email. To visit this site now, click here
- This site provides information about dwellings in 50 major urban areas, but no coverage for smaller urban areas or for rural areas. However, they have the advantage of showing current availability for the areas they do cover. Rather than placing the responsibility on you to call the various rental locations and ask to be placed on waiting lists, they give you the up-to-date status of projects. Additionally, by asking you to supply your desired location, number of bedrooms, maximum rent payable, and status as Section 8 or otherwise subsidized, they are able to target rentals available to a short list of options that best fits your situation. You can visit this site by clicking here
- This site is quite unique in its position: it's actually a full-service online financial consultant, offering information on banking, insurance, investing, professional services, small business, and real estate. In the site's real estate section, you will find a tab for low income housing. Credio's list has the distinction of including HUD inspection scores. To visit this site now, click here
- Rentals Ads does not specialize in low income residences. Instead, they advertise all types of rentals, offering information to both tenants and landlords. To find their low-income options, look under "Rental Property Types" and choose the tab named "Section 8 Rentals." From there, you will be directed to a listing of states. Find your state, then narrow your search by city and finally down to an area map. You are given direct access to the project landlord via email. The site does not require you to provide personal information in order to gain access to their database. Once you have selected the landlord you wish to contact, only then will you be asked to provide a phone number. To visit this site now, click here
Affordable Housing Online
- When waiting lists for Section 8 in a particular area reach an excessive wait time of up to 5 years, the lists close for that area. For this reason, many Section 8 project waiting lists are closed. This site tracks the openings of Section 8 benefits. On the website, you can click on the "Blogs" tab and will be directed to a weekly listing of new Section 8 openings. To visit this site now, click here
Mercy Services. Live in Hope
- Mercy Services is a nonprofit that works to help families, seniors, and the disabled find safe, affordable homes. They operate in a limited number of cities. In the cities where they function, however, their services benefit the community in meaningful ways. This organization is well worth contacting if you live in one of their areas of service. To visit the Mercy Housing site, click here
Securing Section 8 benefits is just one of the challenges that thousands of families face. Even with the promise of benefits, families still have to locate suitable homes. The internet is a valuable tool for locating them. With the information provided, you can narrow your search to the site that provides exactly the kind of information you need to find available options in your area. Good luck!