Rents have risen and home prices have fallen, making it harder for people to afford to buy a home. The good news is, there are still options for those who need help with their monthly housing expenses.
Rental assistance programs can help with the cost of rent and provide other financial assistance as well.
Make Housing More Affordable
Many rental assistance programs are designed to help people afford their housing costs. The federal government and states offer rental assistance programs, as well as there are non-profit organizations that provide this assistance.
For example, some programs help people who are homeless or who are at risk of becoming homeless, while others are aimed at individuals who are low-income (and therefore qualify for various federal and state programs).
Some rental assistance agencies will provide a one-time grant that is directly tied to a family’s income. The grant will go straight from your paycheck to your landlord, providing you with a small amount of money each month to help pay for your housing costs.
Rental Assistance Funds
Some rental assistance programs allow families to get cash when they need it most. The funds are available in advance of your rent payment or at the time your landlord agrees to accept reduced rent payments for a set period of time. These programs work like a credit card, and you can use the funds as needed, just like a credit card.
Saving Money On Utilities
Some rental assistance programs also provide funds that can help pay utility deposits or even water bills. These funds can be used to cover the cost of these bills, helping you save money on utilities. The money goes directly to your landlord or utility provider and may be paid back over time, depending on the program.
Utility Contribution Funds
Some rental assistance programs will help families with utility deposits. This can be a great way to reduce utility costs and help cover your rent costs. Your rental assistance program may give you money to cover the deposit portion of your utility bill, or it may allow you to pay the entire deposit upfront. You’ll need to find out how to apply for this type of help from your local program.
Reduces Your Financial Hardship
Some rental assistance programs may also provide money for other expenses that you might have trouble paying for on your own. For example, you may be eligible for funds or grants that help pay for personal care items like diapers or toiletries. You may also be able to get money for home repairs or medical bills.
Eases Financial Stress And Anxiety
Many families face financial stress and anxiety when they can’t afford their rent. Reducing your housing costs can help alleviate some of this stress and anxiety. Rent-to-own programs can also help families feel more comfortable about their situation as they transition into homeownership.
Put Money Into Other Expenses
Some rental assistance programs may also provide funds to help pay for other expenses you have during the month. For example, if you have an unusual expense like a funeral, having these funds available can help ease the burden when it comes time to pay those bills. Other possible expenses that could be covered include groceries, gas and car repairs, and other essentials.
Tax Credits And Other Benefits
Some rental assistance programs also provide tax credits and other benefits that can help save you money on taxes or make you eligible for other tax credits or benefits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). These tax credits can reduce your taxes by up to a certain percentage of what you report as income. This is especially beneficial if you have dependents who may qualify for the EITC as well.
- Social Security benefits: Some rental assistance programs will also meet part of your monthly Social Security benefits, which can save you up to 15% on your taxes each year. You’ll need to request this benefit from your local program before applying for aid through the program, so don’t forget to do so.
- Earned Income Tax Credit: Some rental assistance programs also provide additional resources that can qualify you for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This can work in combination with an existing tax credit, saving you even more money on taxes over time.
Rental assistance programs can make it easier for families to afford their housing costs and other expenses, saving them money and easing some financial stress along the way.