Getting Help Paying Rent

There are few things more terrifying than the thought of eviction or losing your home, especially if you have a family relying on you. Whether you have an notice hanging on your door or you are worried you will not be able to come up with enough money to make rent at the end of the month, there are several options to help keep a roof over your head.

Subsidized housing
One of the simplest solutions is to apply or subsidized housing. This type of housing offers steep discounts on safe, clean apartments (and sometimes homes) for families who meet income requirements. Section 8 housing offers similar benefits.

Section 8 housing is government-owned property. These apartments and homes are usually more difficult to qualify for because of long waiting lists. You should submit a complete application as quickly as possible to give you better odds.

If you do not want to wait months for government-subsidies, consider subsidized housing. Subsidized housing refers to privately owned properties. The businesses or individuals who manage the property received a subsidy from the government to make up for discounted rent rates. They usually have income requirements (including a minimum) you must meet before you qualify to rent a space.  If you meet the income requirements, these are usually much easier to get into.

Mortgage Assistance
If you are struggling to pay your home mortgage, you may be worried about defaulting on your loan. Unless you want to sell your house and move to a more affordable location, you will likely need help paying your mortgage for a few months. Check with your local housing authority to see if you qualify for specialty programs that pay a certain percentage of your mortgage rates.

Some options you should consider include:

Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP): If you qualify, this program lowers your mortgage payments to 31 percent of your monthly gross income. Some HAMP participants have saved over $1,000 on their monthly payments.

Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP): To qualify for this program you must be current with your mortgage payments and otherwise unable to obtain and refinance on your home because the value has declined. The program helps homeowners save money by getting better mortgage conditions.

Principal Reduction Alternative: This program is for homeowners who are underwater in their home- their home is worth less than what they owe. The program uses investors to reduce the amount of money you owe on your mortgage.

Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA): If you are unable to make your mortgage payments and you want to avoid foreclosure, HAFA may allow you to participate in a short sale. While you may lose some money, this allows you to avoid a foreclosure.

Local Assistance
If you need immediate assistance, you may consider contacting a local church for financial assistance. Some churches offer financial assistance for members of their congregation and other community members. You may be required to meet with a leader in the church for an interview. Do not forget to check out emergency services and community centers for more information on local programs unique to your community.