How to Know If You Qualify for Rental Assistance

A variety of programs offered by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, known as HUD, help low-income families, senior citizens and people who are disabled find suitable housing.

These programs allow people to choose housing located in subsidized housing projects or to find housing on their own that meets program requirements. To find out if you quality for rental assistance, follow these steps.

Find out the median income level for your county or metropolitan area. You can find this information online at huduser.org or visit or call your local library for assistance.

Add up your entire family's total annual gross income based on recent tax statements or W2 forms provided by employers.

Compare the total amount of your family's annual gross income with the median income level for your county or metropolitan area. If your family's total income does not exceed 50 percent of the median income level, you may be eligible for assistance.

Call your local Public Housing Agency to make an appointment if you meet the qualifications above. Be ready to answer questions about your family income, assets and the number of people in your family so PHA can verify this information with your employer and bank.

Things You Will Need

  • Recent income-tax statements
  • W2 employment forms
  • Calculator
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Phone

Tips

  • You must be a United States citizen or a non-citizen with eligible immigration status to receive rental assistance.
  • Bring your most recent income-tax statements, checking account statements and the contact information for your employer when you meet with the PHA to keep the application and qualifying process moving along as quickly as possible.

Warning

  • Remember that this process of applying and qualifying for rental housing assistance may take a while to complete. Plus, once you qualify, your name gets added to a waiting list--long waits may be common in your area.

About the Author

Nancy Wagner is a marketing strategist and speaker who started writing in 1998. She writes business plans for startups and established companies and teaches marketing and promotional tactics at local workshops. Wagner's business and marketing articles have appeared in "Home Business Journal," "Nation’s Business," "Emerging Business" and "The Mortgage Press," among others. She holds a B.S. from Eastern Illinois University.