The U.S. government has established many housing assistance and related programs for people of all backgrounds. In fact, there are countless federal, state, and local programs that may be able to help you better afford the costs of housing.
Senior Housing Assistance: There are many options for low-income senior housing assistance, including the Housing Choice Voucher Program/Section 8 that helps elderly folks afford low-income senior apartments and homes of their choice. The Supportive Housing for the Eldery Program provides subsidies for independent senior living apartments that offer cleaning, cooking, transportation, and some other care services.
Typically, someone may qualify for senior housing if they are at least 55 years of age and can’t afford to live on their own. Most senior housing assistance programs are managed by the state but may receive federal funding.
Veteran Housing Assistance: Veterans and active duty military personnel may be able to get help securing housing. The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) offers government-backed loans to help you purchase a home, whether you have bad credit, little to no credit, have previously filed for bankruptcy, or have little money saved for a down payment. Nearly 90% of all VA home loans require no down payment.
In addition, military personnel and vets can get low interest rates, lowered closing costs, and lifetime help securing the financing they need to get the home they want. Plus, many VA-backed loans don’t require you to purchase private mortgage insurance, either. VA loan rates can vary based on your credit score, your income, and other factors.
Talk to a VA benefits agent or a VA-approved lender about your mortgage options, including whether you pre-qualify for a VA home loan. Applying for a VA home loan is also simple — you can work with a VA loan lender or even apply online.
Rent to Own: Rent-to-own programs may be available to those who can’t afford a down payment but are ready to buy a house. When you rent-to-own, you get to live in the home you want to buy, even though you don’t have the down payment saved.
You rent the house from the landlord or rent-to-own organization, and a portion of every rent payment goes toward the down payment or other agreed-upon portion of the rent-to-own mortgage.
Some programs let you qualify to buy the house in as little as three years. You can typically find rent-to-own programs through private companies, like Divvy or Dream America, or you can find approved rent-to-own properties on rental search sites.
Native American Housing Programs: The Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program, also known as Section 184, is a loan designed for Native American, Native Alaskan, Native Hawaiian, and other native tribes in the U.S. and territories. This program provides special low interest rates on fixed-rate loans for single-family units so that native peoples have better access to purchasing safe homes.
Housing Assistance for People With Disabilities: People with disabilities can often qualify for public housing, Section 8, and other subsidized housing programs, like Section 811. This provides financial assistance to people with disabilities so they can better afford rental housing with supportive services in their area.
For those who want to purchase or make accessibility modifications to a home, the government offers homeownership vouchers to help pay for a mortgage and related home buying expenses. Or, you can go through the USDA’s Rural Development program to secure funding for home modifications, removal of hazards, or purchase a home in a rural area.