Housing Resources for Single Mothers

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Single moms, who are mainly raising their families on their own, are very often in need of help. One category of help is housing resources for single mothers, and the avenues of assistance available to these females will be examined.

Apart from its being the American dream to own a home with a white picket fence where their children are safe, owning a home is a good investment for a single mother. The house may appreciate in value after a few years because of improvements to the neighborhood in which the house is located. The task may seem daunting, especially for a single mom earning a low income, but there are loans and other facilities available which may just provide the start a single mother needs.

Fortunately for single mothers, there are agencies and organizations that are willing and able to give housing assistance to those in need. We’ve compiled a huge list of housing resources for single mothers that should provide a good starting point for single moms looking to secure some housing assistance.

First off, look at our own Housing Assistance Guides which are some of the best online right now

If you have trouble with mortgage payments, have trouble paying your rent, or face foreclosure or eviction, READ our guides on what to do:

Housing Assistance Resources

The following resources are available for people looking for some sort of housing assistance options from the government and from third parties. I’ve tried to make sure it’s all up to date as of 2014, but there may be outdated information. Please let me know in the comments if something is no longer active or if you have new resources to share regarding housing assistance programs.

Mercy Housing Live in Hope

Mercy Housing is a nonprofit organization at the national level which develops, finances, and operates housing communities that are affordable. These communities target families and other persons with special needs but who do not have the resources to fund them. Their vision is to create healthy communities with supportive programs aimed at transforming neighborhoods and stabilizing lives. Their mission is to operate on the principles of –

  • Respect – for the dignity of persons,
  • Justice – where persons are treated fairly and  impartially, and
  • Mercy – which causes a compassionate response to persons’ needs.

There are several Mercy Housing multifamily affordable rental housing locations in a few States. Their corporate office can be reached at 866-338-0557, for assistance with applications and information on available properties.

US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/public_indian_housing/programs/hcv/about/fact_sheet
This federal government organization has a housing choice voucher program which aims to assist very low income families, among others, with decent, safe, and sanitary solutions in private schemes. Participants are issued with vouchers and they are free to choose townhouses, single-family homes or apartments outside of housing projects, as long as they meet the program’s requirements. The rent is subsidized in the amount on the vouchers, and is paid directly to the landlords on the families’ behalf. The families then pay the landlords the difference in the rental charges.

Under special circumstances the public housing agencies (PHAs) may allow families to purchase modest homes with their vouchers. This is facilitated by the Homeownership Voucher Program which targets first-time home owners who need assistance with the monthly mortgage and other homeownership expenses. Additional information, including conditions, is available at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/public_indian_housing/programs/hcv/homeownership

USDA Rural Development/Housing & Community Facilities Programs (HCFP)
The Housing and Community Facilities Programs enable rural Americans to own, renovate or repair their homes. They also provide financing to low-income residents in multi-unit housing buildings for rental payments.

Several single family housing loans and grants are also available.

These include:

The Rural Housing Guaranteed Loan

http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/HAD-Guaranteed_Housing_Loans.html
This is the strictest of the loan facilities, as applicants must meet certain criteria. These include –

  • Must be without satisfactory housing
  • Must be able to afford the mortgage payments, inclusive of taxes and insurance
  • Must have reasonable credit histories.

The Rural Housing Direct Loan

http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/HAD-Direct_Housing_Loans.html
These loans are mainly used to help individuals or families with low income to acquire homes in rural areas. The funds may be used to construct, repair, renovate or even relocate homes. Funds are also available for purchasing and preparing construction areas, and for providing water and sewage facilities.

The Rural Repair and Rehabilitation Loan and Grant

http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/HAD-RR_Loans_Grants.html
The Very Low-Income Housing Repair program makes loans and grants available to homeowners who have very low income, and who wish to repair or improve their dwelling places. The loans and grants can also be used for modernizing their houses, or removing safety and health hazards.

Mutual Self-Help Loans

http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/HAD-Self-Help_Loans.html
These loan facilities target families with very low or low income, with a view to helping them to build their own homes. These participants are usually not able to purchase clean or safe housing using regular methods, and they help to build each other’s homes while being ably supervised. This realizes savings which are used to offset mortgage payments.

Rural Housing Site Loans

http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/HAD-Site_Loans.html
These loans aim at providing financing for the purpose of buying and developing housing sites for families with low or moderate income. Low income falls between 50 and 80 percent of the area median income (AMI), while the upper limit for moderate income is $5,500 above the limit for low income.

Individual Water and Waste Water Grants

http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/HAD-IWWW_Grants.html
These grants make government funds available to families living in an area that is recognized as a Colonia before October 1, 1989. Available only in Arizona, New Mexico, California, and Texas, these grants assist residents to connect service lines to residences, install plumbing, etc.

Self-Help Technical Assistance Grants

http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/HAD-Self-Help_Grants.html
These grants are made available to nonprofit organizations and public entities so that they can in turn help very needy and low-income families to build homes in the rural areas by utilizing the self-help method.

Technical and Supervisory Assistance Grants

http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/HAD-TSA_Grants.html
These grants enable low-income rural families to either find housing that adequately meets their housing needs, or make guidance available so that families can continue to live in houses that are already adequate, or both. This is done by established housing delivery projects as well as counseling projects which are managed by eligible applicants.

Housing Finance Agencies (HFA)
The support that these Agencies offer to families and others is wide ranging and can be found in every state at http://www.ncsha.org/housing-help. For example, in the state of Nevada churches may join with the government and so provide housing that is affordable for members of their congregations and other persons. Help is also given to residents who are in danger of losing their homes through the foreclosure route. The Nevada office can be accessed by visiting http://www.ncsha.org/housing-help/state/nevada.

HOME Investment Partnerships Program
http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/affordablehousing/programs/home/index.cfm
HOME is an agency which gives grants to States and communities so that they can build, buy, and rehabilitate housing for affordable renting and ownership, or directly assist persons with low income to pay their rental fees.

National Low Income Housing Coalition
http://www.nlihc.org/template/index.cfm
This organization dedicates itself exclusively to achieving a public policy that is socially just, and which ensures that persons with low incomes in the United States are able to have decent and affordable residences. This is done through their programs, some of which deal with –

  • Foreclosure intervention
  • Disaster recovery
  • Housing plus services, and
  • Federal housing programs.

The Cohousing Company
http://www.cohousingco.com/
This organization is a full-service architectural firm which builds affordable co-housing communities. Cohousing involves intentional planning, designing, and constructing of private homes with common facilities to form neighborhoods that are managed by the residents.

2-1-1 Connecting People in Need with Community Services
http://www.singlemom.com/HelpForSingleMoms/2-1-1-Connecting-People-in-Need-with-Community-Services.aspx
This facility enables calls to be made for emergency help for affordable housing as well as other basic human needs. Services are provided by United Way Worldwide and the Alliance for Information and Referral Systems (AIRS). Services include providing a resource for basic human needs in the form of –

  • Food banks
  • Shelters
  • Rent assistance and
  • Utility assistance.

Making Home Affordable (MHA) Program
http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/programs/Pages/default.aspx
This Program is a crucial part of President Obama’s broad plan and strategy aimed at helping homeowners avoid foreclosure, as well as stabilize the housing market, and improve the nation’s overall economy. As a result of the program, homeowners are able to –

  • Lower their payments – as a result of modifications made by the MHA savings of more than $500 monthly may be realized.
  • Lower their rates – through refinance programs offered by the MHA, mortgage rates have been more affordable and stable.
  • Receive help with a second mortgage – when the current mortgage arrangement is burdensome, MHA has programs designed to alleviate such worries.
  • Receive help with a fallen home value – when the housing market causes a decrease in the value of homes, MHA has programs designed to address those concerns.
  • Obtain help if unemployed – regarding assistance when –
  • More is owed than what the houses value
  • There are home equity loans to be paid
  • HELOCs or other second liens put pressure on being able to afford their own homes.
  • Exit gracefully – when owning a home is not affordable anymore and, in fact becomes burdensome, one of MHA’s programs will facilitate a graceful exit from the property, and provide $3,000 to assist with relocation.

 

Homelessness Assisance for Moms

Some organizations focus on the matter of homelessness with a view to dealing with it or eradicating it altogether.

 

National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA)
HFAs also have created the National Council of State Housing Agencies which are nonprofit organizations with plans aimed at putting an end to homelessness and, better yet, to prevent it from occurring in the first place. In order to accomplish this they focus on providing housing stability and choices for mobility to families. They target families who spend more on housing than on anything else, because they were the most likely to pull up roots and move several times in search of more affordable housing. http://www.ncsha.org/blog/center-housing-policy-finds-affordable-housing-provides-families-stability-and-mobility-choice.

Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH)
http://www.csh.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Page.viewPage&pageID=344
There is also a program of supportive housing for persons who are already homeless, have low incomes and other serious complex issues challenging their existence. They also work to not just put an end to homelessness, but also to –

  • Improve housing stability
  • Improve employment
  • Improve mental and physical health
  • Improve children’s school attendance
  • Reduce the active use of drugs and other substances
  • Help create more productive lives
  • Help build strong and healthy communities
  • Improve the safety of neighborhoods
  • Beautify city blocks
  • Increase or stabilize property values.

Bridge of Hope National
http://www.bridgeofhopeinc.org/template/index.cfm
This organization also aims to end and prevent homelessness by targeting and helping churches and families one at a time. They solicit help from donors, and through their affiliates, program sites and church sites, combine the talents of professional staff and mentoring groups so that homeless and mothers who are at risk may be empowered to obtain –

  • Permanent housing
  • Employment which provides financial stability
  • Friendships that are life changing and long lasting
  • Growth and a sense of wholeness.

Catholic Charities USA
http://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=1577
These agencies serve persons of all beliefs, and offer various kinds of assistance, including housing solutions. In accordance with their motto they work to reduce poverty in the US. Through their housing counseling program they provide –

  • Homebuyer education,
  • Mortgage delinquency and reverse mortgage counseling, as well as
  • Relocation counseling and other services.

Society of Saint Vincent de Paul
http://www.svdpusa.org/
This society offers various kinds of assistance to those in need. This includes persons who are struggling to keep their homes or pay their utility bills.

Vision House
This Agency targets homeless single mothers and their children, with a view to providing confidential and safe transitional housing that has integrated support services. The aim is to   successfully re-integrate the residents into the community using proper housing, among other services. Residents are encouraged to stay in the Vision House homes for from 18 months up to two years, or longer if they enroll in a four-year degree program. They can be reached at 425-228-6356 for information.

Fellowship Housing – Hoffman Estates, IL
Fellowship Housing is a transitional living program which operates for two years at a time and targets single mothers and their children who are either homeless or are at risk of acquiring that status. It works to save money to improve the situations of single mothers while providing subsidized housing and mentoring on a one-on-one basis. It operates in the state of Illinois, and its contact number is (847) 882-2511.

CoAbode – Single Mothers House Sharing
http://www.coadobe.org/
CoAbode is a facility which offers a matchmaking service that is quite unique. Single mothers who have one child or more children have the option to choose another single mother with whom they have the opportunity to pool resources and finances while sharing a housing facility. This arrangement has many advantages to both co-habiters.

Community Action Partnership, Sonoma County, CA – Programs
This facility offers two programs –

Giffen House

Single mothers with children, among others, who are working to overcome their homelessness, are provided with affordable housing solutions. This also applies to single mothers who are trying to get off public assistance and are aiming at long term stability. This is achieved by enrolling all residents in an individualized program which plans to –

  • Help them find employment
  • Help them obtain living wages
  • Help them acquire permanent housing.

Chanate Women’s Emergency Shelter

This is Sonoma County’s non-sectarian emergency shelter that is open throughout the year to provide emergency housing and meals, as well as supportive services to homeless adult females. The service is offered on a first come, first served basis, and is open to residents of Sonoma County. The program offers assistance with rental fees or deposits. Interested applicants are required to attend an orientation on either a Monday or a Thursday, and complete and submit an application which is available at the orientation. An information sheet can be found at www.capsonoma.org/forms/oriontatweb.pdf.