In the past year, a lot has changed in the world due to the COVID – 19 pandemic. With everything that has changed, so have the ways of getting affordable living options during these tough times. A lot of people are facing financial constraints due to economic downfall everywhere, and it is really important to find affordable living so that they can survive the onslaught. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is managing federal programs designed to help Americans with their housing needs, this allows affordable living and other homeownership privileges to US citizens during the pandemic. Other than these we have a lot of other tips for you to find an affordable living place.
Firstly, Where can you find a place to live?
There are a lot of methods that you can opt for to find affordable living places. Even though a few old methods are not useful during the COVID – 19 times as they require you to go outside but here are a few things that you can try out to look for a home while staying indoors:
- House Rental Websites: You can find a lot of websites online that have property listings in them. With proper pictures and details, you can view your required accommodation whilst staying inside and without much hassle, you can contact the housing agent as well.
- Online News Portals: Due to Covid – 19, CDC advises to not take newspapers as it can be a medium to spread the virus. Newspapers or News Portals tend to have a section where all kinds of rentals are listed.
How do you rent a place?
This is how you rent a place in case you do not know:
- Find your ideal home by looking through ads and setting up appointments to visit the living space before you decide to choose one.
- You’d need to pay advance rental to the landlord before you are allowed to move in. The number of months of rent you pay in advance varies from landlord to landlord.
- There are other fees that come with your new apartment. This includes setting up electricity, internet, or even hiring movers to move your stuff from your old place to the new one. Mover charges can vary but you can estimate the move price by heading over to their site.
- You may also need to sign an agreement with your landlord that also states the duration of the time you stay on their property and terms and conditions such as the time notice you need to provide your landlord with before you decide to leave their property.
What housing benefits do you get from the government due to COVID – 19?
Due to financial hardship, a lot of citizens are forced to become homeless or move out to accommodations that are cheaper so that they can easily afford it. For the homeless, HUD has been providing Shelters so that they can stay safe during the pandemic. It is also important that the citizens follow all the health guidelines while staying in the shelter to keep themselves and others around them safe from the virus. Other than providing shelter, HUD-certified counselors can give you the best advice that you can hope for during these tough times. The advice can be for buying a new property, renting, or even to help you with your credit matters.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has also taken the initiative to offer reduced rent apartments by owners to low-income tenants or those who are financially unstable at the moment. HUDs public housing program is offering safe affordable housing for all citizens who are in need of it. More info on the housing program and other eligibility criteria can be found on the HUDs website. Other than the Public housing program, tenants with low income can also look at Public Housing Agencies for Housing choice vouchers. Any additional information you might need can be availed of from the HUDs rental assistance section.
HUD has allocated a lot of funds to provide affordable accommodation to low-income families during the pandemic. The funds were distributed to Public Housing Agents all around the country and can be easily availed by making an application.
Citizens who have already been living in HUD-assisted houses can request interim income recertification to bring down their rental if they are undergoing financial hardship. The application can easily be done online without having to go to the office physically.
How do you apply for Financial assistance to pay your rent in case you cannot afford your current living space?
There is rental financial assistance like RAFT and ERMA that you can apply for. For application, you need to get in touch with your Housing Consumer Education Center in your region or a Housing agent that operates near you. Some cities and states have been providing their citizens with local emergency rental assistance programs. There are housing toolboxes across states that can be accessed by any individual for the comprehensive excel sheets and also the contact details of Local Emergency Rental Assistance services. The information is updated quite often so that the citizens can have the newest data whenever required.