Tag Archives: Single Moms

Where Do Single Moms Go for Housing Needs?

In a world where a woman makes substantially less than a man doing equivalent work, the deck is stacked against women who head single parent families.  Statistics prove that a female single parent is more likely to be categorized as being low income than families with a single male parent at their head.  In the current depressed economic climate this disparity has grown, as employers happily faced with a glut of potential employees, have slashed wages, even while living expenses have not declined but risen.

There are resources for single moms who find themselves needing help finding affordably priced housing and programs to exist to lend a helping hand.

The federal government has a number of programs aimed at helping low income families—single parent included, find and pay for affordable housing.  The most famous of these is the “Section 8” program which is a voucher program that assists in finding and paying for affordable rental units.  The government also subsidizes public housing maintained and promoted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.   The feds also offer a variety of low income direct and guaranteed/insured loans to enable single parents and other very low income parents buy their own homes.  Some of this mortgage programs also assist in refinancing existing homes for needed repairs, and converting fixer uppers into permanent residences.

There are state programs available for low income families as well, and some states have programs that are specifically designed to aid single women with children.  Programs vary from state to state not only in availability but their requirements.  Research into these state level programs should begin with a web search of the Department of Health and Social services or its equivalent agency in the state of current residence.  The state office in charge of programs to assist families should be able to assist qualifying moms in the application process and also re able to refer women to programs on the county and city level as well.

A number of private organizations also offer housing assistance. The Salvation Army, St Vincent De Paul, Volunteers of America all offer some form of assistance to single moms in need, including those in need of help with rent, mortgage or finding safe and sanitary housing.

Other nonprofit organizations such as Mercy Housing and  Habitat for Humanity promote the development and assist with placement in affordable housing, at the same time as they advocate for the development of more programs at the state and federal levels to assist women in need.

A good low tech place to start for mothers in need of affordable housing is the local 2-1-1 call center service.  This is a service available in most states that seeks to be a clearing house for information on social and health programs available in your local area as well as a referral service for food, housing, employment, healthcare and counseling services.

You can find your local 2-1-1 service by doing a search here:

http://www.211.org/

Or by looking up via directory assistance the local call center number.

 

Finding Apartments for Low Income Single Moms

As never before in history, the number of single parent families in the United States is growing exponentially.  It is estimated that in 2002 (last census information available) there were 1,355,000 single fathers raising children under age 18; 5,714,000  is of single mothers raising children under age 18 which is an astonishing number of single parent families—it is expected these numbers have increased greatly in the intervening ten years.

Single parent families, most especially those headed by women are more than twice as likely to be categorized as low income than are two parent families. And sadly, more likely as well to be unable to find affordable, safe and sanitary housing.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has programs aimed at both increasing home ownership and providing for affordable housing.  The program popularly called “Section 8” or more properly as the Housing Choice Voucher program makes it possible for qualifying individuals to have rental costs for apartments or public housing reduced.  There are income limits and other qualifications for this federal assistance, which can be viewed at:

http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/topics/housing_choice_voucher_program_section_8

There are also state programs which offer living assistance, and the portal above links to a search engine for finding such programs within a particular state, territory or U.S. possession.

There are also private sources of housing assistance.  Mercy Housing is a national, nonprofit organization with a state purpose of attempting to create “a more humane world where poverty is alleviated, communities are healthy and all people can develop their full potential”.  Towards this end Mercy Housing develops, preserves, manages and finances affordable housing in 41 states in the United States for low income, special needs citizens, and seniors.  The basic thrust of Mercy Housing is to provide affordable rental housing, although in some states the organization also is able to offer home ownership programs.   The organization acquires and renovates existing housing, as well as developing new projects and properties. Mercy Housing also promotes public policy education and advocacy to increase across the board the availability of affordable housing and programs to guarantee the right of every citizen to have a decent, safe and sustainable place to live.

Mercy Housing has an application process that begins when an interested low income renter calls the property and speaks with one of their representatives who then guide them through the application process as well as detailing available units at the property.  Because of high demand some properties have long waiting lists and no availability, but the representative might also be able to direct a potential renter to other equivalent Mercy Housing projects.

For more information on Mercy Housing, visit their website at:

https://www.mercyhousing.org/