Have you ever been in a situation where you need to find a place to live and fast? If you are a family who needs low-income housing, it can take months to be approved for an apartment or house. This can be a frustrating and stressful time in your life, so I have devised a list of tips and ideas to help you stay motivated and stress-free during your search.
Check with your local social services.
Local social service branch should have a list of low-income housing agencies in your community.
Prepare for a long application process.
Most low-income properties require an application along with pay-stubs, social security numbers, and rental history.
Make sure you have birth certificates, social security cards, and W-2 forms/pay stubs before filling out an application. This will save you a large amount of time.
Know your credit score.
It will save you both time and money by avoiding units that require a credit score higher than what you have.
Most low-income houses do not require a credit check however, if you are applying for a Section 8 Housing Voucher, you will need this for applications through property management companies.
Stay in touch with each place you apply.
Remember that these agencies deal with hundreds of clients a month. Continue to call and request information about the status of your application. This way, if there is any problem with your application, you can immediately change what you need to, or quit wasting time waiting for an answer.
Keep an optimistic frame of mind.
This may seem impossible when dealing with government assistance however, in order to keep yourself focused, it is necessary.
It can feel like your life is caving in around you, so make sure you take time out every day to enjoy your family. Spend time remembering what it is that you are fighting for, and it will refresh you for the next day.
Make sure you have money saved up for rent and deposit.
The biggest mistake a low-income family looking for home can do, is have no money to put towards deposit and first month’s rent. If you have money saved up, you will not have to worry about making the monthly payment plus deposit payments in the future.
If money is extremely tight, ask your property owner about their rules on deposit payments. Though this can cause financial hardship later on, it will ensure that you can move in relatively fast.
Do not expect miracles.
Housing agencies have a waiting list as long as two years. Unless you are homeless or leaving an abusive relationship, you are put on the bottom of the list.
Make sure you have a couple of backup plans in case your application is denied or the waiting list is too long, this way you will still have a place to live while waiting for the results.
If all else fails, try your local shelter.
It doesn’t sound glamorous, but it will give you a roof over your head for the time being. Shelters are excellent at helping individuals become self sufficient and housing ready. They offer classes on tenant education, responsibilities, and rights. They can also help you in finding ways to repay debts.
Trying to find a low-income home can be frustrating and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Make sure you stay on top of each place you apply, waiting until the last minute can result in having no place to live. However, the most important thing to remember when applying for low-income housing, make sure you know everything about yourself before you apply. Most agencies deal on a federal basis, so all rental history and criminal history is at their disposal, if you know everything there is to know, you cannot get surprised and therefore, you can continue to feel hope.