Housing Assistance for Single Parents

There’s nothing easy about being a single parent.  Not only do you have to wear the hats of both mother and father, but you also have to work twice as hard to make up for the missing second income or childcare another parent would naturally provide.  Whether you’re a widower, a divorcee, or someone who has simply decided to take on parenthood solo, you should know that you don’t have to go it alone.

For single parents struggling to make ends meet, there are organizations ready and willing to offer assistance, provided you meet certain criteria.  If you’re working hard to keep your family afloat and you’re looking for housing assistance, here are a few options you’ll want to explore.

Emergency Housing

Sometimes disaster strikes unexpectedly, forcing you out of your home.  Or maybe you’re trying to escape an abusive home life and extract your children from the situation.  If you don’t have money in the bank to cover first month’s rent, deposit, and the other expenses of a lease, or even a night at a motel, you may be in dire straits.

This is where emergency housing assistance can help with immediate shelter for single parents and their children.  Temporary emergency housing in your area could include shelters, group homes, and boarding homes, or even hotel rooms, in some cases.  These are often run by groups like the Salvation Army and Goodwill, or in the case of disaster situations, the Red Cross and FEMA.  The professionals at shelters can often provide you with resources to help you find a more permanent housing situation.

Subsidized Housing

Both the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and state-sponsored programs aim to provide single parents with subsidized or low-cost housing.  To find these housing opportunities, you can start by looking on the HUD website for suitable subsidized housing.  This site will also provide information and resources related to state-run programs that you can contact.

These are excellent opportunities for single parents to find safe, affordable housing in their area.  However, there are restrictions.  In order to qualify for this type of housing, you must meet specific earning criteria, and this can vary by state and change annually.

Section 8 Vouchers

If you are financially eligible, you may take advantage of vouchers from HUD that help to offset the cost of rent.  You will receive vouchers, which you then give to your landlord as partial payment for your rent (you will pay the remainder out-of-pocket).  Your landlord can submit these vouchers to HUD for repayment.  In this way, you have more say over where you choose to live, which could mean access to safer neighborhoods, better school districts, or closer proximity to a job, for example.

Public Housing

As a single parent struggling to survive on a low wage, you may find that you’re eligible for tenancy in low-income housing provided by HUD.  However, this type of housing can suffer from a bad reputation for crime and security issues.  Although public housing communities strive to offer access to services like financial counseling, parenting classes, and other amenities, this may not be your first choice.

House Sharing

For single parents struggling to provide for their children, house sharing can be an excellent solution.  Programs like CoAbod pair single parents in one household so that they can split expenses, childcare, and so on.  These programs offer safe and affordable family housing and even help parents to find suitable childcare services.

There is no shortage of options to explore when you’re a single parent scraping by on a low wage.  You’re sure to find one or more programs that can provide the assistance you need to get by and even improve your circumstances.