As a single mom of four kids, I understand how expensive it can be to raise children alone. Housing is one of the largest expenses families face, and because of that, we’re sharing how to get free housing for single moms.
We’ll talk about a variety of options that can work for single moms in many different situations. And we’ll share ideas for reduced housing costs for single moms as well.
Ways to Get Discounted or Free Housing for Single Moms
There are several ways single moms can get free housing or discounted housing. These options vary on factors such as which state you live in, what your income is, and more.
But regardless of what your housing needs are, there is likely help available for you. Read on for ideas that might work for you or a single mom in your life.
1. Section 8 Vouchers
Section 8 vouchers are vouchers that cover part of the rental price of a rental home or apartment.
These vouchers are issued as a part of a government housing program that has been around for several decades.
Eligibility may vary by state, but typically you need to make at least 50% below the median income for your area to be eligible to receive the vouchers.
For instance, if the median income for the area you live in is $50,000, you qualify to receive the vouchers if you earn less than $25,000 per year.
Note that Section 8 vouchers will cover any rent over and above 30% of your monthly income, which is what the government considers affordable living.
As an example, if you’re earning $24,000 per year, that equates to $2,000 per month. In this scenario, the government deems $600 per month as a rent amount you should be able to afford.
If your rental housing costs $1,200 per month, your Section 8 voucher will be in the amount of $600 per month. The Section 8 funds go directly to your landlord.
Your local Health and Human Services Department can help you determine if you qualify for Section 8 vouchers.
Hint: If you qualify for Section 8 housing vouchers, you may also qualify for other government assistance such as EBT or WIC.
Check with your local Health and Human Services office for more information.
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2. HUD Housing
HUD Housing is public housing through the government. As with Section 8 housing, you need to meet income criteria guidelines to qualify.
In addition, you need to be elderly, disabled, or have a family (i.e. children) to qualify.
Income criteria that need to be met to qualify for HUD Housing assistance vary depending on where you live.
Criteria are based on the median income where you live, and because of that, can change annually. The size of your family determines how much you’ll qualify to receive as well.
Contact your local Housing Authority department or Human Services office for more information.
3. Housing Grants
Housing grants such as the Emergency Solutions Grants program may be able to offer you financial assistance if you are at risk of becoming homeless.
The Emergency Solutions Grants program offers money to government and nonprofit organizations that assist people with housing help to help them find housing or stay in their current homes.
The type of help, as well as the monetary amount offered by organizations that receive these types of grants, vary by organization.
Contact your local Health and Human Services office to get connected with organizations that can help you with your emergency housing needs.
4. Shelter Housing
Shelter housing exists throughout most cities in the United States. Like transitional housing, housing shelters are typically geared toward specific situations.
For instance, homeless shelters provide living space for families or individuals that don’t have a place to live.
Domestic violence shelters provide living space for families leaving a domestic violence situation.
Each housing shelter has specific rules about who qualifies, how long you can live at the shelter, and more.
Although shelter housing isn’t an ideal situation for everyone, it can be very beneficial for getting free housing when you’re in an emergency housing situation.
Do an internet search for “housing shelters near me” or contact your local Health and Human Services office to get a list of housing shelters that provide housing for people in situations similar to yours.
5. House Sharing
With a little effort, you may be able to find a house-sharing option available for you and your children.
In a house-sharing situation, you share your housing with another single mom and her family, or with someone else.
Depending on the sharing situation you find, you may be asked to pay rent at the property. Or you may find a situation where you and your kids can live rent-free but have other responsibilities.
You might be asked to keep the house clean, to do cooking, or to do yard work. Or you may be asked to run errands for your landlord or bring them to appointments.
Since these types of situations are typically coordinated between homeowners and you as a tenant, pricing, terms, and conditions may vary.
And since there are usually no government agencies involved in monitoring these types of housing situations, it’s important to be sure that you and your kids are obtaining safe housing if you’re searching for a house-sharing situation.
Have a trusted mentor, family member or friend help you find the right house-sharing situation for your family.
6. Transitional Housing
Transitional housing options can provide single housing for free moms who are struggling with specific situations.
For instance, you may be eligible for free transitional housing if you have recently finished a drug or alcohol recovery program.
You may also qualify for free transitional housing if you have recently left a domestic violence situation.
Other life changes such as losing a job or recovering from an extended medical condition/hospital stay may also qualify you for free transitional housing.
Transitional housing costs may be covered by government programs or by nonprofit organizations that work to help people in situations similar to yours.
Do an internet search for “transitional housing for …” to find housing, or contact your local Health and Human Services agency to get information about organizations that provide transitional housing.
Transitional housing can be a great option for those looking to start anew after going through a tough situation.
Note that many transitional housing programs have education programs that are a requirement if you stay in the housing provided.
For instance, some transitional housing facilities for those escaping domestic violence have education programs to help you learn to stay free from abuse and survive–and thrive–on your own.
Check with the transitional housing facility you’re looking into for specific requirements for living there.
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7. USDA Multifamily Housing
The USDA Multifamily Housing program helps rural families who are experiencing homelessness or other housing struggles.
This program is designated for the elderly, low-income, or disabled citizens and families in its participating areas.
As an example, the USDA Multifamily Housing program may be able to provide:
- Mortgage loans
- Loan guarantees
- Rent subsidies
- Rent vouchers
And more. This program offers many of the benefits of the HUD Housing program or the Section 8 program.
The difference is that you need to live (or want to live) in a rural area to take advantage of the benefits of the program.
As with other government programs, income limits may apply. Or, being disabled or considered elderly may qualify you for USDA Multifamily Housing programs.
You can contact the multifamily housing department at the link above to learn more, or visit your local Health and Human Services office.
8. Veterans Affairs Programs
If you are a single mom and also a veteran, there are Veterans Affairs (VA) programs that may be able to show you how to get free housing for single moms.
Veterans with aging-related or service-related disabilities may qualify for housing grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Or you may be able to receive financial assistance because of any disabilities. The DVA also helps veterans who are facing homelessness.
The department may be able to offer financial assistance to pay for housing, shelter information, or transitional housing information.
If you are a veteran who wishes to buy a home, you may be able to get down payment help or avoid having to put a down payment on a home that you purchase.
The list of housing services for veterans is long. Contact your local Department of Veterans Services office or call the national office for specific information depending on your unique situation.
Charities That Help With Housing
Some charities help single moms and others with housing. Contact the following charities to see about getting free or discounted housing.
9. United Way
The United Way is a charitable organization that has been in existence since 1887. The organization helps community members in a variety of ways.
If you are experiencing a housing crisis, the United Way may be able to help you in one of several ways.
For instance, they may be able to provide emergency rent assistance. Or they may be able to provide counseling for homeowners or for renters to help them work through financial problems.
The United Way can also help you connect with resources to get ongoing rental help, affordable housing, and more.
Contact your local United Way office by visiting the link above, and they’ll connect you with someone that can help.
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10. Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is another charitable organization with solid roots. Founded in 1865, the Salvation Army provides disaster relief assistance during a variety of situations.
Like the United Way, the Salvation Army can help you find immediate housing if you’re in a situation where you don’t have housing or need to leave your current housing in a hurry.
The charity may also be able to provide rent assistance to you. In addition, the Salvation Army can help counsel you through tough situations or connect you with organizations that can help you work through your housing struggles.
Contact your local Salvation Army office for more information and resources.
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11. Catholic Charities
Catholic Charities is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1910.
The humanitarian aid organization helps individuals, families, and communities through a variety of struggles such as:
- Disasters such as weather and fire disasters
- Housing struggles
- Integrated health
- Food and nutrition struggles
And more. All you have to do is contact a local Catholic Charities office and explain your situation. There are hundreds of Catholic Charities locations throughout the United States.
If they can’t help you directly, they can refer you to an organization that can help you. Catholic Charities is said to be the largest social safety net provider in the United States, second in line only to the federal government.
For that reason, you can feel comfortable reaching out to them for any housing help you may need.
12. Continuum of Care Program
The Continuum of Care program is a government program that combines several government programs designed to help prevent and combat homelessness.
This program provides funding through the federal government and nonprofit providers to quickly rehouse homeless persons and families.
In addition, the program works to combat the trauma caused by homelessness by getting those struggling with homelessness the help they need.
The goal of the program is to help provide stable housing, heal trauma caused by homelessness, and encourage self-sufficiency for all who use the program.
Again, your local Health and Human Services office or HUD office can help you learn more about the Continuum of Care program.
Options for free housing for single moms or discounted housing for single moms do exist. Explore the options above to find the solution that best fits your situation.