Federal and state government rental assistance programs are not the only sources of financial relief. In fact, you could get help with rent from various other resources, including non-profit and charitable organizations. If you qualify for a rental or utility assistance program, you could receive grants to use toward your living expenses.
A grant is free money, which means you do not need to pay it back. Grants are different from loans, which is borrowed money that must be paid back according to a repayment schedule.
Non-profit rental assistance programs can help in a pinch if you cannot receive help from federal resources. Section 8 and other government rental assistance programs often have limited availability. Even if you qualify for aid, you could spend months – even years – waiting for a unit to become available.
Pandemic rental assistance programs have become more widespread in recent months. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for many Americans to pay their bills. Non-profit organizations are answering the call for more housing and utility assistance programs by providing housing grants and free money to low-income individuals and families.
So, how do you find a rental assistance program from a non-profit or other charity?
Searching online for “places that help with rent near me” may connect you with a handful of organizations offering housing and utility assistance. Some of these organizations provide grants to those who do not qualify for or cannot receive federal aid.
One of the most popular places to get help with rent or other living expenses is the Salvation Army. This nationwide non-profit may have religious affiliations, but it helps people of all backgrounds with rental help, food vouchers, utility assistance and more.
Catholic Charities is another non-profit organization that can help you pay your rental costs. You do not have to belong to the Catholic church to receive aid; the organization helps anyone who is in need of financial assistance.
The availability of non-profit rental assistance programs depends on where you live. Typically, you must reside in the area in which these organizations serve.
Most have additional criteria for receiving rental or utility assistance, such as meeting income requirements or being at risk of eviction. Utility assistance may also be reserved for those who are at risk of getting evicted or having their power turned off.
Depending on the charity, you may also qualify for other types of benefits. These may include food vouchers, access to food pantries or clothing assistance, especially during periods of harsh or severe weather.