With record unemployment and many rental markets at record highs, there are no shortage of single moms who need help finding affordable, safe housing. There are a myriad of programs to help mothers in these situations. Let’s take a look at the most comprehensive programs offered. Continue reading Housing Assistance for Single Moms – Simple Steps to Find an Affordable Housing Alternative
Living assistance from the government can be available in the form of grants and other state programs. In cases of severe financial distress, low-income and under employed families may qualify for a one time government grant to help with living expenses. This program is most commonly used for rent and mortgage payments to avoid eviction or foreclosure. Other forms of Government assistance are also available.
HUD Housing Program
HUD Housing is low income; Government subsidized housing that aids families in obtaining safe housing for their families. There are a lot of stipulations associated with this program. HUD Housing can be privately owned or publicly owned. Privately owned HUD housing allows for an apartment building or home owner to offer reduced rental rates based on a family’s income. HUD is living assistance from the Government.
Families that qualify for HUD Housing assistance must abide by strict guidelines. Only those listed on the HUD application may live in the home. Certain criminal offenses will be disallowed for tenancy. Strict income guidelines must be followed. Any and all income changes must be reported immediately. This can change your eligibility as well as decrease the amount of rent paid if an income decrease takes place.
Many HUD houses are built by volunteers. HUD homes are also built for specific families from time to time. These special homes are built in special circumstances. They are usually built for families that have disabled members requiring modified living conditions in order to live with their families. Those living in HUD homes are often so appreciative of the program and how much it has helped their family that they will volunteer to help build a home for another family in need. The HUD community can become very close.
Section 8 Housing
Section 8 housing living assistance from the Government provides qualifying families with reduced rental rates for subsidized or public housing. There are also strict income requirements for this program. Most states are on a long waiting list to enter this program. By the time your number on the list is reached, it is likely that your financial situation has changed for the better. There are cases where a family can be on an Emergency Section 8 list. This would mean that the family, with young children, is homeless.
Section 8 also has strict rules as far as staying in their program. In order to remain eligible for Section 8, you must abide by all of the rules and regulations of the program including not allowing unauthorized people to live in the home. Criminal activity cannot take place within the home. The home itself cannot be damaged or sublet. Section 8 does have the right to inspect their property with 24 hours notice. They do expect their homes to be kept neat and clean. Unsatisfactory living conditions upon inspection can cause a person to be taken off of the program.
The Section 8 program is fully funded by State and Federal Governments. Program availability can change from year to year as funding amounts do often change. If the national budget cannot suffice the large amount of funding for the program in a specific year, fewer applicants are approved for the program. There is nothing that an agency can do to push an application through if the funding is not there and all of the housing is full. The most that they can do is find other sliding income housing or a suitable shelter.
Government Grants for Living Assistance Purposes
Living assistance from the government in the form of grants is attainable for families suffering severe financial hardship. These grants are offered only one time to low income families. A grant can be given for eviction prevention or foreclosure prevention, home repairs and for general living expenses. A general living expense grant is sometimes available depending on the program you are applying to.
Government grants for these purposes usually do not require reimbursement. Since the grants are available to a person only once in their lifetime, the government often seeks further funding to keep this program available. The items needed to apply for a government living assistance grant include a letter of intent, proof of financial hardship, proposal of the need and what the funds will be used for. It can take several months to receive an answer regarding the acceptance or denial of your request.
Other Living Assistance Programs
Local agencies may be able to provide living assistance from the government. The government does provide funds to some local agencies to assist their community members. These programs are usually saved for the elderly and extremely low income families, including single mothers. Those that are homeless will take precedence over others that are simply a little short on their bills.
One local agency that may be able to help with Government provided living assistance funds would be your local Salvation Army office. They receive funding from state and federal government agencies as well as private funding in the way of donations. The Salvation Army provides living assistance from the government in the way of rent or mortgage payment, electricity payments and natural gas payments. Some Salvation Army locations offer transportation assistance, car repair assistance, food assistance, clothing, toiletries and medication assistance. They can help only once per year with a major expense such as rent or utility payments. There are also some locations that can help with moving costs to obtain suitable housing by helping with security deposits or the first month’s rent. If they do not have funds available to assist you and your family, ask them about other government funded programs in the area that may have funds. They will gladly provide you the resources needed to reach out to another agency.
Living assistance from the Government may not be available in all states. Programs for this type of assistance often run out of funds early in the year. It is difficult to replenish the funding as donations and grant funds have decreased. If all of these programs fail to have the funds to help you, ask them to refer you to a safe shelter for temporary housing.
Assistance for single mothers in Delaware, especially those with low-incomes, is readily available. Childcare, health care, housing, food, school lunches, and educational assistance is offered by a number of state agencies. The number of single parents raising children under the age of 18 in Delaware was 32,278 in 2011, according to the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies. Many are below poverty level. Needy Delaware single mothers usually will find the help they need to raise their families in these difficult times.
The Delaware Assist website, https://assist.dhss.delaware.gov/, is the place to start to determine eligibility for public assistance for single mothers or other low-income individuals. Delaware Assist, operated and maintained by the State of Delaware, allows people and organizations to explore most state assistance programs in one place. After entering their pertinent information on this easy-to-use website, individuals receive an estimation of their eligibility for food, medical, or cash assistance. The Delaware Assist website allows individuals 180 days to complete their application. People can log in and out of the system as needed. The Delaware Assist program is accessible for handicapped individuals. Most information about assistance for single mothers in Delaware can be found by starting with this website.
The State of Delaware has a number of programs designed to help low-income single mothers in the state including:
Delaware Child Care Services
Finding affordable childcare assistance for single mothers in Delaware who must work or go to school can be very difficult. The State of Delaware Child Care Service program was designed to help in these situations. Parents of children under 12 (or over 12 if the child has special needs) are able to obtain assistance to pay for childcare in a licensed day care center or licensed day care home. Parents may also choose a relative, friend or neighbor as their childcare provider if they obtain a Child Care Certification Provider Agreement from Delaware Social Services.
Income and family size are taken into account when determining eligibility for the program. The income limit is set at 200 percent or less of the Federal Poverty Level. Program participants who work often must pay a portion of the child care cost. The amount a parent expected to pay is calculated based on need. In cases of child abuse, childcare may be provided in order to protect the child.
Another innovative program, The Delaware Kinship Navigator Program, is designed to assist grandparents or other individuals over the age of 55 who are raising the children of others.
Medicaid – Diamond State Health Plan
Many low-income pregnant women and children under 19 who are not able to obtain or afford health care are eligible for the Medicaid program. This public health insurance program provides coverage for hospitalization, medical tests and medical and dental care. Eligibility depends on the size of the family, income and age. Under the Delaware program, however, individuals can work, own a car, and have a home and still be eligible for the Medicaid program. Most Delaware individuals using Medicaid are enrolled in the Diamond State Health Plan.
Delaware Healthy Children Program (DHCP)
Children under the age of 19, who have little or no coverage from another medical care program, often are eligible for the Delaware Healthy Children Program, or DHCP. This program, administered by the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, provides medical care for children in families whose income is less than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Depending on income there is a small monthly fee associated with this program. If three months are paid for, the fourth month is free. In most cases, children of Delaware State employees are not eligible for this program, however.
The Delaware State Housing Authority and HUD
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) works with The Delaware State Housing Authority, other state agencies and charitable organizations to provide housing assistance for single mothers in Delaware. Depending on the situation, housing assistance is available for those who require rental assistance, emergency shelters, shelters in cases of domestic violence, and assistance to pay utility bills.
Delaware works with homeowners, renters and property owners to provide subsidized housing and tax credits to those in need.
“Section 8” is a federal rental assistance program that provides “housing choice vouchers” to help very low income participants to procure affordable housing. The renter pays a portion of the monthly rental fee and the housing choice voucher is used to cover the rest.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
The Delaware Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides assistance to single mothers in Delaware to help with the cost to fuel their homes. Energy costs covered include electricity, natural gas, kerosene, propane, coal or wood. Both renters and homeowners are eligible for this program, but income must not exceed 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
FOOD AND NUTRITION
Delaware Food Supplement Program
Supplementary food assistance for single mothers in Delaware is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. Eligible families are issued a Delaware Food First card. Benefits are transferred to this EBT (electronic benefits card) on a monthly basis. The maximum family income must not exceed 130 percent of the Federal Poverty Level in order to meet eligibility requirements.
Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
Single mothers who are pregnant or have children under five years old can benefit from the Delaware WIC assistance program. WIC stands for Women, Infants and Children. This nutrition program helps pregnant, post-partum, and breastfeeding mothers and their small children. Benefits provide financial assistance to cover the cost of healthy foods like milk, eggs, bread, fresh fruit and vegetables. Nutrition education, breast feeding support and health screening are also vital parts of the program.
Delaware food banks are administered by local non-profit or charitable agencies, and are an important source of emergency food assistance for low-income individuals and their families. Food bank directories are available from the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services.
TEMPORARY CASH ASSISTANCE
Delaware Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Cash assistance for single mothers in Delaware is available under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Applicants must be caring for minor children in order to qualify. The program is administered jointly by several state agencies. Its purpose is to help people with temporary needs until recipients are able to work. Benefits are available only for 36 months, but 30 hours of work-related activity is necessary in order to receive benefits. Work requirements are reduced if the beneficiary is in school. In addition, parents must certify that their minor children are attending and are current with all immunizations. Parenting classes are also mandatory.
Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
FAFSA stands for “Free Application For Federal Student Aid” This form, available online, helps students, including single mothers; determine their eligibility for a variety of educational financial aid packages. Individual Delaware colleges, vocational institutions, civic organizations and charities offer grants or scholarships to single mothers seeking to increase their education and job skills.