NEW YORK -- When the U.S. economy first entered a recession, millions of families were forced to take advantage of low income housing programs.
And, according to federal statistics, those numbers continue to increase every month.
Low income housing properties are defined as apartments or houses that are a part of some kind of affordable housing initiative, usually sponsored by the federal government, the state, the city, or a non-profit organization.
Such properties offer either an income-based rental rate or a flat rental rate designed to be affordable for needy individuals and families.
While there are many helpful programs available, finding the best and safest options can be a task. In addition, it can be difficult to find the best options available to families who qualify to remain in the home that they are already occupying.
Here are the top five resources to use:
1) HUD Office of Affordable Housing (OAP)
This government agency brings federal resources directly to the state and local level for use in the development of affordable housing units, or to assist income-eligible households in purchasing, rehabilitating, or renting safe and decent housing. Learn more at www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/affordablehousing/
2) Making Home Affordable ® Program (MHA)
This program, sponsored by the Obama Administration, is a comprehensive plan to stabilize the U.S. housing market by helping homeowners get mortgage relief and avoid foreclosure. Learn more at www.makinghomeaffordable.gov
This web site provides a listing of public housing properties across the country, and other types of housing deals. The vast majority of their listings are affordable housing bargains. Learn more at www.publichousing.com
4) Affordable Housing Institute
This non-profit organization provides housing finance expertise and thought leadership to other organizations working to make housing accessible to low-income people. Learn more at www.affordablehousinginstitute.org
5) Low Income Housing Authority
This organization produces a free online national resource that is dedicated to helping individuals and families find low income housing, apartments, shelters, and more. The web site also provides answers to frequently asked questions. Learn more at www.lowincomehousing.org