Single mothers are among the poorest in the nation and as such, are extremely vulnerable to low-paying jobs, poverty, and homelessness.
With the rising cost of basic necessities, it is not uncommon to see single moms struggle financially just to keep “a roof over their heads”.
The Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers two main types of subsidized housing — Section 8 and Public Housing.
Each program maintains rents at levels affordable to families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
1 Low Income Public Housing Program
Created by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), public housing program provides decent and safe rental housing for eligible low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled.
All applicants must meet the eligibility requirements set forth by HUD. The program generally serves households with incomes up to 80% of the area median income (AMI).1
The wait for public housing varies, depending on the size of your family and the length of the waiting list. It may take up to a year from the approval date of your application before an offer of tenancy is made.
2 Housing Choice Voucher Program ( Section 8 )
Another rental assistance program by HUD is the ‘Housing Choice Voucher Program‘ — simply known as Section 8, that is designed for families with low incomes to afford decent and safe housing outside of the public housing system.
Section 8 is one of the housing programs that comes in the form of subsidies. Through the voucher system, the recipient searches for an apartment in private market and pays about 40% of their income for rent, while the rest is paid with federal money.
In general, waiting lists for Section 8 are longer than public housing. However, unlike public housing, if you get a voucher, you can use it anywhere in the state.
3 Family Unification Program
Direct payments for designated uses are also provided through the Family Unification Program. This program delivers aid to families separated or facing separation due to a lack of adequate housing.
The vouchers provided through this program may be used to secure housing within the private rental market.
For additional information about FUP or the voucher program, contact either the local PHA 2 serving your community or the Office of Public Housing within your local HUD office.
For families that are behind on their rent or individuals that are currently homeless, there are also local agencies, community groups, and charitable organizations that can help them afford the cost of living.
4 CoAbode Single Mothers House Sharing
CoAbode offers a unique “match-making” service to provide single mothers the opportunity to share housing with another single mother of their choosing; halving the cost of rent and overhead expenses and freeing up the much needed resources.
Beside providing them with affordable housing opportunities, CoAbode also provides specialized support groups, educational scholarships, community outreach and involvement designed to make parenting a child alone a lot easier.
1223 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 102
Santa Monica, CA 90403
5The Salvation Army
When hard times hit, the Salvation Army assists families and needy individuals who are struggling to pay their rent with partial rent payment and if fund is limited, offers referral to other partner agencies.
Priority is given to single parents, seniors, families with children and those who are at risk of losing their permanent housing or who have currently become homeless.
For information on local rent assistance in your area, contact your local Salvation Army Corps Community Center by using the location search on this page.
Keep in mind that many of these programs have limited funding and resources available. Usually very low-income families with children, the elderly, the disabled, and people who are faced with an eviction or notice to quit will get priority consideration.
- U.S. Census Bureau – Median income is the amount which divides the income distribution into two equal groups, half having income above that amount, and half having income below that amount. [↩]
- Local PHA Contact Information [↩]