What options are available if I need rental assistance?

HUD's rental assistance programs provide rental assistance through:
  • Privately-Owned Subsidized Housing,
  • Public Housing, and
  • the Housing Choice Voucher Program.
Privately-Owned Subsidized Housing
The government provides funds directly to apartment owners, who lower the rents they charge low-income tenants. You can find low-rent apartments for senior citizens and people with disabilities, as well as for families and individuals.  To apply, you must visit the management office of the apartment(s) that interests you.

To search for a low-rent apartment in your area, please visit:

You may also contact the Multifamily Housing Clearinghouse with questions by calling 1-800-685-8470.  The line is staffed Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

You can search for FHA-insured or Multifamily Assisted properties at the following website:  https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/housing/mfh/hsgrent/mfhpropertysearch

Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Program
Public Housing Agencies are responsible for the management and operation of its local public housing programs including:        
  • Public housing which provides rental housing for eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities;
  • The Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly Section 8) which allows very low-income families to choose and rent privately-owned rental housing including single family homes, townhomes and apartments. 
If you are interested in applying for public housing, including the Housing Choice Voucher Program, contact your local Public Housing Agency.  You can apply at more than one Public Housing Agency.  Each housing agency has its own system for applications. Sometimes there are long waiting lists.  If you're willing to move, you might find a housing agency that can offer you housing right away, so check around.        

To locate your local Public Housing Agency please visit the PHA Contact Information web page at:            https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/public_indian_housing/pha/contacts

The Public and Indian Housing (PIH) Information and Resource Center can answer questions regarding public housing and housing choice voucher programs and regulations.  The PIH Information and Resource Center can be reached at 1-800-955-2232.

Local Resources
In addition to federal rental assistance programs, there may be programs sponsored by your state or local government or other organizations that can help.  For more information on local resources please visit our website at:

Housing Counseling
Housing counseling agencies can give you advice on your housing situation.  To find a HUD-approved Housing Counseling Agency please visit:
https://apps.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm, or call HUD's interactive voice system toll free at 1-800-569-4287.

If you’re among those financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, you might be concerned about how to pay your mortgage or rent. Federal and state governments have announced plans to help struggling homeowners during this time.  For more information, visit: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/guide-coronavirus-mortgage-relief-options/

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Find Shelter tool provides information about housing, shelter, health care, and clothing resources in communities across the country, and is available at:  https://www.hud.gov/findshelter.

Benefits.gov is an online resource to help you find federal benefits you may be eligible for in the United States.  Visit https://www.benefits.gov/benefit-finder  for more information and a link to the Benefit Finder, to find information on government benefits you may be eligible to receive.

All policy information contained in this knowledge base article is based upon the referenced HUD policy document. Any lending or insuring decisions should adhere to the specific information contained in that underlying policy document.

Topic Number: KA-03925