The average American nowadays has trouble finding housing options they can afford, and things have only gotten worse as the housing market entered a state of chaos.
If you look at the prices now, rent and utilities alone are too much for some families to handle, and that’s not accounting for their other living expenses.
Thankfully, a solution does exist for them, and while quite a few are unsure where to start, we’ll lead the way.
There is a number of options you can choose from when it comes to affordable housing, and it’s up to you and your current circumstances to decide which one is the best fit for you and your family.
Keep on reading and let’s get started.
Before you even start thinking about what affordable housing means to you, you should first figure out exactly how much income you’ll be working with.
“Affordable” is a term that’s fairly subjective, and everyone will approach it differently, although a general definition does exist.
Essentially, if you’re not forced to spend more than 30% of your income on housing costs, it’s affordable and it won’t be a burden on your finances.
This means that if your monthly income is $2k, you should try to pay less than $600 on accommodation, because if you do, you may start a domino effect that could have detrimental effects on your financial well-being.
This is reflected in the fact that households that are burdened with rent often have trouble with other expenses such as groceries, healthcare, transportation, and many more.
Where to start
Once you’ve figured out your spending limits, the next thing to think about should be the housing options that are available to you.
If you’re specifically looking for affordable housing, preferably the type that would suit your financial situation, the best places to start would be the local public housing authority, the benefits.gov website, or the 211.org website.
Both of the aforementioned wills present you with housing options that you may or may not qualify for, and it’ll be up to you to do your research on the available programs and figure out which one you could benefit from.
One of the best places to start your search for affordable housing is definitely your local public housing authority, as they were created with the sole purpose of helping Americans in need.
PHAs all across the US receive funding from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, which also provides them with additional info on housing options, available support, and much more.
On top of this, the PHA offers their assistance without any service charge, meaning that it’s particularly useful for individuals and families working on a tight budget.
Through the PHA, a person can apply to the many programs they offer, so long as they provide all the necessary information when filling out the application form.
Sometimes, it’s best to do things on your own, and you can sift through the housing options available on the official government-run website for benefits programs.
Benefits.gov compiles all the information on all the federally-funded programs aimed at Americans that require assistance, and due to this vast amount of information, the government included a number of tools to use at your disposal to search through the info.
By using the website’s benefit finder tool, any American can find support programs that suit their needs, and the process is further simplified if you enter any of your personal information in the empty spaces, as it will isolate the benefit programs that you could possibly benefit from.
However, even this doesn’t guarantee that you’ll actually receive assistance, but rather, it’s a tool that helps you find a program that MAY work, not one that WILL work.
This is mainly due to the fact that the only real way to know whether you’re eligible or not is to actually apply and seeing as the application itself is free, you’re practically not losing anything.
Additionally, each of the programs outlined on the website will have its own website and online resource for you to explore and understand a bit better.
Similarly to benefits.gov, this website can also be used to find housing options in your local area, as well as some services and benefits that may help them deal with their current situation.
It’s not just housing, as anyone with needs can make use of the website, whether it’s food, transport, healthcare, or housing.
Ever since the website was created, it’s helped find homes for over 4.3 million people, effectively reducing the devastating effects of housing insecurity and homelessness, 2 major issues in the US.
If you contact the local 211 office, they may be able to help you with calculating your housing expenses as well as other regular payments that you’re currently making.
By obtaining info about your current living arrangement, income, expenses, etc., the 211 gathers enough data to provide you with the most custom-made service they’ve got for you.
Finding cheap housing options in this day and age can be a herculean task, especially if you’re already in a tough spot, financially speaking.
However, affordable housing options do exist, and there are some programs that focus on finding and providing them for those in need.
Essentially, affordable housing would be any housing option that doesn’t cost more than 30% of your monthly rent, as that could result in becoming a burden on your other expenses.
Make sure to take a step back, relax and assess the situation, and when you’re done, take on the task of searching for an affordable housing option using some of the resources listed above.