Housing Assistance Options for Single Mothers

Housing Assistance Options for Single Mothers

Raising a child is not easy, nor a walk in the park. Life gets tough when you’re doing your best to ensure your kids lead healthy and happy lives. Sometimes, it comes at the cost of your own emotional and financial well-being, and when you are a single parent, this gets harder.

The task of juggling a job, taking care of your child and searching for a house for a reasonable price – these are life’s priorities as a single parent. The silver lining to these struggles is found in subsidised housing assistance for single mothers. Let’s look at these assistance programs.

Types of Housing Assistance Available for Single Moms

Affordable housing for single mothers is on the rise as there are different types of housing assistance programs being made available.  We talk more about them below.

single mother with kids

1. Emergency Housing For Single Moms

Emergency housing programs are designed for single moms who are facing a financial crisis or find themselves without a roof over their heads for brief periods of time. These programs shelter struggling moms who face homelessness and those who have lost their homes suddenly due to fires or domestic violence.

1) Camillus House

Camillus Housing offers both transitory housing and permanent housing programs for single moms. Families are given a lot of support while they gain back a sense of stability in their lives during the period.

What It Is

The transitory housing program aims to get single moms from homelessness to having a roof over their heads. The program duration is 6-12 months and residents are taught how to budget to meet their personal and loving living expenses.

Eligibility Rules

Single moms must already hold a job and be able to demonstrate that they can pay back the monthly fees before enrolling in the program.

Website: https://www.camillus.org/

2) Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program

Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program provides funding assistance to those who are homeless. The goal of the program is to prevent homelessness and improve the number and quality of homeless shelters throughout different states.

What It Is 

The program runs various emergency shelters which help out homeless individuals. Essential services are provided to those who live in these along with assistance related to re-housing and homelessness prevention activities.

Eligibility Rules 

The minimum criteria for applying for the ESG Program is being homeless as defined under 24 CFR 576.2. Emergency shelters are provided to homeless individuals on the streets and other components to the program such as street outreach and homelessness prevention exist for less extreme cases.

Website: https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/esg/esg-requirements/

3) Emergency Shelter Program

Emergency Shelter Program was first launched by HUD Exchange in an attempt to prevent homelessness. The recipients and sub-recipients of this program receive funds to operate homeless shelters and provide essential social services to the residents.

What It Is 

The program is not limited to just homeless single moms. It also caters to anyone who is facing domestic violence or at risk of becoming homeless. Emergency Shelter Program covers most metropolitan cities and urbanized territories under its scheme.

Eligibility Rules

The requirements of this program are similar to that of the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program. Moms must be single, homeless and unable to financially cope with living expenses in order to enrol.

Website: https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/emergency-shelter-grants/emergency-shelter-grants-program-requirements/

4) Continuum of Care Program

The Continuum of Care (CoC) program is a consolidation of multiple former HUD programs to protect citizens against homelessness.

What It Is

CoC awards grants to nonprofit organisations, plus state and local government and public housing agencies.

Eligibility Rules

If you are homeless and have no income or low income, you can get help from a CoC grant recipient in your area to move into transitional or permanent housing or to find other means of support.

Website: https://www.hudexchange.info/grantees/contacts/?params=%7B%22limit%22%3A20%2C%22sort%22%3A%22%22%2C%22order%22%3A%22%22%2C%22years%22%3A%5B%5D%2C%22searchTerm%22%3A%22%22%2C%22grantees%22%3A%5B%5D%2C%22state%22%3A%22%22%2C%22programs%22%3A%5B3%5D%2C%22coc%22%3Atrue%7D##granteeSearch

5) Transitional Housing “Near Me”

Transitional housing may be an option for you if you are living a domestic violence situation, losing a job, overcoming addiction, and other unexpected life challenges that can impact your living situation.

What It Is

Local nonprofits, faith-based organisations, and government entities such as the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services are for transitional housing help. Under HHS, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is a resource for finding transitional homes with stays of up to 24 months.

Eligibility Rules

If you are facing homelessness, transitional housing is likely a temporary or extended-stay home right in your community. Many of these transitional houses are free if you have no income or offer a sliding scale rent based on your income.

Website: You can do a Google search for “transitional housing near me” and get the required information for nearby homes and temporary housing programs.

2. Affordable Housing For Single Mothers

Affordable housing programs for single moms target low-income families or parents at the risk of homelessness.

1) Housing and Community Facilities Programs (HCFP)

Housing and Community Facilities Programs comes under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and runs a range of different programs to target the problems of homelessness and finding shelters.

What It Is

Some of the features of this program are housing rehabilitation, preservation funding, rental assistance to tenants and assisted housing schemes for moms who are disabled or have special needs.

Eligibility Rules

Single moms who are looking for housing assistance or need help in funding payments are eligible to apply under the scheme.

Website: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/all-programs

2) Family Unification Program

This is a unique program that provides single moms with housing vouchers for purchasing new homes.

What It Is

The program is designed to make housing affordable for single moms who hail from low-income backgrounds and situations.

Eligibility Rules

Eligibility for the vouchers and amount provided to moms will depend on their annual income or median wages.

Website: https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUDsrc=/program_offices/public_indian_housing/programs/hcv/family

3) CoAbode Single Mothers House Sharing

CoAbode Single Mothers House Sharing program pairs single moms into flatmates. Two moms share rooms and split expenses to take care of their kids. The biggest advantage of the program is that you don’t parent alone and become a part of a supportive community.

What It Is 

Single moms who have kids share a home with likeminded moms.  These moms hold similar parenting philosophies and split up expenses which make housing and childcare more manageable.

Eligibility Rules 

CoAbode lets moms of any colour, age, race and ethnicity sign up on their platform. Moms have to do a search for similar moms in their area and connect. Once their profiles are registered and activated, they can contact other moms to look for house-sharing in their desired community or neighbourhoods.

Website: http://www.coabode.org/programs/program/1

4) Social Serve

Social Serve is a non-profit agency that helps single moms find homes for taking care of their kids.

What It Is 

The platform connects landlords with tenants who are looking for affordable housing and rentals.

Eligibility Rules 

Single moms who have low-income, special needs, or require disaster relief are eligible to apply.

Website: https://www.socialserve.com/tenant/NC/index.html?type=rental

5) Habitat for Humanity

The Habitat for Humanity program is designed for single parents who are looking for affordable housing and shelters. Maybe your home was destroyed by a natural disaster or you’re looking to switch locations to provide a better environment for your kids – whatever your reason – Habitat for Humanity understands that and has a supportive community to back you up.

What It Is 

Habitat for Humanity provides affordable mortgages and a chance to own new homes by building them hands-on. The community funds microloans which go towards home improvement in international locations and also focus on renovating and repairing existing homes.

Eligibility Rules 

Applying for housing assistance through Habitat for Humanity is fairly straightforward. Applicants will have to get in touch with their local habitat and connect with the community to learn more details. In general, everyone is welcome as long as they are willing to get involved with the projects.

Website: https://www.habitat.org/housing-help/apply

6) USDA Multi-Family Housing Rentals

The USDA programs serve the elderly, low-income families, and those with disabilities.

What It Is

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) helps rural families with a variety of programs for multi-family rental housing.

Eligibility Rules

Eligibility is based on income and age if applying for housing opportunities for elderly citizens. There are three income classifications based on the level of need and adjusted for household size, which are:

  • Very low income: 50% of the median income for the area
  • Low income: 80% of the median income for the area
  • Moderate income: 80% of the median income for the area, plus $5,500

If eligible to receive rental assistance, you’ll pay up to 30% of your adjusted income for your rental.

Website: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/multi-family-housing-programs

7) Jeremiah Program

The Jeremiah Program offers affordable housing to single moms and their children who are struggling with poverty.

What It Is

The program guides moms to gain self-sufficiency through its 12-week program that focuses on empowerment, education, and leadership.

Eligibility Rules

You are eligible if you live in the program area, have a high school diploma or GED, are planning to return to or start college within six months and agree to attend all weekly program courses.

Website: https://jeremiahprogram.org/for-moms/become-a-jp-mom/apply-to-be-a-jp-mom/

3. Low Income Housing for Single Moms

Low-income housing for single moms targets those who are struggling to make a living. Moms who can’t cope with the expenses in their area or at risk of eviction can apply for these programs to get funding and housing assistance.

1) Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)

The Housing Choice Voucher Program lets single moms and families live in homes of their own choosing, of course at a lowered price. The homes selected must be included under the program and meet their criteria. Additionally, it must also adhere to the Section 8 guidelines.

What It Is 

The program provides rental assistance by letting authorities fund private landlords on behalf of the tenants. Landlords can’t discriminate between families based on their levels of income under the act and the tenant is allowed to move from one unit of housing to the next. Individuals get a monthly voucher too which can be used to pay towards buying a new home and the voucher payments must meet HUD housing standards.

Eligibility Rules 

Single moms must meet the restrictions that are mentioned for yearly incomes in order to apply for this program. More information about eligibility guidelines can be read here.

Website: https://www.hud.gov/topics/housing_choice_voucher_program_section_8

2) HUD Public Housing Program

HUD Public Housing Programs provides housing assistance for single mothers with low-income.

What It Is 

A portion of the rent is paid or funded by the program.

Eligibility Rules

Those who are looking for free apartments for single mothers or need help with rent for single moms can view the eligibility criteria on their website.

Website: https://www.hud.gov/topics/rental_assistance/phprog

3) Vision House

Vision House is a non-profit agency based near Seattle, Washington. Established in 1990, they have helped homeless moms and kids get proper housing and have successfully integrated families into communities by providing them with clothing, counselling, life skills training, healthcare, education and more.

What It Is 

Vision House is a generous housing assistance program run by a non-profit organization. It lets single moms apply for housing as long as they are considered homeless prior to enrolment.

Eligibility Rules 

Annual income for single moms must fall 30% below the income bracket of the community they are planning to move into. The agency has a zero-tolerance policy to drug and alcohol use and residents are expected to be committed to at least 18 months to 2 years of residency when signing up for their family program. Moms will also have to meet up with the case managers on a weekly basis as part of their accountability towards social responsibility and career development.

Website: http://vision-house.org/images/family%20housing%20application.pdf

4) Nurturing Network

Nurturing Network is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity organization that helps single moms who are undergoing pregnancy. Being homeless while pregnant and without a job is tough and they offer housing assistance programs that come to their aid.

What It Is 

What we love about their programs and services is how they focus on the wellbeing of moms who are expecting kids. Provisions are provided during and after the pregnancy and moms are also given assistance in finding appropriate employment. Medical services, counselling, housing and legal assistance are also covered in their list.

Eligibility Rules

Single moms with kids below the age of 5 are eligible to sign up for their programs. Additionally, moms who are homeless and unable to support their kids and themselves can also apply for enrolment.

Website: http://lfcsmo.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/05_LCFS_Nurturing_042715.pdf

5) National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC)

National Low Income Housing Coalition caters to families with the lowest incomes in the U.S. and grants them affordable housing.

What It Is 

National Low Income Housing Coalition has different schemes that work towards preventing homelessness and facilitates housing needs.

Eligibility Rules 

You have to get in touch with a Congress member and locate the nearest district office to avail the services.

Website: https://nlihc.org/

6) Low Income Housing Institute (LIHC)

Low Income Housing Institute runs many support programs and provides housing assistance for those facing homelessness.

What It Is

It’s a program designed to provide affordable housing to homeless and low-income families.

Eligibility Rules

Single moms who have an annual income of less than $20,000 can qualify for this program.

Website: https://lihi.org/

7) Low-income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC)

Low-income Housing Tax Credits makes housing affordable to families who are struggling in the United States. Landlords get tax credits for reducing rental rates.

What It Is 

It’s a scheme that lets property owners lower their tax liabilities by offering affordable housing to tenants.

Eligibility Rules 

Info about eligibility rules can be found here.

Website: https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/comm_planning/affordablehousing/training/web/lihtc/basics.

8) Housing & Urban Development

The Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) provides assistance programs to help low-income families afford a decent dwelling.

What It Is

The program helps property owners offer reduced rents, provides affordable apartments for the elderly and persons with disabilities and subsidises monthly rental charges.

Eligibility Rules

To apply to this program, you must have a low income where you cannot afford a decent dwelling.

Website: https://www.hud.gov/topics/rental_assistance

9) Temporary Family Assistance (TFA).

The TFA program generally provides 21 months of cash assistance to families with very low incomes and limited assets.

What It Is

Under TFA, able-bodied adults are expected to participate in a work-related activity as a condition of receiving cash assistance. Working recipients can receive the full benefit as long as their incomes do not exceed 100% of the federal poverty level.

Eligibility Rule

You are eligible if you are a family with very low income and limited assets.

Website: You can do a Google search for “Temporary Family Assistance program near you”.

single mother with kid

4. Rental Assistance for Single Mothers

Rental assistance programs help mothers negotiate the rent with the landlords. The Government funds single moms money for paying their bills and basic rent.

1) Catholic Charities

Catholic Charities helps those in need of affordable housing and assists with relocations, life skills development, and employment.

What It Is 

They provide affordable housing and financial aid for integrating into communities. More information about their mission can be found here.

Eligibility Rules

The program is open to everyone, including single parents with kids who are non-catholic.

Website: https://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/

2) Salvation Army

Salvation Army does more than just pay for rent. They have programs for single mothers that take care of food, rehabilitation and provide disaster relief too.

What It Is

The programs run by the Salvation Army are funded from the earnings they make from their stores.

Eligibility Rules 

Since it’s an accredited charity organization, single mothers who want affordable housing or require assistance with employment and moving out can reach out to them.

Website: https://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/


The YWCA works towards the welfare and safety of women. The organization offers a variety of programs related to protection from domestic violence cases, affordable housing, employment and career development, and more.

What It Is

Housing assistance programs for single mothers and low-income families are available under the YWCA.

Eligibility Rules

More details about their offerings can be found here along with the eligibility requirements.

Website: https://www.ywca.org/

4) Emergency Rental Assistance Program

The program funds cover rent, utilities, and other home energy costs. One may also be able to get money for relocation expenses.

What It Is

The program provides rental help to households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic; state, local, and tribal programs are funded by the federal Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program.

Eligibility Rules

You are eligible if at least one person in your home lost income, qualifies for unemployment, owes large expenses, or has experienced financial hardships, our household income is below the area median income (AMI), and you or a household member is at risk of becoming homeless.

Website: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus/mortgage-and-housing-assistance/renter-protections/find-help-with-rent-and-utilities/

5) Veterans Affairs assistance with rent

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) offers assistance with rent through a joint program with HUD.

What It Is

The HUD-VA Supportive Housing program (HUD-VASH) provides rent assistance vouchers to homeless veterans living in privately-owned housing.

Eligibility Rules

You are eligible if you have no income, as PHAs cannot deny access to families with zero income.

Website: https://www.va.gov/homeless/nationalcallcenter.asp

We hope these programs will give you what you’re looking for. Most of these prevent homelessness and provide financial aid along with food and child welfare services while some involve sharing homes with flatmates or living for free for short periods of time depending on the circumstances. Get in touch directly with the organizations via the websites and they will help you out.

Also Read: 

Single Mother – Survival Tips
Challenges Through Which A Single Mom Goes 
Does Being A Single Parent Kid Affects Your Love Life?

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Gauri Ratnam completed her Masters in English Literature from the University of Pune. She began her journey as a German translator soon after completing her graduation, but later moved on to pursue her passion for writing. Having written for both digital and print media in a varied range of industries, she has the ability to write relatable and well-researched content, benefical for anyone seeking advice or direction.