The Basics

Housing is the biggest monthly expense that most people have. If you have trouble paying for your housing, there are programs that might help.

For many people, the first step in getting help with housing is to contact local public housing authorities (PHAs). Learn more about how to apply for benefits at PHAs.

These are some of the main types of housing programs that might help you:

  • Voucher programs help pay for rent in privately-owned rental housing. With a voucher, you get to choose a place to live. Section 8 is the biggest voucher program. Learn more about voucher programs.
  • Site-based housing programs help pay for rent in specific housing units that have been set aside only for people with low income. You do not get to choose your housing. Site-based housing includes government-owned public housing and privately-owned project-based housing. Learn more about site-based housing.
  • Homeownership programs can help pay for a down payment, closing costs, or monthly mortgage payments, or help prevent foreclosure. They may also help pay for accessibility improvements. Learn more about homeownership programs.

When you have housing benefits and you work, your rent might go up, but your rent won’t go up as much as your earnings will. That means that even if your rent goes up, you’ll be better off. Learn more about how income affects rent and rules that might help you when you work.

Note: This article is about programs that can help you for your housing. If you want to learn more about services that can help you live in the community, see the DB101 articles about Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) programs and Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waiver Programs.

Get Expert Help

To find housing programs, contact local public housing authorities (PHAs) or use the HUD Resource Locator.

If you are experiencing homelessness:

Learn more