Find housing resources targeted to certain audience groups.
If you are facing homelessness, these tips can help you prepare for and work through the situation.
If You’re About to Become Homeless
- Make sure your state ID or driver’s license is current and available. Shelters and assistance programs may have strict ID requirements.
- If possible, store your belongings. Shelters have limits on how much you may bring.
- Arrange for your mail to be delivered somewhere or rent a P.O. box.
- Pack a bag for yourself and each member of your family.
- Keep important documents and needed medications with you.
To Find Housing
- Check to see what shelter and housing and human or social services programs your state offers. The types of facilities vary. Research the best options by calling or visiting housing websites to determine:
- Cost – Most shelters are free, but some may charge a small fee. Most facilities that provide residential drug or alcohol rehabilitation programs charge a fee. Many, however, are low cost, accept Medicaid, or operate on a sliding scale based on your income.
- Length of stay – This can vary from a couple of weeks to several months.
- Types of services – Some facilities just provide safe shelter for the night, while others are transitional, providing both housing and support services. Support services may include substance abuse treatment, psychological assistance, job training, or domestic violence assistance.
- Apply for more permanent public or subsidized housing. Typically, there are waiting lists for public and subsidized housing, so apply as soon as possible.
These resources are geared toward specific audiences:
- Transitional Living Program for Youth – provides homeless youth with stable, safe living accommodations for up to 21 months.
- Street Outreach – services include education, outreach, access to emergency shelter, survival aid, counseling, information and referral, crisis intervention, and follow up support.
- Runaway and Homeless Youth Basic Center Programs – provide emergency shelter services to runaway and homeless youth.
- Homeless Veterans Assistance Center – services include opportunities to return to employment, safe housing, health care, and mental health services.
- VA Homeless Veterans Resources – coordinates VA services with community agencies and federal, state, and local governments to help veterans.
People with mental illness
- Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) – provides assistance to individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and have serious mental illnesses.
Other Resources to Help
Benefits.gov can help you find out if you are eligible and how to apply for other types of assistance including financial, transportation, food, counseling, and more.
If you don’t have medical insurance, HRSA health centers can provide checkups, treatment when you are sick, care when you are pregnant, and immunizations for your children.
If you are a senior citizen or person with a disability, you may browse the following resources for help:
- Housing Choice Voucher Program – This program helps very low-income families, the elderly, and people with disabilities afford housing in the private market.
- Inventory of Multifamily Units – This inventory lists the multifamily properties from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that are available to the elderly and/or people with disabilities. Use the low-rent apartment search tool for help.
- Eldercare Locator – This site offers information and resources on housing options for older adults.
Age Discrimination Complaints
The following resources may also help:
- Contact a HUD approved housing counselor if you have questions about your situation.
- Adult day care provides care and companionship for seniors who need help or supervision during the day.
- Home care programs provide services to those who need some help but do not require constant care.
- LongTermCare.gov provides information on the type of help you should look for and general advice on how to find and pay for it. The Home Health Compare section on Medicare.gov supplies information on local home health agencies, including how well they care for their patients.
- The National Institute on Aging (NIA) provides contact information for groups that have information for or help older people. You may contact the NIA by email or call ( 1-800-222-2225) or TTY (1-800-222-4225).
If you are looking for housing help, contact the following offices:
- To live on public lands, contact the Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH).
- To live on a reservation, contact a local Tribally Designated Housing Entity (TDHE).
Native American Housing Programs
- Indian Housing’s Office of Native American Programs (ONAP) – administers housing and community development programs to ensure that safe, decent, and affordable housing is available to Native American families.
- Indian Housing Grant Programs – provide financial help for Indian tribes to develop affordable housing and to provide housing activities on a reservation or Indian area. Guidebooks available.
- Housing Improvement Program (HIP) – provides home repair, renovation, replacement, and new housing grants.
A variety of federal, state, and local housing programs can help you find and afford a place to live, modify an existing home for disabilities, or help you develop skills to live independently.
Each program has its own eligibility rules and application process.
- People with disabilities are eligible for all public housing programs, rental assistance or subsidized housing, and Housing Choice (Section 8) voucher programs. Learn about eligibility, how to apply, and more for each of these programs.
- You may also be eligible for a Non-Elderly Disabled (NED) Voucher, which helps people who are not seniors and have a disability get housing in a development traditionally set aside for seniors.
- Your state and your local city or county governments can explain any housing aid and programs for people with disabilities in your area.
- Certain Developments Vouchers can help non-elderly families that include a person with a disability find affordable rentals in housing developments limited to elderly residents.
- If you’re buying a home, Homeownership Vouchers can help pay mortgage and homeownership expenses.
- The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development program offers loans and grants for homeowners in rural areas for removing health hazards and making home modifications to accommodate a household member with a physical disability.
- If you are a veteran with a service-connected or age-related disability, you may be eligible for a housing grant to build or modify a home for your needs.
Independent Living Skills
- State and local independent living centers can help you develop skills to live on your own with a disability.
- Contact your state to find out how its department of human services or disability office may be able to assist with modifications, housing counseling, locating rental housing, and independent living skills.
How do I complain?
You may require things like ramps, grab bars, or service animals. It is illegal for housing providers to deny someone housing because of a disability or refuse to make reasonable accommodations for a tenant with a disability. Learn more about disability rights in housing and how to file a complaint if you feel that you’ve been a victim of housing discrimination.
There are a variety of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs to help vets with housing situations.
Home Loans and Grants
VA home loans and grants can help vets buy and stay in their homes.
- If you’re planning to buy a home, check into a VA home loan. VA purchase loans require no down payment and no private mortgage insurance.
- You can also use a VA home loan to take cash out of your home equity to pay for home improvements, college costs and other concerns.
- If you have an existing VA home loan, you may be able to refinance it with a VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL).
- If you have a service-connected or age-related disability, you may be eligible for a housing grant to build or modify a home for your needs.
Residential Settings and In-Home Care
- If you need in-home care to help you remain in your home, the VA may be able to help. Call the VA Health Care Benefits number at 1-877-222-8387, or contact the VA medical center nearest you.
- The VA can also help place older veterans in a variety of residential settings, including medical foster homes.
Armed Forces Retirement Home
Another option for some military retirees and other veterans is the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH). The AFRH has two locations: Washington, DC, and Gulfport, MI. Both offer recreation and wellness services including assisted living and skilled care. Contact AFRH to learn more.
Help for Homeless Veterans
Homeless and at-risk veterans can get help with housing, foreclosure assistance, employment, and health care, including mental health services. Visit the Department of Veterans Affairs Homeless Veterans page or call the VA’s National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 1-877-4AID-VET (1-877-424-3838).
Veterans with certain service-connected disabilities and disabilities resulting from aging can apply for special housing grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
- If you have a severe, service-connected disability, you may qualify for a Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) or a Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grant to build an adapted home or install ramps, widen doors, or make other modifications to live more independently.
- If you qualify for an SAH or SHA grant but are living temporarily in a family member’s home, you may be able to get a Temporary Residence Adaptation (TRA) grant to make necessary changes to your relative’s home.
- You may be eligible for a Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) grant to make medically necessary home improvements and structural alterations whether your disability is service-connected or not.