Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Low Income Housing Projects

June 30, 2013

Mark asks…

How do i get rental assistance? What exactly is it and where do I get it?

I just dont understand the whole process of it. I have very little income every month. can anyone explain more about it.?
zelda get lost and quit thumbing people down just because they thumbed down your uneducated and pointless answer

“top contributor” dont think so. run back to homework land

Administrator answers:

You need to locate your local housing authority, this is the place that issues housing assistance, in the form of rental vouchers, or vacant apartments in their housing buildings (AKA “projects”). Be aware that many cities and towns have waiting lists that go over 5 years, and therefore many of them are closed. They favor residents that reside in their district, and they come first. So its best to apply in your own district if possible.

There are two different types of housing vouchers, MRVP’s are for low income families or individuals which they can use in any apartment on the private market that passes a sanitary inspection and is deemed safe and suitable for the tenant(s) to live. AHVP is issued to disabled individuals under the age of 60. It’s the same as the above. They can be used in any apartment as well. They are mobile, and can go with you if you want to move. But typically you do have to sign a 1 year lease with the housing and your landlord. Some of the vouchers are good for anywhere in the state it was issued, some can be used anywhere in the U.S. If you have one that is only good for your state, and wish to move to another state then you must contact the town of the new state you are looking to move to and ask if they are “absorbing”. This is the only way to transfer into their district with your current voucher, otherwise you must give up your current voucher and move to the new state and reapply.

Anyway, there are apartments managed by the housing authority for separate groups. They have them for elderly people (60 years of age and over) and apartments for people with children under the age of 18. Elderly apartments are typically 1 bedroom, where as the family apartments can go all the way up to 5 bedrooms (could be more or less depending on your own area, you would have to check..) Your case worker at the local housing authority would be your “landlord” if you were to reside there and he or she would place you in an apartment suitable for your family size.

There are huge pro’s to having a voucher, but there are also cons. The pro’s are if you are low income, it can be very hard to swing the rent of your city or towns current fair market rent, so they come in very handy, as the less you have, the more they pay. The cons are, not all landlords take them… Even though they cannot deny you because of a voucher, there are ways around that. Theres also the fact that the housing needs to know everything that goes on in your home regarding your finances, to who lives with you. Failure to report any income change or new residents can actually result in a loss of your financial assistance from them….

Just last month my mom had to revoke an MRVP from a couple who failed to tell her that the woman started receiving child support from her ex husband and it had been going on for 6 months. Considering how many people are out of work and in dire need of help, that was the stupidest thing she could have ever done. The voucher was reissued to a single mom with a young son and new baby, hopefully she appreciates it more than the couple did.

Daniel asks…

What benefits do single mothers recieve?

Hi! So i’m doing a project for school and it involves government benefits (In the USA). What are certain benefits that directly pertain to single mothers, or stay-at-home mothers? Or basically any one pertaining to women in particular. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Administrator answers:

None really. Being a stay-at-home mother is a choice as opposed to working to support herself and the child; there is no government benefit for that.

As for being a single mother, this varies as there are really any programs directed solely at them. There is WIC available to soon-to-be mothers and those with infants to help with costs of foods considered important in the child’s diet. Aside from that, there is welfare, food stamps, and potentially government housing assuming the mother is low-income and lives at or below the federal poverty line.

Sandy asks…

For you Brits: What is a “council house”?

Every now and then I’ll read a news story out of the UK where a person is described as living in a “council house”. Is that the same as government subsidized housing? Here in the USA we have housing projects or Section 8 for low income families and “the projects” and Section 8 buildings are breeding grounds for social problems.

Administrator answers:

Council housing here in UK is property owned by the local authority and is [I think] similar to the ‘housing projects’ of the USA – so the answer to your question is yes – council houses here in UK are subsided housing for the lower paid sector. We also have housing associations which own houses for rent/buy etc.

On the whole, UK is best thought of as what Margaret Thatcher once called “The Property Owning Democracy”. About 75% of us own our own homes/houses and some of us even own several properties each including holiday homes abroad in Spain and so forth.

Hope the above helps.

Added note: here in UK we do have problems on some council estates – we call them ‘sink estates’ where there is drunken brawling and drug taking and crime is very high. I’m not sure how these problems are being dealt with, but as the recession begins to bite and bite hard, there is going to be even more unemployment amongst the inhabitants of these ‘sink estates’.

What annoys most people here in UK is that we’re paying for all of this and many of us want a complete revamp of the Welfare State – far too many folk Living on hand-outs which is not good. I’ve read of similar problems in the States which are being highlighted by Republicans in the Congress.

Of course we must help people, but we must help them to help themselves and not to become dependent upon everlasting handouts.

Joseph asks…

what are some national issues in the US that I could make into a bill?

For a project, we need to create a bill addressing a national issue, but I can’t think of one that other people probably haven’t done (e.i. gay marriage, illegal immigrants, anchor babies, marijuana legalization, death penalty, etc.) Can someone help me think of a creative bill to pass? Thank you! No rude comments please!

Administrator answers:

There was an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer about HUD asking the board of the Philadelphia Housing Authority to resign.

A lot of Federal Money gets routed to local municipalities, authorities, etc. For them to spend. One example of this the Recovery Act money which was sent through the states for projects like weatherization.

Yet, once the money gets to the local politicians, there is no transparency and no oversight about who is really benefiting from that money. No one really audits them to make sure that it is being spent on whom it is supposed to being spent. A lot of money that is supposed to go to “low income” people may actually be going to friends and relatives of the connected.

How about a bill making it mandatory for the Federal Agency Inspector General’s office to audit all the applications received for the local programs and compare those with who actually got the money.
Anti-discrimination criteria should be enforced.

Richard asks…

What other things might stop me from obtaining a credit card?

I’m both upset and confused.
My credit score isn’t bad.
I’ve not lost a days work in 8 years.
I’m pensioned from the military.
I own my own home.
I can’t find anything on my credit report that’s negative.
My income is good and I’m not that far in debt.
My bills are all paid on time.
I still get refused for obtaining a credit card and all I want it for is for emergencies; renting cars; travel; and hotels as needed. – Use it then pay it off.
My last application showed you only needed a yearly income of $15000 a year and I still got refused. I just don’t get it!

Administrator answers:

Negotiate with the credit card companies Through the Bank
- personal voluntary capping of monthly limit credit card (c/c) expenditure, (say) $1000 monthly, instead of a given $3000 month credit. Decent banks can apply a cap to the c/c spending limit which is a nasty surprise to c/c fraudsters;
- maintain a bank account with sufficient funds in the bank providing the credit cards to the limit of the credit provided;
- apply for ATM cards, debit cards and lastly credit cards, this gives time to credit card assessors through monthly spending and income patterns;
- enquire from bank on required duration to monitor spending and income before the next application, assuming an applicant in gainful employment, 6 months or 1 year is usually sufficient, assuming no other bad credit history.

Avoid or minimise credit card spending on the internet through open channels.
- Credit card ratings obtained through online monitoring computer systems are historically prone to errors. (Appologies to those IT guys out there.)

Master Card, Visa and Dinner’s Club general credit assessment through a credit house:
- ability to repay money lent based on historical records;
- no historical track records attribute a higher risk assessment;
- provide income slips from employer and bank statements for assessment of money in versus money out;
- lack of present earnings to project future earnings will qualify as high risk;
- duration of bank account(s) held with the same institution, frequent switching is frowned upon being postulations of masking poor credit history;
- previous owners of said home owned will leave a trail of credit history, better or worse, present occupants not excluded.

Obtain information
- rationale of assessment as a high-risk candidate in practise, is provided by some, not all banks. Ask for it;
- approach reputable large banks, BoA, Citibank, Chase, HSBC etcetera;
- clarify that the above said new home owner position is emphasised to the appointed bank assessor, ask for a history on previous owners of said home.

Consider common causes of poor accountability of credit trail
- Prior owners of said home leaving credit trails do Not and Rarely update change of address with banks and credit houses;
- Fraudsters implicate genuine cases by placing purchase orders at the mailing address of others.

Generic Collateral and caveats on personal assessment of
- location of home owned, red light and high crime districts have an internally assessed lower rating, Nil rating is not unheard of;
- bank balance and other active and passive sources of income.

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