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How to Get Housing Assistance

Housing assistance in the form of public housing and rental offsets is available for people with low incomes or who are living in a natural disaster area. Find out how to apply.


  • Step 1: Contact housing authority Contact your state or local public housing agency for information on eligibility and assistance in the form of vouchers, discounts, and public housing. You may be eligible if you have a low income, are elderly or disabled, or were displaced by a disaster.
  • TIP: Visit the U.S. Department of Housing website at On the homepage, click on State Info, then click on your state. For instance, if you live in Texas, select Texas from the drop-down menu under the State Info heading.
  • Step 2: Get disaster assistance Contact FEMA at 800-621-FEMA to find out if you are eligible for temporary housing assistance if you were displaced from your home by a disaster.
  • Step 3: Find state help Find out if you can get help from your state in addition to or instead of federal assistance programs by inquiring at your local housing agency or speaking to a housing counselor at 800-569-4287.
  • TIP: A special federal fund provides grants to states to assist very low-income elderly and people with disabilities with housing. Maryland, for instance, was promised $13.5 million under the program.
  • Step 4: Come prepared Bring your pay stubs and identification to your meeting with the housing authority when you apply for housing assistance.
  • Step 5: Determine eligibility Fill out an application for assistance and wait to be notified about your eligibility for Section 8 vouchers for an apartment rental or other assistance.
  • FACT: The United States Housing Act of 1937 provided federal funding for construction of public housing that came to be known as the "projects."

You Will Need

  • Housing agency
  • FEMA
  • Housing counselor
  • Pay stubs and identification
  • Housing assistance application

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