Recently, many of my colleagues were laid off by my employer. It could have happened to me. This reminded me that anyone could need emergency rent assistance once in their life and since we are not used to it, one might also need assistance to find the resources to help him go through this difficult time.
Here are emergency rent assistance programs or ideas that could help you paying the rent for a while :
All the best emergency rent assistance tips
Talk to your landlord
People can usually understand and have empathy for others. For sure, your landlord has his own problems to deal with, but he’s the first one that you should call to discuss about emergency rent assistance since you live there. Explain him your situation, try to negotiate solutions. He might accept to reduce the rent for a while or report a payment for a month or two until you resolve your situation.
If you have a mortgage
Most financial institution will permit you to skip one mortgage payment per year. It is often part of the contract. Just give them a call and see if it applies to you.
If you were fortunate enough to make extra payments and that you are ahead of your mortgage schedule, you might be entitled to a break of payments for a while. Again, have a chat with your financial institution.
Do you have a life insurance?
In the ’80s and ’90s, it was common to sell people permanent life insurance. These contracts accumulate savings. You might be able to withdraw part or all of that savings and/or sell your insurance contract. Or, if you want to keep it (it might not be a good idea to sell it), you could use the savings to pay for your insurance for a while and stop that instalment. Call your life insurer for more guidance.
Ask your family and friends for a loan or for shelter
There is no shame to ask for help. Would you help them if they were in need? Probably! It costs nothing to ask. You could temporarily live in their basement or they could lend you some money as an emergency rent assistance loan.
Ask your employer for a cash advance
If you still have a job and need a temporary relief, then you could ask your boss for a cash advance. If he has trusts in you, he might want to help you. HR departments are used to that. They might say no… or they might say yes. They might also guide you toward resources in your community.
Call the equivalent of the 911 for emergency rent assistance
Call 2-1-1! This call center is confidential and can help you find resources for rent, food, drug addiction, employment, healthcare and more. Give them a call. It’s free and it can save you a lot of time.
Raise funds for YOUR own charity
That one is not a conventional one for sure but GoFundMe can help you reach out people and get help from the community. If you are not shy, and there is nothing to be shy of because everybody will need the help of others in their life, then expose your situation to the world and there might be a good soul to help you out and provide you with emergency rent assistance.
Emergency food and shelter national board (EFSP)
While the emergency food and shelter national board does not provide you with emergency rent assistance directly, it can guide you to resources that they fund in your community. Simply go here, select your state and jurisdiction and you’ll get a list of the organizations that they fund in your state.
Religious groups can provide some emergency rent assistance
The best thing to do is probably to go to you local church and expose your situation. They usually have resources to help. Don’t worry if you did not go to church for a while. It is not a prerequisite.
- Catholic charities of the USA
- Society of Saint-Vincent-De-Paul USA
- The Salvation Army USA
- Lutheran services in America
Sell your old electronics
It may be time to cash in some of your old electronics and use the money as an emergency rent assistance! Did you know you could sell your old cell phone, your old laptop, your old video games and hardware for money. Even broken laptops can be sold. Check my post about the subject.
Help for Veterans
Are you a Veterans? Then you might get some help and maybe even some emergency rent assistance from the Veterans homelessness program. You could also give a look at the USAcares website and get help from them.
Also, make sure to check the Housing assistance program of the US Department of Veterans affairs.
Do you live in rural areas?
Then the United States Department of Agriculture might provide you with some help. Based on their website :
The Rural Rental Assistance (RA) program provides an additional source of support for households with incomes too low to pay the HCFP subsidized (basic) rent from their own resources. HCFP pays the owner of a multi-family housing complex the difference between the tenant’s contribution (30 percent of adjusted income) and the monthly rental rate.
Reach their website for more information about that program.
Get help from the US department of housing and urban development
Based on their website :
Public housing was established to provide decent and safe rental housing for eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities.
If you qualify under their program then you might be provided with housing at a rent you can afford.
Victim of a disaster? Call the Red-Cross for assistance
The Red Cross is unable to help you with emergency rent assistance unless you are victim of a disaster, but if it’s the case, they might provide you with help for emergency shelter, food etc…
Community action agencies
Community action agencies serves up to 96% of the nation’s counties. So you should be able to find one in your county.
Based on their website, Community action agencies ar :
nonprofit private and public organizations established under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 to fight America’s War on Poverty. Community Action Agencies help people to help themselves in achieving self-sufficiency. Today there are approximately 1000 Community Action Agencies, serving the poor in every state as well as Puerto Rico and the Trust Territories.
Each CAA is governed locally and provide a different mix of services, so the best thing to do is to find the one near you and give them a call. Find a Community action agency near you!
In a situation of financial distress, it might be a good time to review your expenses and cut in the fat.
It may be time to cut the landline or the internet. Maybe you could reduce your cell phone contract to the minimum. And what about the cable?
Commute to go to work to save on gas and insurance, sell the car and cancel the insurance. A car takes a huge chunk of your budget away. You might not need emergency rent assistance if you sell the car.
Make a budget, review every expenses and try to find some room to pay the rent.
I have written an extensive post where I share at least 41 ways to save money. Have a look at it.
Make money fast
Call your bank and make a consolidation loan
If all your credit cards are loaded, if you have several loans, then it might be worth it to consolidate all these debts into one loan and extend the reimbursement of this loan over several years to help you breathe. If you do that, then you might not need any emergency rent assistance at all!
If you have a house, than you could refinance your mortgage and make a debt consolidation at the same time.
If things are getting worse… you could consider filing a bankruptcy or to deposit a proposal.
Consult a professional who could help you with that.
Do not hesitate to ask for help around you if you face a though situation. There are always solutions. Give a call to the 211 line and get emergency rent assistance advice or help in your region. There are already more than 14,000,000 who gave them a call. They are used to it and it’s confidential. There is no shame to ask for help. We have all needed help at some point in our life.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net