A Growing Crisis
The cost to buy or rent a home is becoming more unaffordable as time progresses. This leaves millions of people up in the air when it comes to quality housing. Statistically, we know that one in four U.S. households have more than 30 percent of their income going into housing, which can make food, clothing, and medical care even more difficult to afford. Too many families are being forced to choose between keeping the roofs over their heads or food in their stomachs.
With the need for affordable and decent housing on the rise, it is important for communities and individuals to advocate for policies that address this issue, or the matter will continue going downhill for innocent families.
This article looks at the programs that are available to families in need. There are organizations in the U.S. that are leading the way to supplying low-income individuals with affordable housing so that they achieve the stability that they need.
A Guiding Light in the National Low Income Housing Coalition
The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) is an organization that advocates for public policy that helps low-income families gain access to affordable and decent homes. The policies the organization pursues support the mission, which is to increase and improve the resources low-income individuals can use to be in safe and secure housing.
The content on the NLIHC website is very useful in that it tells individuals how they can take action and work for better low-income housing in their communities, research the latest policy issues, and find out how to advocate for residents in public housing. If you live in public housing or are classified as a low-income renter, the Tenant Talk newsletter contains valuable and empowering information.
The NLIHC partners with state-based coalitions around the U.S. to strengthen the advocacy that makes the organization what it is. If you need assistance, you can reach out to the coalition in your state, as they will be more familiar with your specific area’s housing issues and programs. You can check the list of NLIHC state partners to find the one in your state.
Powerful NLIHC Resources
There are two very powerful tools that are provided by the NLIHC are the State and City Funded Rental Housing Database and the Renters in Foreclosure Toolkit. The State and City Funded Rental Housing Database lists more than 300 programs that are not federally funded. It’s important to search for programs in your state so you can find one that serves your area. Program qualifications can also vary by state.
The Renters in Foreclosure Toolkit helps renters who are renting a property that is being or has been foreclosed. The information in the Toolkit will help you understand your tenant rights. Because there isn’t an agency that enforces the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA), it is up to a tenant to understand their rights.
If you are looking for a more in-depth report on government resources that can help you find affordable housing options, our article Affordable Housing: Your First Steps will help you.