Find Affordable Rental Housing

Find programs to help with affordable rental housing.

Find Affordable Rental Housing

People with low income, seniors, and people with disabilities may qualify for help from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to get affordable rental housing. HUD doesn't own rental property. It gives money to states and building owners, who in turn provide low-income housing opportunities.

Get Personalized Help with Your Search

Find a HUD-approved housing counselor in your area online or call 1-800-569-4287 to find a local housing counseling agency. The counselor may be from a non-profit organization approved to offer advice on housing assistance.

Search by Type of Program

 There are three main types of affordable rental housing that are supported by HUD:

  • Privately owned, subsidized housing in which landlords are subsidized to offer reduced rents to low-income tenants. Search for an apartment and apply directly at the rental management office. 
  • Public Housing, which is state-owned, affordable rental houses or apartments for low-income families, people who are elderly, and people with disabilities. To apply, contact a public housing agency in your state.
  • Housing Choice Voucher Program in which you find a rental property yourself, and use the voucher to pay for all or part of the rent. To apply, contact a public housing agency in your state.

If you have trouble contacting your local public housing agency, contact your local HUD field office for help.

If you're a landlord, learn how you can participate in the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

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Help with Home Repairs and Modifications

Want to add an addition onto your home? Renovate your bathroom or basement? Learn about programs to help pay for your home improvements, as well as tips on hiring a contractor to do the work. 

Find Loans and Other Incentives

The most common type of financial help from the government for home repairs or modifications is through home improvement loan programs backed by the government. The loans are through traditional lenders, like banks, but the programs help these lenders make loans that they might normally not fulfill. Some programs are available on a nationwide basis, while others are only on a state or county level. To learn about the options available to you, contact your local Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) office.

You can also contact your local, state, or county government housing department.

Find out about loans and other incentives for energy efficient modifications in your state.

Assistance for Certain Demographic Groups

Learn about housing programs for the following groups:

Modifying and Repairing Your Home

Finding a good contractor to do repairs and improvements on your home is important. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides resources and tips on hiring a contractor, questions to ask, and how to report problems. 

Before digging on your property, call 811 to be sure you won't damage or be injured by underground utility lines. Some states allow for an online digging request. Timing is different from state to state with some needing two business days in advance and others need as many as 12 working days even if it is just a small project like planting trees or shrubs.

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Help with Rent Payments

Contact the following agencies to find out if you qualify for help with your rent payments:

Contact your state human/social service agency:

  • If you need immediate, emergency assistance
  • To find out what other help may be available for you locally 

Even if you are ineligible for benefits through these agencies, they may be able to provide referrals to community organizations that might offer help. You may also search for and contact community or nonprofit organizations in your area directly for help or referral information.


The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers the HUD-VASD for homeless veterans. It combines HUD housing vouchers with VA supportive services.

Senior Citizens

The Eldercare Locator is a free service that can connect you with resources and programs designed to help seniors in your area.

Rural Residents

Local Rural Development (RD) offices can help rural residents through the Rural Housing Service.


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Housing Choice Voucher Program (Formerly Section 8)

The Housing Choice Voucher Program, formerly called Section 8, can help you afford housing if you:

  • Are very low income
  • Are elderly or
  • Have a disability 

If you participate in the Housing Choice Voucher Program, you may choose any housing that meets the requirements of the Public Housing Program. Under certain circumstances, the Public Housing Agency (PHA) will allow you to use the voucher to purchase a modest home.

How the Program Works

  • The PHA pays the landlord a subsidy directly.
  • You pay the difference between the actual rent and the amount subsidized.

For additional information, visit Housing Choice Voucher Program and find a fact sheet, a list of all program vouchers and services, publications, and more.

How to Apply

Landlords - How to Accept Housing Choice Vouchers

There are certain requirements that you must meet to have your property approved. For instance, your property must:

  • Be lead-base approved
  • Have working smoke detectors

HUD provides additional information for landlords, which include fact sheets and regulations.

How to File a Complaint

The office you report your complaint to depends on the nature of the complaint.

  • Housing Discrimination - This information explains how to file a housing discrimination complaint by phone at 1-800-669-9777, online, or by mail.
  • Office of the Inspector General Hotline - The hotline allows you to report fraud, waste, abuse, or serious mismanagement in HUD or HUD-funded programs from HUD employees, contractors, and the public. Contact the hotline at 1-800-347-3735.
  • Multifamily Housing Complaint Line - This line allows you to report complaints with a property's management such as poor maintenance, dangers to health and safety, mismanagement, and fraud. You may contact the complaint line by phone at 1-800-MULTI-70 (1-800-685-8470).

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Identify and Complain about Housing Discrimination

Housing discrimination happens when a housing provider acts in a way that blocks someone from renting or buying housing because of their

  • Race or color
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • National origin
  • Familial status (such as having children)
  • Disability

A housing provider that discriminates against someone could be a landlord or a real estate management company. It could also be a lending institution like a bank or other organization that is an important part of acquiring a home.

Housing discrimination is prohibited by the Fair Housing Act. Discrimination covered by the Act can take many different forms beyond just raising prices or lying about availability. For example, the Act addresses wheelchair access in some newer properties. Learn what the Fair Housing Act covers, how to complain, and how the investigation process works.

File a Housing Discrimination Complaint

If you think you are a victim of housing discrimination,

Discrimination Against LGBT People

The Fair Housing Act does not specifically prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. But discrimination against someone who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) may still be in violation of the Act or other state or local regulations.  If you think you've been discriminated against for these reasons, file a complaint as described above, or email HUD at with general questions about LGBT housing issues. 

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Public Housing

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers federal aid to local Public Housing Agencies (PHAs). Contact your local PHA to see if you qualify for public housing.

Local PHAs establish and manage public housing to provide decent and safe rental housing for eligible low-income families, people who are elderly, and people with disabilities at rents they can afford. Public housing comes in all sizes and types, from single-family houses to high-rise apartments for elderly residents. HUD also furnishes technical and professional help in planning, developing, and managing these developments.

State and federal government agencies jointly handle public housing questions, such as those concerning laws, regulations, sanitation, and safety. Because state governments usually implement the federal housing regulations, HUD recommends that you contact your state housing finance agency for help with these types of questions.

Complaints about a PHA

For more information, including how to lodge a complaint against a local PHA, call the Public and Indian Housing (PIH) Customer Service Center.

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Last Updated: July 05, 2017

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