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Housing Help

Find housing resources targeted to certain audience groups.

Homeless Services and Resources

If you’re facing homelessness, these tips can help you get ready for and work through the situation.

Prepare Yourself and Your Family 

  • Make sure your state ID or driver’s license is current and available. Shelters and assistance programs may have strict ID requirements.

  • If possible, store your belongings. Shelters have limits on how much you may bring.

  • Arrange for your mail to be delivered somewhere or talk to your local post office. Many have special services for people who are homeless. You may be able to get a free P.O. box or receive general delivery service.

  • Pack a bag for yourself and each member of your family.

  • Keep important documents and needed medications with you.

Find Housing

  1. Dial 211. In most areas of the U.S., this will connect you with local social services and referrals for emergency housing.

  2. Check for shelter and housing through your state. You can also check your local government or state's human or social services programs for housing assistance. Or, use the map on the Homeless Shelter Directory to find a shelter near you. The types of facilities vary. Research the best options for:

    • Cost - Most shelters are free, but some may charge a small fee. Most facilities that provide residential drug or alcohol rehabilitation programs charge a fee. Many, however, are low-cost, accept Medicaid, or operate on a sliding scale based on your income.

    • Length of stay - This can vary from a couple of days to weeks or months.

    • Types of services - Some facilities just provide safe shelter for the night, while others are transitional. They provide both housing and support services. They may help you with substance abuse, mental health, domestic violence, or job training.

  3. Apply for more permanent public or subsidized housing. Typically, there are long waiting lists for public and subsidized housing. Apply as soon as possible.

Homeless Resources for Special Groups

These resources are geared toward specific audiences:

Veterans

Youth

  • Call the National Runaway Safeline at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929).

  • Housing programs and street outreach - Find stable, safe housing. You can also get education help, survival aid, counseling, crisis intervention, and follow-up support.

People with Mental Illness

Other Types of Help if You’re Homeless

Visit Benefits.gov to find out if you’re eligible and how to apply for other types of help. This may include financial assistance, transportation, food, counseling, and more.

If you don’t have medical insurance, you can use HRSA health centers. They give checkups, treatment when you’re sick, pregnancy care, and immunizations for your children.

Housing for Seniors

If you are a senior or a person with a disability, find out what housing resources are available for you:  

Age Discrimination Complaints

If you believe you were a victim of age discrimination, you may file an online housing discrimination complaint

Other Resources

The following resources may also help:

  • Contact a HUD-approved housing counselor if you have questions about your situation.

  • Adult day care provides care and companionship for seniors who need help or supervision during the day.

  • Home care programs provide services to those who need some help but do not require constant care.

  • LongTermCare.gov provides information on the type of care support to look for and general advice on how to find and pay for it. 

  • The Home Health Compare section on Medicare.gov supplies information on local home health agencies, including how well they care for their patients.

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) provides tips for staying in your own home and safely aging in place.

Housing Resources for Native Americans

If you are looking for housing help, contact the following offices:

You may also locate your state housing counseling agency or call 1-800-569-4287 to locate the agency nearest you.

Native American Housing Programs

Housing Resources for People with Disabilities

A variety of federal, state, and local housing programs can help you:

  • Find and afford a place to live

  • Modify an existing home for disabilities, or

  • Help you develop skills to live independently

Each program has its own eligibility rules and application process.

Rental Housing

People with disabilities are eligible for all:

Learn about eligibility, how to apply, and more for each of these programs.

  • You may also be eligible for a Non-Elderly Disabled (NED) Voucher. NED vouchers help people who are not seniors and have a disability get housing in a development set aside for seniors.

Homeownership

Independent Living Skills

Contact your state to find out how its department of human services or disability office may be able to assist with:

  • Modifications

  • Housing counseling

  • Locating rental housing

  • Independent living skills

How do I complain?

You may need things like ramps, grab bars, or service animals. Housing providers cannot deny someone housing because of a disability. And they cannot refuse to make reasonable accommodations for a tenant with a disability. Learn more about disability rights in housing and how to file a complaint if you feel that you’ve been a victim of housing discrimination.

VA Loans to Buy, Refinance, or Improve a Home

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers home loans and grants. These programs help service members, veterans, and surviving spouses buy, refinance, or modify their home. The VA guarantees part of the loan, meaning they will cover a portion of the loan if you default. This allows lenders, such as banks and mortgage companies, to offer you more favorable terms.

Learn if You’re Eligible and How to Apply for a VA Loan

VA Loans for Homebuying and Refinancing

VA Loans and Grants for Home Improvements

  • You can get a VA cash-out refinance loan to get money from your home’s equity. This can help you pay for home improvements, college costs, and more.

If you have a service-connected or age-related disability, you may be eligible for a veteran housing grant. These grants help you modify your home for disabilities related to military service or aging.

Housing Help for Older Veterans

Find programs to help older veterans with a wide range of housing needs. This includes in-home care, assisted living, and retirement homes for veterans.

Another option for some military retirees and other veterans is the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH). The AFRH has two locations: Washington, DC, and Gulfport, MS. Both offer recreation and wellness services including assisted living and skilled care.

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Last Updated: April 27, 2021

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