Resources for Renters
Nearly 40 million Americans are building their lives in multifamily apartment homes. We know that housing profoundly impacts health, education and social outcomes.
This page is designed to help inform renters about the rights and responsiblities of being a renter in a multifamily community and identifies some external resources they can access should they find themselves in financial distress.
Renter rights vary by state and locality, but these resources apply to all renters in the U.S. The best way to know your specific rights is to read and understand your lease. Your housing provider is also a good resource.
Leasing an Apartment (Fair Housing and Consumer Screening)
What to Know about Debt Collections
- HUD Housing Choice Vouchers Program Frequently Asked Questions
- Benefits.gov: Fast Facts About the Housing Choice Voucher Program
- HUD: Find Your Public Housing Agency
Federal Benefits in General
HUD Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)
Find Affordable Housing
Search for an affordable rental unit, including Low-Income Housing Tax Credit properties, as well as get information when wait lists are open for Section 8 vouchers in your area: https://affordablehousingonline.com/
Rural Housing Assistance Programs
You may be eligible for a discount of up to $30 a month through the federal Affordable Connectivity Program. Learn more here: www.fcc.gov/acp
Get Help with Energy Utility Bills
Learn about government programs to help pay for home energy bills: https://www.usa.gov/help-with-energy-bills
Talk to Your Housing Provider
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Let them know you are struggling. They may be able to identify resources for financial and other aid. They may also be willing to work with you on flexible rent payment options and a rent repayment plan. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau has a resource to start a conversation with your landlord. (https://bit.ly/3ZZWOr6)
Talk to a HUD-certified Housing Counselor
Search online (https://sforce.co/40Omzun) for a housing counseling agency near you or call HUD’s interactive voice system at 800/569-4287. These counselors can help you with housing situation, discuss your options, and direct you to other local resources.
See if Federal Emergency Rental Assistance is Available
Congress appropriated nearly $50 billion in rental aid during the pandemic. Some areas still have funds available. See if yours is one of them: https://bit.ly/3Kr6Z2E.
A directory of rental assistance agencies and organizations that can help residents pay their rent.
United Way’s 211.org
By dialing 211 from any phone or visiting 211.org, you can search by zip code to access a hotline that connects you to emergency rent and utilities assistance, food assistance, relief for “gig economy” workers and contractors, mental health and other supportive services. All calls are confidential, can be made anonymously and callers can request translations services for 180 languages. www.211.org
The Salvation Army offers rent and utility assistance for families during hard times. www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/rent-mortgage-and-utility-assistance/
Reliable source of financial support for housing and more. Residents can identify their local chapter to learn more. www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/find-help/
Resident Relief Foundation
Organization dedicated to helping responsible residents stay in their apartments during an unexpected financial emergency. You can apply for support, but managers can also refer residents for financial aid.
Community Action Agency
This resource will help residents find out what services they might be able to access locally, such as emergency payment assistance for rent or utilities.
- The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau website has a resource page with resources and advice if you have lost your housing. https://bit.ly/LostHousing.
- If you are going to be evicted and need emergency housing, call 211 for local housing help or search using HUD's Find Shelter tool. https://www.hud.gov/findshelter.
- HUD Exchange State Directory of Homeless Service Providers: https://bit.ly/3nEXlQI
- Health and Human Services: Programs to Address Homelessness
- The National Alliance to End Homelessness: How to Get Help If You Are Experiencing Homelessness
- NMHC’s Hurricane Resources for Residents offers links to a variety of disaster support organizations and resources.
- Call Fannie Mae Disaster Response Network directly at 877-303-7622, where you’ll get tips on communicating with your landlord and help navigating the rental assistance application process and more.
- Homeland Security Disaster Assistance Resources