It may be hectic for a single mother who has lost employment, or who has lost a husband. She might be at risk of losing home due to insufficient income to pay rent. Some mothers end-up not having a place called home, and instead stay in government shelters. The State of Tennessee has made things easy for its single moms who have a very low-income, low-income, or moderate income. These moms may struggle to afford to pay, for example, mortgage costs.
In the State of Tennessee single moms are given freedom irrespective of the low-income they earn. The freedom is given in terms of assistance programs that help one to access affordable housing subject to meeting requirements. The housing assistance programs require the applicant to be a citizen of the United States, residents of the State of Tennessee, or the legal immigrant in the state. Furthermore, they require one to meet the income limits as stipulated on the HUD (Housing and Urban Development) of U.S.
The State of Tennessee, in response to the housing needs of single mothers, has Rental Assistance Housing Choice Voucher Program, Family Self-Sufficiency Program, and Homeownership Program. These programs are selected among many worth-considering programs to single mothers. The other assistance programs left out include low-interest and fixed interest rates loans.
Rental Assistance Housing Choice Voucher Program for single mothers in Tennessee
The Housing Choice Voucher is a rental subsidy program that helps supplement the rent paid by single mothers in apartments that are privately owned. The subsidy is made possible by the HUD department and managed by the State of Tennessee. Furthermore, the program is run by a variety of housing authorities in the state, in various counties.
The sole purpose of the Housing Choice Voucher Program is to assist the elderly, the persons with disabilities, and the families that are determined to have a very low-income. It assists them with a secure place to rent hence every house is inspected to ascertain compliance with the recommended standards set. There are approximately 2300 housing agencies in Tennessee that participate in running this program. Each agency has its distinct way of operating and running the program that is representative of the county or counties governed.
A single mom has a wider option of choosing any local or state housing agency she wants to apply with provided the county of preference is covered by such agency. Let’s consider the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) that controls the program in the East Tennessee, Middle Tennessee and West Tennessee counties.
How can a single mother be eligible for the Housing Choice Voucher program offered by the THDA?
The mother has to meet income guidelines, and has to meet the non-financial requirements too. The total yearly gross income is taken into account against the family size that the mother has. With regard to non-financial factors, only the legal residents and legal immigrants of Tennessee are eligible for the program. The general limit of income is 80% of area median income for eligible candidates. However, the program strengthens its help on the families that have the income limit of 30% of area median income. These families are regarded as very poor. The HUD also enforces the provision of 75% of the vouchers to such families. Find more about the median income limits by visiting http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/il.html.
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A single mother can be denied the voucher should it be found that she has had criminal record or bad rental history with other landlords. This sets an aura of suspicions that she may also be a bad tenant in a subsidized housing unit. A bad credit record is also a set-back for the voucher. At least credit record can be fixed.
How can a single mom apply for Housing Choice Voucher program?
The mom has to apply with the public housing authority administering the program in the county she intends to reside in. The Tennessee Housing Development Agency administers the program in 72 counties. Go to http://www.thda.org/index.aspx?NID=135 to see the counties under this agency.
In any public housing authority that the mother chooses to apply with, she has to take into account the high demand of houses, and should therefore expect longer waiting periods on waiting lists. The turnover of the families helped on the waiting lists is the determiner of the time it takes for one to get the voucher. Some single mothers have a privilege over other applicants. These mothers are the ones with special needs, the elderly, the blind, and the disabled.
After the single mother’s name has reached the top of the list, she will be notified through email to collect the voucher. They will be interview in the form of briefing to give her insight on how to use the voucher and its regulations. The assets and income of that single mother will be taken into account by the housing authority in determining eligibility. All requirements are determined, and the mother is found to qualify for the program, she will be given the voucher to go find the privately managed housing unit to rent in. Only a 60 day period is given to the mother to look for a housing that meets the quality standards. The housing authority will then pay for the part of rent after the unit has been approved. The mom will also have to pay 30% of her income towards utilities and rent.
Family Self-Sufficiency Program.
The recipients of Housing Choice Vouchers are given an opportunity to become self-reliant with the services offered under this program. The program is voluntary to join. The single mothers are strongly encouraged to participate in this program because it will help widen their chances of getting employment with the employment skills, and other trainings given in partnership with non-profit organizations, and other stakeholders.
The list of housing assistance in Tennessee still continues. Homeownership programs are also available for the single mothers. The privilege is that most offer low-interest rates and fixed-term interest rates. Single moms therefore have many opportunities to stay in sanitary and affordable houses assisted by the State of Tennessee.
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