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Massive Financial Aid Revealed: New Cash Grants & Housing Programs For You

Massive Financial Aid Revealed: New Cash Grants & Housing Programs For You

Cash is king in today’s resource roundup! We’ve got the scoop on proposed changes to the TANF program as well as many programs that can put extra cash in your wallet.

Nationwide Low Income News

The news in this section is relevant to everyone in the United States. However, there are additional state-specific updates in the Local News section below.

Biden Administration Proposes New Rules to Strengthen TANF

The federal government has proposed new rules that will change how states can spend TANF funds. Although TANF funds are designed to help low income families with children, many states have taken great liberty with how they spend that money.

This program used to put cash in the pockets of low income families but the amount of help those families have received over time has been greatly reduced as states focus their attention elsewhere. In 1997, people living in poverty received 71% of the funds from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. However, by 2021, this percentage had significantly decreased, with only 23% of TANF dollars reaching individuals in poverty.”

For example, Mississippi’s TANF expenditures were closely examined in Matthew Demond’s bestseller Poverty by America. In the book, explained how Mississippi spent millions of dollars in TANF money to fund fitness camps and pay celebrities for speeches that were never given.

Other states have also made spending choices that don’t align with the intent of this program. The new proposed regulations outline many expenditures that don’t fit with what the program was designed to accomplish.

The notable changes that have been proposed include:

  • Income Limit for “Needy” Families: The new rules set a maximum income limit at 200 percent of the federal poverty level for families to be considered “needy.” Some states have used the money to support programs for higher-income families, so this rule ensures that states spend the money on the families who need it most.
  • Reasonable Person Standard: To ensure that expenditures align with TANF’s purposes, a “reasonable person standard” is being implemented. This standard is designed to ensure that the funds are used to support one of four stated program goals.
  • Excluding Third-Party Donations for MOE: The new rules exclude third-party donations from counting towards states’ TANF maintenance of effort (MOE) spending requirements. This change is significant because it means that many states will have to spend more money helping low income families instead of counting the work of charities toward their requirements.

Along the way, the proposal also points out many ways that states will have to change their spending habits. For example, the rules clarify that states cannot use TANF dollars to fund CPS investigations, college scholarships for adults without children, or crisis pregnancy centers that primarily serve women who are already pregnant.

There are additional rules in the proposal that will help streamline the program, make it more affordable to run and reduce administrative burdens. However, those technical details aren’t necessarily relevant here. If you are interested, you can read the entire proposal in the Federal Register.

Google Play Lawsuit Results in Checks

Google is settling a big lawsuit brought by 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. This means millions of people, including you, could get some money.

Here’s what happened: Google was accused of charging too much for things you buy on your Android phone. They were also criticized for making it hard for other companies to compete with them. To make things right, Google agreed to pay $700 million.

Out of that, $630 million will go to people who spent money on Google Play from August 2016 to September 2023. How much you get depends on how much you spent. Each eligible user will receive at least $2 but you could get more, depending on how much money you’ve spent over the years.

Now, when will you get the money? Well, it might take a little time. First, a judge needs to say it’s okay. There’s a hearing in early February, and if all goes well, you might get your money about 10 days after that.

The good news is that you don’t have to do anything to get the money. If you’re eligible, they’ll send it to you. They’ll use PayPal or Venmo if you have an account linked to your Google email. If not, they can send you a check or use wire transfer.

Just make sure your email linked to your Google account is correct because they’ll email you if you’re getting money. They’ll also let the public know through ads in case you miss the email. So, stay tuned, and you might soon have some extra cash in your pocket!

Atlantic Union Bank Sending Checks

Atlantic Union Bank will be sending out $5 million to thousands of customers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently cracked down on this bank, which enrolled people in overdraft protection without their consent.

Basically, representatives at Atlantic Union would illegally obtain oral confirmation on the phone before they provided the required written disclosures. As a result, many customers paid overdraft fees that should not have been collected.

As part of the settlement, the bank will refund $5 million to customers who were affected.

Claim Your Share of Class Action Settlement Funds Today!

You could be entitled to receive compensation through an upcoming class action settlement! These situations arise when companies engage in actions that harm their customers, such as making deceptive product claims or mishandling user data security. If you’ve been impacted, you may be eligible for financial restitution.

Below, we’ve listed some of the settlements with approaching deadlines:

SettlementDue
Biogen 401(k)
If you were participating in a Biogen retirement savings plan between July 2014 and August 2023, you may be eligible for this.
Dec 29
Truvada, Atripla HIV Drugs
If you bought Truvada or Atripla directly from the manufacturer from Feb 1, 2018 to Sep 27, 2022, you could get a share of this settlement. Both brand-name and generic versions are covered.
Jan 1
Lenovo Laptop Screens – $100 value (estimated)
If you bought a Lenovo Yoga 730 or Flex 5 laptop in the US prior to April 10, 2023, you might qualify for a portion of this settlement.
Jan 3
Outdoor Sportsman Subscribers
This settlement applies to Outdoor Sportsman subscribers whose data was shared with third parties from June 16, 2015, to July 30, 2016.
Jan 4
CoreLogic Credco FCRA
You may be eligible if your consumer report was resold by CoreLogic Credco between January 1, 2021, and May 2, 2023.
Jan 5
Earl Enterprises Data Breach
You may be eligible if you used your credit or debit card at certain Earl Enterprises restaurants from May 23, 2018, to March 18, 2019. These restaurants include Buca di Beppo, Planet Hollywood, Earl of Sandwich, Chicken Guy, Tequila Taqueria, and Mixology 101. The issue was that your payment card information, like card numbers, expiry dates, and sometimes your name, might have been accessed without authorization due to a data incident.
Jan 5
Chicco “KidFit” Booster Seats – $50 value (estimated)
If you bought a Chicco “KidFit” Booster Seat between April 22, 2015 and December 31, 2021, you may be covered by this settlement! Please note that the deadline has been extended into January.
Jan 7
Apple Gift Cards
If you bought an App Store or iTunes gift card between May 2017 and July 2020 and your gift card was redeemed by someone else before you could do it yourself, you may be eligible for a settlement check.
Jan 8

Getting your share of a class action settlement is typically straightforward. Simply click on the links provided in the table above to access the settlement website. Once there, just complete the details on the claim form!

Unlock Substantial Compensation for Your Personal Injury Claims

If you are eligible for a personal injury claim, you may be able to get significant financial compensation. It can be difficult to know where to start, but our partners at Injury Claims make it easy! They offer a free claim review if you think you may be eligible for any of their open mass tort campaigns.

Open Mass Torts
3M Combat Ear Plugs
Veterans who have experienced hearing loss or tinnitus after serving in the military may be eligible for financial compensation. If you served between 2003 and 2015, you may be able to get help. Complete the four-question qualification screening now!
Talcum Powder Cancer
If you used talcum powder for feminine hygiene and were diagnosed with cancer as a result, you may be eligible for financial compensation. There’s a quick five-question survey that will help you determine if you are eligible.
Birth Injury Lawsuits
If your child suffered a birth injury and was born in the last 10 years, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Complete the quick four-question survey to find out if you’re eligible!

There are other open cases as well! We only feature a few each week. For the full list, visit the Injury Claims website.

Fuel Your Financial Freedom with Skip Grants

If you’re managing a side gig or a small business, our partner Skip is here to help you access free funding to boost your business expansion. They provide a comprehensive grants database along with user-friendly AI tools that streamline the application process!

In our weekly resource updates, we spotlight grants that have upcoming deadlines, ensuring you’re always in the loop about opportunities to secure funding!

Open Entrepreneur Grants
December Skip Grants – $1,000
If you’re a US-based small business owner, you can apply for this grant in just two clicks! You just need to register for a Skip account and subscribe to the Skip YouTube channel. Apply by December 31.
$10K Skip Grant for Entrepeneurs$10,000
Skip has extended their application period for the Skip Grant for Entrepreneurs! This grant will give $10,000 to an entrepreneur or business owner. It only takes a few minutes to apply!
EmpowHer Grants$25,000
Female entrepreneurs who are at least 22 years old and have a registered business in the United States may be eligible for $25,000 in funding from Boundless Futures Foundation. This grant is exclusively for new businesses (under 3 years old) that help solve social issues.

You can access the applications and details on these grants from our partner Skip when you register for your free account.

Local Low Income News

We’ve found local news updates for Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Alabama

Governor Ivey just released $1.7 million in grants to the state’s 18 Community Action Agencies. These nonprofits provide emergency assistance, employment and education support, and more for low income people throughout the state.

Don’t miss out on these upcoming events and critical deadlines!

California

Humboldt County’s new guaranteed income program is now accepting referrals. This program will pay eligible individuals up to $920 per month for 18 months.

In order to be eligible, you must meet these requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must live in Humboldt County.
  • You must be pregnant and within the first 27 weeks of pregnancy.
  • You must have a household income that is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.

To apply, you will need to get a referral from one of the program’s partner agencies. You will need to contact one of the agencies below to ask for a referral:

  • CalWORKs
  • CARE Network programs
  • Hoopa TANF
  • K’ima:w Medical Center
  • North Country Prenatal Services
  • Open Door Community Health Centers
  • Providence Medical Group
  • Providence St. Joseph Hospital Paso a Paso
  • Redwood Community Health Center Pregnancy Services
  • Redwoods Rural Health Center
  • United Indian Health Services

Applications for the Humboldt Income Program will close once 150 people have enrolled or on May 2024, whichever happens first.

Meanwhile, Valley EyeCare Center has announced that they will provide free eyecare to children who come from families that cannot afford it. Their new program called See to Succeed is a partnership with the Unified School District. They have locations in Pleasanton and Livermore.

Don’t miss out on these upcoming events and critical deadlines!

Colorado

Colorado has already seen a record number of applications for the LIHEAP program. This program can pay up to $1,000 toward your winter energy bills.

Don’t miss out on these upcoming events and critical deadlines!

Connecticut

Governor Lamont has announced some big changes that will take effect in 2024. These include an income tax reduction, an increase in tax credits for low income workers, and new exemptions that will help seniors on fixed incomes. These changes are expected to benefit more than one million people in the state.

Florida

Miami’s Humane Society recently received a new grant that will help cover the costs of spay and neuter surgeries for cats and dogs. This program is expected to help 300 people who are receiving government assistance take care of their animals.

Boynton Beach has introduced two new programs that will help people in their area. The Rapid Re-Housing program will provide low income homeless people with $10,000 toward housing costs like security deposits and rent. The Emergency Repair-Limited Rehabilitation Program will provide grants of up to $20,000 for low income seniors who need help with emergency home repairs.

Don’t miss out on these upcoming events and critical deadlines!

Georgia

Newton County has significantly enhanced its home repair program, infusing it with an additional $5 million in funding. This substantial increase will greatly expand the program’s capacity to assist seniors. The program offers up to $30,000 in home repairs for senior citizens whose income is at or below 50% of the Area Median Income. This initiative is a crucial step in supporting the elderly community, ensuring they have access to safe and well-maintained living conditions.

Hawaii

Governor Green is threatening to take drastic action against short-term housing rentals on Maui. Recent news reports show that more than 6,000 people who were displaced by the wildfires are still living in hotels because they can’t find affordable housing in their communities.

To correct this problem, Governor Green has suggested that he may declare a moratorium on all short-term rentals starting in January. This would effectively shut down the short-term rental industry on the island where there are more than 12,000 short-term rentals.

The Maui City Council has approved several tax breaks for owners who convert them into long-term rentals, but many are still resisting. The government has said that 3,000 homes need to be made available to the residents who are still in hotels.

Meanwhile, the governor also announced that families affected by the wildfires could receive up to $1 million from a new compensation fund that has been set up. That money may be available as early as February. However, taking that money could hinder your ability to participate in lawsuits later on.

Idaho

Don’t miss out on these upcoming events and critical deadlines!

Illinois

Don’t miss out on these upcoming events and critical deadlines!

  • Dec 25: Free Christmas Dinner in Quincy (reservations encouraged)

Indiana

New low income housing is being built in Elkhart! A new development on Sterling avenue will have 44 units with up to three bedrooms. Another development in Elkhart Historic District will have 48 units, most of which will be reserved for people who earn between 30-80% of the Area Median Income.

Kansas

Don’t miss out on these upcoming events and critical deadlines!

Kentucky

The Heart of Paducah Homebuyer Program is open for applications! This program helps build affordable housing for people who can’t afford it. Homes from this program range from one to four bedrooms, with up to 1,400 square feet available. In order to qualify, you must meet income and asset limits.

Don’t miss out on these upcoming events and critical deadlines!

Maine

There are two nonprofits in Maine that have received grants to help low income homeowners with home repair.

Western Maine Community Action will help homeowners in Franklin County. You can reach them at (207) 645-3764 if you are interested in getting help.

Penquis is a nonprofit in Bangor. Their funds will be used to help homeowners in Knox, Penobscot and Piscataquis counties. You can reach them at (207) 973-3665.

Maryland

Maryland hospitals have now been caught charging low income customers who should have received charity care. A commission report found that the hospitals billed about 60% of patients who should have received free care. Around 1% paid up because they didn’t know about the financial aid programs, which resulted in about $120 million in overpayments.

State lawmakers have ordered the hospitals to pay that money back. This money is owed to low income patients who paid more than $25 after they received care at Maryland hospitals between 2017 and 2021. It will take some time for the hospitals to implement systems for this and track down patients who have moved, so refunds aren’t expected to be processed until mid-2024.

Meanwhile, Baltimore is launching free public Wi-Fi soon! This program, called FreeBaltimoreWiFi will provide free high-speed access to the recreation centers first, and then it will expand to senior centers and neighborhoods.

Don’t miss out on these upcoming events and critical deadlines!

Massachusetts

The Town of Bedford has introduced a fund that helps eligible seniors or disabled residents cover the cost of their property taxes. This fund is fueled by donations from community members, who choose to contribute.

Don’t miss out on these upcoming events and critical deadlines!

  • Dec 25: Free Christmas Meals in Falmouth

Michigan

Don’t miss out on these upcoming events and critical deadlines!

Minnesota

Minnesota lawmakers passed a set of bills this year that help fill the state’s construction worker shortage by teaching public school students construction skills. These laws are attempting to replicate the success of programs like the one at GAP School, which teaches students construction skills while they build affordable homes for people in the community.

Healthy Helpful Insight Healthcare Institute in Minneapolis has announced that they are providing free CNA training to people who want to pursue a career in healthcare. The course lasts five weeks and leads to a guaranteed job at a local nursing home. The grant will cover the cost of tuition and even supportive services like childcare for your kids. The program starts February 12. Only five spots remain, so contact the institute right away if you are interested.

Missouri

The Missouri Housing Development Commission recently approved 24 new low income housing projects. When they are built, these projects will provide over 1,500 new housing units across the state. The homes will range from studio apartments to four-bedroom houses.

Don’t miss out on these upcoming events and critical deadlines!

Nebraska

The Lincoln City Council is facing pressure to enact source of income protections for low income renters. Under Nebraska law, landlords can discriminate against renters who would pay their rent with disability compensation, Social Security, rent assistance or housing vouchers. This is called source-of-income discrimination.

Nebraska does not have any state protections against it, but Collective Impact Lincoln recently brought 520 signatures to the Lincoln City Council to encourage them to enact protections in the city.

Don’t miss out on these upcoming events and critical deadlines!

  • Jan 1: Social Security exempt from state taxes

New Jersey

Lawmakers in New Jersey have introduced legislation that would change the way affordable housing works in the state. They want to formally end the Council on Affordable Housing and transfer some of the council’s power to other organizations like the Department of Community Affairs or New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency. The hope is that this will make it easier for people to build more low income housing in the state.

Don’t miss out on these upcoming events and critical deadlines!

New York

The Ken-Ton School District will host a free six-week training program for people who want to become school bus drivers. The program will cover all costs, including permits, licensing, and fingerprinting. Parents who need help with child care will also be provided a stipend so that those costs are covered, too. You can sign up with Kenmore – Town of Tonawanda UFSD.

In New York City, the Fair Fares transit discount program has increased their income limits by 20%! This program provides half-price subway and bus fares to people between the ages of 18 and 64 years old who meet income limits. Thousands more people will be eligible under the increased income guidelines.

Also in New York City, the Hilton Hotel near the JFK Airport will be converted into housing for low income and formerly homeless people. The plan is to convert the hotel rooms into apartments. Some will be studios, while others will have up to three bedrooms.

North Carolina

The North Carolina Utilities Commission has approved the rate increase for Duke Energy Carolinas. The good news is that they also approved the creation of a new low income affordability program called the Customer Assistance Program. This program should help low income users pay their energy bills.

In Iredell County, the United Way distributed grants to several local nonprofits. The Iredell County Partnership for Young Children will use their grant to provide scholarships to Early Childhood Educators who need help with the cost of health and safety training.

Meanwhile, the Community Clinic of High Point is expanding in January. The clinic has been serving Triad residents for over 30 years, but will now have a dental suite, a room for small procedures and a bigger pharmacy.

Don’t miss out on these upcoming events and critical deadlines!

Ohio

Don’t miss out on these upcoming events and critical deadlines!

Oklahoma

Don’t miss out on these upcoming events and critical deadlines!

Pennsylvania

Don’t miss out on these upcoming events and critical deadlines!

  • Dec 29: Meal distribution in Wilkes-Barre

Rhode Island

Rhode Island recently distributed grants to eight nonprofits to help people keep their housing through the winter. One of the nonprofits was Lucy’s Hearth in Middletown, which helps people who are at risk of homelessness over unexpected one-time costs like new work uniforms, car repairs, or medications.

The other nonprofits who received this funding include:

  • Amos House
  • Community Care Alliance
  • House of Hope
  • Sojourner House
  • Thrive Behavioral Healthcare
  • Tri-County Community Action Program
  • WARM Center

South Dakota

South Dakota Housing has awarded nearly $30 million in grants toward affordable housing. Those grants will be used to build new housing and renovate existing housing. The new housing will include a mix of single family and multifamily homes.

Texas

Harris County’s new guaranteed income program will open for applications in January. Through this program, nearly 2,000 low income households will receive a $500 payment every month for 18 months.

In order to be eligible, you must be at least 18 years old, have an income that is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level and live in one of these zip codes:

  • 77026
  • 77028
  • 77033
  • 77050
  • 77051
  • 77060
  • 77081
  • 77091
  • 77093
  • 77547

Applications will open on January 8. If you fill out the interest form now, the system will email you when those applications are available. They will stop accepting applications on January 26.

Don’t miss out on these upcoming events and critical deadlines!

  • Dec 25: Free Christmas Dinner at Southern Faith Ministries in Deport (reservations required)
  • Jan 5: Deadline to apply for Texarkana Home Rebuilding Program
  • Jan 8: Applications open for Uplift Harris Guaranteed Income Program
  • Jan 26: Deadline for Uplift Harris applications

Vermont

Did you know that Vermont libraries also offer social services? For example, the Rutland Free Library offers warm gear like hats and gloves, free drug testing kits, and hygiene kits as well.

Virginia

The Fairfax County Housing and Redevelopment Authority has announced that the waitlists for a few affordable properties will open soon. The application period is very brief. Applications will open at 8am on January 8 and remain open until 11:59pm on January 14.

Don’t miss out on these upcoming events and critical deadlines!

Washington 

Don’t miss out on these upcoming events and critical deadlines!

Wisconsin

The Rise Madison project, a significant affordable housing initiative in Madison, has officially commenced construction. This expansive complex will feature a variety of residential options, encompassing 245 homes. These will be a diverse mix, including three-bedroom townhomes, apartments designed specifically for seniors, among other types. Key to this project is its dedication to affordability: all homes are earmarked for individuals or families earning no more than 80% of the Area Median Income.

Don’t miss out on these upcoming events and critical deadlines!

Relief Recap

From cash assistance programs to free Christmas dinners, this week’s weekly resource recap has tons of information to help you save money and get free stuff. The Low Income Relief team scours the headlines to find the most helpful resources for you every week, so be sure to check our News archives for updates!

Nicole is the owner and lead researcher for Low Income Relief. She has over 20 years of professional research and writing experience, and she has been solely dedicated to investigating low income topics for the last 10 years. Nicole started Low Income Relief after a personal experience with poverty. When her husband was medically discharged from the US Army, their family experienced tremendous financial hardship. Nicole was able to gather help from multiple community agencies and move into a nearby low income housing unit in just two weeks! Since then, Nicole has been dedicated to helping low income families in crisis. She regularly spends hundreds of hours combing through countless resources to make sure that Low Income Relief has the most comprehensive and complete resource directories on the internet today. Prior to starting Low Income Relief, Nicole worked as a novelist, journalist, ghostwriter and content creator. Her work has been featured in various print and online publications, including USA Today, The Daily Herald, The Chronicle and more. Her work has also been featured by Google for Publishers and other leading industry publications.

Julie

Wednesday 27th of December 2023

I live in Arkansas,I have been sick and trying to get my SSI for 3years,my only income is snap for food,I'm grateful for that but have don without everything like household items, toiletries everything. There isn't help in Arkansas for people like me . None I can find anyway.✌️❤️🙏

Catherine Marucci

Wednesday 27th of December 2023

Hi. Have you checked these out yet? There could be something. https://lowincomerelief.com/category/arkansas/