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States Sending Checks, $100k Home Grants & More! – Don’t Miss Out!

States Sending Checks, $100k Home Grants & More! – Don’t Miss Out!

Unlock a world of opportunities and support as we dive into the latest initiatives and programs designed to empower low income families across the United States! From groundbreaking housing solutions to crucial financial aid, this week’s resource roundup is tailored to help you navigate life’s challenges more effectively.

Nationwide Low Income News

From credit chaos to innovative housing solutions, discover how recent programs and policies are transforming the landscape of support for low-income families across the United States!

RezSource Mortgages Have 1% Down Payments

A mortgage company called NewRez has introduced a new program called RezSource. This program provides conventional mortgages with a 1% down payment requirement for low income and first-time homebuyers! The company will allow you to use gifts, funds from family, down payment assistance programs and other things to come up with that 1% contribution.

As long as you meet the income limits and other requirements, the company will also contribute up to $5,000 toward your purchase as well.

New Loan Repayment Options Trigger Credit Confusion

When student loan payments were set to resume earlier this year, President Biden unveiled a new repayment plan that was supposed to make it easier for borrowers to handle those payments. Some lawmakers have called the implementation of this program chaotic and they have expressed concerns about how it may impact borrower’s credit scores.

These lawmakers, which included Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders, sent a letter to the US Education Secretary this week. They pointed out that previous adjustments to the student loan repayment programs have not always been implemented as intended. They have asked the Department to return information on the number of borrowers who have missed payments, a review of the forbearance implementation, and details on how loan services are handling those missed payments.

In the meantime, if you are using the new student loan onramp repayment program, make sure that you monitor your credit for any potential impact. As the senators pointed out, the new rules say that they won’t actively report missed payments during this time but that doesn’t control how credit scoring agencies will handle those payments.

Get Easy Money from Class Action Settlements!

Companies hand out money all the time through class action settlements. If you’ve purchased specific products, engaged with certain companies, or experienced misleading advertising, you might be entitled to some additional money.

Remember to apply by the deadline to ensure you don’t miss your chance!

SettlementDue
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!
Dec 11, 2023
Salud Family Health Data Breach
Patients of Salud Family Health may be eligible for financial assistance if their personal information may have been accessed during the data breach on October 5, 2022.
Dec 12, 2023
Crunchyroll User Privacy
If you watched videos on Crunchyroll between September 8, 2020 and September 20, 2023, you may be eligible for some cash!
Dec 12, 2023
Hefty (or Great Value) Recycling Bags
If you purchased recycling bags from the Hefty or Great Value brands between July 20, 2018 and August 30, 2023, then you may be eligible for this settlement. You do not have to submit a receipt.
Dec 13, 2023
Woolite Color Renew
If you purchased Woolite laundry detergent labeled “Color Renew” or “revives colors” in California, New York, or Massachusetts from February 2017 to May 2023, you might be eligible for some money.
Dec 19, 2023
Magellan Health Data Breach
If you were notified about your information possibly being compromised in the 2020 Magellan Health data breach, you could be eligible for this.
Dec 21, 2023
Metromile Data Breach
If you got a letter from Metromile about a potential data breach between July 2020 and January 2021, you might be eligible for monetary compensation through this settlement.
Dec 21, 2023
Health Net Data Breach
If Health Net informed you about your data being compromised in the Accellion FTA breach, you might be eligible for this settlement.
Dec 22, 2023
Ashley Furniture Sales Prices
You could be part of this settlement if you purchased a “discounted” item from Ashley Furniture between March 9, 2017 and March 31, 2022.
Dec 23, 2023

Follow the links in the table above to claim your money from the settlement offers you are eligible for. It usually only takes a few minutes!

Secure Funding to Launch or Expand Your Business!

If you’re running a side hustle or a small business, our sponsor Skip could assist you in obtaining free funding to enhance your business growth. They offer an extensive database of grants, complete with AI-powered tools that simplify the application process!

In our weekly resource roundups, we highlight grants with approaching deadlines, ensuring you never miss an opportunity to secure funding!

Open Entrepreneur Grants
$10k Skip Grant for Entrepreneurs – $10,000
All US-based entrepreneurs and small business owners who are at least 18 years old can apply for this grant. You must apply by December 15!
Atomic Grants – $1,500
Four women age 21+ will be awarded $1,500 to help bring their dreams to life! Winners will also receive coaching from Keystone International Group and a free year of Passion Collective On Demand. You must apply by December 15.
Galaxy Grants – $2,500
This program is looking for US-based women and minority business owners! You must refer a friend when you apply but don’t worry – if they win, you win! Apply by December 16.
Verizon Small Business Digital Ready Grant$10,000
This program provides $10,000 and online resources to a limited number of small businesses. You must register on the Verizon Small Business Digital Ready portal, complete at least two activities in the portal, and submit your application by December 20.
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.

Local Low Income News

In this week’s low income resource recap, we have local updates for Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

We also have reminders for Guam, Louisiana and South Carolina.

Alaska

Tlingit and Haida Regional Housing Authority has received a $2 million grant to support affordable housing. The money is hoped to expand their Success Starts with Me program, which helps landowners build on their land and keep it under Tribal ownership.

Arizona

If you need help sealing a criminal record, Rasa Legal may be able to help! This app helps guide you through the process. If you’re eligible, they’ll also help you connect with an affordable attorney. The app costs $15. If you work with a nonprofit and have an income below the Federal Poverty Level, Rasa Legal may waive the cost.

California

The California Mortgage Relief program is still open! This fund can provide more than $80,000 toward your past-due mortgage payments or property taxes. You may qualify if your have a household income at or below 150% of the Area Median Income. That’s over $140,000 for a single person in San Diego! Get the details on the CA Mortgage Relief website.

Los Angeles County is giving away another round of laptops at 1pm on December 21! There will be 50 laptops available for pickup at the new Carson Library. They’re available on a first-come, first-served basis so make sure to show up right away! There are another 1,000 laptops set aside for veterans who pre-register as well. You can get more information about both of these programs at Delete the Divide.

Long Beach is expanding their Guaranteed Income Pilot program so that it will cover another 200 households! Each of these families will receive $500 a month for an entire year! Applications will open in January and winners will be notified in the early part of the year. The payments are expected to begin in the spring. You must apply on the Long Beach Pledge website.

Mark your calendars for these important dates!

  • December: All Kern Transit routes are free for everyone
  • March 31, 2024: Deadline to apply for LIHWAP

Colorado

Summit Community Care Clinic provides free and low-cost dental care to low income seniors. They can provide everything from oral exams to dentures! In order to be eligible, you must be at least 60 years old and have a household income that is at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Level.

Mark your calendars for these important dates!

Connecticut

AARP is warning seniors that both Eversource Energy and the United Illuminating Company are going to raise their rates in early 2024. Please don’t hesitate to apply for LIHEAP or contact your company for other financial assistance programs!

Florida

Up to 100 families in Palm Beach County will receive up to $100,000 each to purchase their first home! You will be considered a first-time homebuyer through this program if you have not owned a home in the last three years. If you were displaced form your home by domestic violence or disaster, you may also qualify.

You will be expected to meet income limits but they are very generous. Your household income must be equal to or less than 140% of the Area Median Income. That means a single person could qualify if they earn less than $95,480 per year! The limit is $109,200 for a couple, $136,360 for a household of four, and so on.

Applications for this program will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis to those who qualify. You have to attend a virtual orientation session in order to be able to apply. Those online events will happen before December 20, so you need to act fast. They are only accepting 100 attendees for each event.

The application portal opens at 8am on December 27, so you need to be ready to apply right away!

In other news, the City of Miami Senior Rental Assistance Program is open to applications! This program can provide up to $500 a month for an entire year. You must be at least 62 years old and have a household income that is 50% or less of the Area Median Income in order to qualify.

Mark your calendars for these important dates!

  • Dec 16: Free Christmas Feast in Pompano Beach
  • Dec 16: Free Christmas Toy Giveaway in Lauderhill
  • Dec 16: Free Christmas Toy distribution in Miami
  • Dec 16: Free Christmas Drive-Thru event in Boynton Beach
  • Dec 17: Free Christmas Giveaway in Pompano Beach
  • Dec 20: Free Christmas dinner in Pompano Beach
  • Dec 22: Free Christmas giveaway in Boynton Beach

Details about these events can be found on New Pelican

Georgia

The Southeast Georgia Health System has a bus called Wellness on Wheels that travels throughout the region. Called the WOW Mobile, this bus can offer free or low-cost mammograms for uninsured people. You need to call (912) 466-5235 for details.

Guam

Mark your calendars for these important dates!

Hawaii

For Maui residents affected by the August wildfires, the deadline to apply for FEMA disaster assistance and US Small Business Administration loans is December 11, 2023. This aid is for homeowners and renters with property damage or losses.

File insurance claims first, then apply for FEMA grants, which don’t need to be repaid and won’t affect other federal benefits. The Red Cross also offers financial aid, housing, and other support. Apply for FEMA at DisasterAssistance.gov, through their app, or call 800-621-3362 for help in multiple languages.

Idaho

Idaho LAUNCH is a grant program that can provide up to $8,000 toward tuition and fees at an eligible institution of higher learning. Homeschoolers, high school graduates and student with GEDs are eligible!

The program intends to help fill workforce gaps in the state by preparing students for in-demand careers. There’s an approved career list on the Idaho LAUNCH website.

Apply now if you’ve got a student who will graduate in 2024! Otherwise, save this info and plan to apply starting in October of the year before your kid will graduate.

Mark your calendars for these important dates!

Illinois

A new law in Illinois will require hospitals to determine whether or not a patient is eligible for financial assistance before sending their bills to collection. Hospitals also have to give patients more time to pay before they pursue collection. This new law will take effect in the middle of next year.

Mark your calendars for these important dates!

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

Indiana

NIPSCO is now offering additional financial assistance to low income households, including seniors and veterans! Their programs include NISPCO Hardship, SERV and SILVER. These program can provide up to $400 in assistance but you have to apply by May 31. Contact the company to apply.

Mark your calendars for these important dates!

  • Dec 10: Free Children’s Snow Boots & Winter Gear Giveaway in Indianapolis
  • Dec 11: Free Christmas Gift Applications Due for KAM in Indianapolis
  • Dec 16: Boys & Girls Club Toy Giveaway in Indianapolis (first come, first served)

For details on these and other events, visit the Indianapolis Recorder

Iowa

The Fort Madison Chapter of 2x4s for Hope has purchased 11 apartments that used to be owned by the city. The city used these for low income housing, but they needed to be improved. The organization plans to refurbish them and use some of them to help support low income seniors who need help with housing.

Mark your calendars for these important dates!

Kansas

In January, Kansas will reduce the food tax to just 2%. It is currently set at 4%. According to the current rules, the tax will be completely eliminated in 2025.

However, you need to understand that these changes only apply to groceries. It does not apply to meals that are hot and ready to eat, like at fast food or restaurants.

Kentucky

In Louisville, a new housing repair program is helping to improve homes around a new park. A lot of the homeowners in the area are low income seniors who can’t afford the improvements themselves. One owner received a stall shower for free! You must own your home and make less than 80% of the Area Median Income in order to qualify. You can call (502) 719-7153 to apply.

Mark your calendars for these important dates!

  • Dec 13: Veteran Resource Fair in Carterville
  • Dec 15: Deadline to apply for LIHEAP
  • Dec 16: Free Christmas Parade in LaCenter
  • Dec 16: Free Christmas Toy giveaway at Waltonville Community Unit School District 1
  • Dec 16: Free Christmas Event with snacks and toys at Brookport City Hall
  • Dec 25: Free Christmas Dinner at First Baptist Church in Benton (no reservation requirement)
  • Dec 25: Free Christmas Lunch at Eastland Life Church in Metropolis
  • January 2024: Applications open for Chef Space Culinary Entrepreneur Training

Details on the holiday events are available from WPSD Local 6.

Louisiana

Mark your calendars for these important dates!

Maine

Maine has authorized changes to the state’s Arrearage Management Program. This is a program that forgives past-due electric bills if you stay current on your new balance each month. The new rules will help more people use this program.

Before now, you could only use this program once in your lifetime. Now, you can use the program once every seven years.

The benefits have increased, too. You can miss up to two monthly payments and still have your previous balance forgiven. You are only disqualified if you miss a third payment or if you don’t make up the payments you’ve missed.

Maryland

Governor Moore has announced a new initiative that is supposed to make it easier to buy homes in communities that used to be redlined. The new program is called Utilizing Progressive Lending Investments to Finance Transformation or UPLIFT.

In historically redlined communities, buildings often appraise for less than the cost to build them. The UPLIFT program will provide funding between the appraised value and the sale price with the goal of improving the home values in these neighborhoods.

Mark your calendars for these important dates – and don’t forget to use code MAKEAPLAN23 to claim your free $20 Lyft Credit!

Massachusetts

Major changes are coming to the Section 8 program in Massachusetts! These new changes allow the Fair Market Rent to be determined by zip code instead of geographic region. People who currently receive vouchers will not see a change in the value of their voucher as long as they stay in the same home. If you move, the value of the voucher could go up or down depending on where you live.

Mark your calendars for these important dates!

  • Dec 25: Free Christmas Meals in Falmouth

Michigan

The State of Michigan has awarded $15 million in grants to various nonprofits, which will use the money to help people in poverty.

Mark your calendars for these important dates!

Minnesota

A new law in Minnesota aims to reduce medical debt for low income patients as well. This law mandates that hospitals must check if patients are eligible for charity care before sending their debts to collections. This requirement should help prevent low income individuals from accumulating additional medical debt in the future.

Nebraska

The website for the Opportunity Scholarships Act has launched. The program is designed to help low income families receive private school scholarships. You can fill out the prequalification form online so that you will be notified when the applications become available.

Nevada

Several laws have been introduced that could help renters in Nevada. These laws cover everything from capping rent increases for low income seniors to increasing the transparency of leases. However, at least six lawmakers who are also landlords have consistently voted against them.

Some experts and advocates have accused these lawmakers of having a conflict of interest when it comes to these proposals. It’s not just these, either. Some are real estate agents or otherwise involved in the housing industry.

New Jersey

The free preschool program at Montclair Public School District is expanding. There will be eight additional classrooms involved in this program, which serves children who are 3-4 years old by October 1st. Registration for the 2024-2025 school year begins on January 12.

Mark your calendars for these important dates!

New Mexico

Rio Rancho homeowners may be able to get up to $25,000 for home repair! This money can be used to improve your HVAC system, fix plumbing issues, repair your roof and more. In order to be eligible, you must have a household income that is 65% or less of the Area Median Income. You can apply online with Homewise.

New York

It’s time to register for the Christmas Bureau giveaway in Onondaga County! This event will take place on December 20th but you need to register in advance.

Mark your calendars for these important dates!

  • Dec 23: Free Christmas Dinner from Oswego Alliance Church (delivery only; order by phone)

North Carolina

Don’t forget to apply for Medicaid! Adults between the ages of 19 and 64 may be able to qualify. You can apply online.

Mark your calendars for these important dates!

Ohio

Cincinnati is considering a new program that could help prevent evictions. This program would be called the Access to Counsel Pilot Program. If approved, the program would provide funds for rent relief and legal aid.

Mark your calendars for these important dates!

Oklahoma

Oklahoma has started a tax credit program for private school education. Parents can apply for up to $7,500 per child to help with tuition and expenses. The program is intended to help low-income families afford private schooling.

Applications are for expected expenses in 2024, and the program is managed by a company called Merit. To get started, click the Apply Now button on the Parental Choice Oklahoma website.

Oregon

Low income seniors in Klamath Falls may be able to get free snow removal assistance! You must be at least 60 years old and meet income limits. Those limits are $26,600 for a single person or $30,400 for a couple. You can register on the city website.

In other news, Comcast has announced a partnership with Free Geek. This is a local organization that specializes in recycling technology. They will use the money from a recent grant to provide computers and internet connections to community members who need them. They hope to provide more than 3,000 computers next year so be sure to follow their organization for details.

Pennsylvania

Mark your calendars for these important dates!

  • Dec 14: Meal distribution in Hazelton
  • Dec 20: Meal distribution in Kingston
  • Dec 29: Meal distribution in Wikles-Barre

South Carolina

A South Carolina lawmaker has proposed a plan to increase affordable housing by allowing religious institutions to build housing on their properties without losing tax-exempt status.

This plan would help families earning less than $35,000 a year by addressing the state’s housing shortage. The proposed housing would have rent set for people earning 60% or less of the county’s median income. This plan doesn’t financially benefit the state but helps local communities and those in need of affordable housing.

South Dakota

Mark your calendars for these important dates!

Tennessee

In other news, the Memphis Housing Authority has broke ground on a new senior housing complex that will provide 99 new homes. It is located near Midtown. The complex is expected to open by Spring 2025. Rent will be income-adjusted.

Also, The Store in Nashville is providing free gifts for 400 families. There will be brand new toys, video games, scooters, clothes, musical instruments and more. You have to register with The Store in advance to get free food from The Store, so you may need to register for this as well.

Texas

Austin has voted to increase housing density so that more housing units can be put on the market. This change will allow developers to build up to three housing units where one could previously be built. This will allow more duplexes and triplexes to be built.

The City of Austin is also accepting applications for $8 million in rental assistance and eviction support. This program can also provide help with moving, storage and relocation costs. This program is called I Belong in Austin. You can apply online!

In other news, students at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi may be able to receive free or low cost tablets and internet service. Students who receive Pell Grants, SNAP, WIC, Medicaid, SSI or Housing assistance may be able to get help. The devices were provided by Go For Results.

Mark your calendars for these important dates!

Utah

Governor Cox has unveiled a plan to build 35,000 new starter homes in the next four years. These homes are expected to include a mix of condos, townhomes and single-family detached homes.

In order to accomplish that, he wants to increase the density at which homes can be built. An article by KUTV2 explained that local builder Nilson Homes could sell homes $100,000 cheaper if they were allowed to build each home on less land.

Cox also intends to invest around $75 million in improving infrastructure to support the growth. To help the homes be purchased by first-time homebuyers, he also hopes to infuse the state’s first-time homebuyer program with an extra $50 million in funding.

In other news, Self Help Homes is looking for families who are willing to work hard to get an affordable home. This program allows qualifying homeowners to purchase a home for just $750 down, plus a few hundred in tool costs and other expenses. The program is currently building homes in Hurricane. Your family has to work at least 35 hours a week on the property. You can learn more on the Self Help Homes website.

Vermont

The Northeast Organic Farmers Association of Vermont has paused its popular Crop Cash program due to a funding shortfall. This program matched SNAP benefits spent at farmers markets with coupons for fresh produce and goods. Higher than expected demand led the organization to spend about twice as much as they expected.

Due to the pause, participants can’t use any outstanding Crop Cash coupons until at least April 2024. The pause took effect on December 1st.

Virginia

Appalachian Power customers are going to see their electricity bills grow in the new year. The rates will increase by 10% starting January 29. It is expected that the average bill will increase by around $16 once that rate hike takes effect.

Mountain Lynx Transit received a boost from a grant program, which will allow free rides to continue. This system serves the counties of Bland, Carroll, Grayson, Smyth, Washington and Wythe.

Mark your calendars for these important dates!

Washington

Checks are on their way to low income families in Washington State! Attorney General Bob Ferguson is sending financial restitution checks to every household who meets income limits. These checks are the result of his successful antitrust lawsuits against large chicken and tuna companies that engaged in illegal price-fixing.

If your household income is at or below 175% of the Federal Poverty Level, you will receive a check from this settlement. The checks will be worth $50 for individuals or $120 for households with two or more people.

The first round of checks were sent this week. All the checks will be issued by the end of this month. If you are eligible for a check but do not receive one, you can check the status on the state’s Refund Check website. You have to claim it within the next six months.

Mark your calendars for these important dates!

Washington DC

Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton has introduced a bill to include the city in the national empowerment zone program. This program would revive federal tax incentives for businesses in low-income areas of D.C., similar to those created in 1997 but expired in 2011. The bill aims to boost investment in economically distressed communities, especially important due to the impact of remote work since the pandemic.

West Virginia

Customers who were impacted by the Mountaineer Gas outage may be eligible for financial assistance from the West Virginia American Water Company! You need to file a claim in-person before December 15th.

It is unclear how much money is being offered but WVAWC previously said they were prepared to send affected households up to $2,000. You need to visit the WVAWC office in Charleston with all the required verification documents, which include your ID, receipts for out-of-pocket expenses, and either a copy of your Mountaineer Gas bill or proof of residency.

Mark your calendars for these important dates!

Wisconsin

Governor Evers signed the drivers ed grant program into law this week! This program will provide vouchers for driver’s ed classes to students who qualify for discounted or free school meals through the National School Lunch Program.

Mark your calendars for these important dates!

Wyoming

Energy Share of Wyoming is open for applications! This program can provide up to $500 toward your energy and propane bills. It prioritizes helping people who have household incomes that are at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level. You can apply online!

Mark your calendars for these important dates!

Relief Recap

Every week, the Low Income Relief team combs through headlines across the United States to find all the low income programs that you need to know about. We organize this information in our Resource Roundup so you can easily find what programs you can apply for.

This week’s update includes various programs that can benefit low-income families across different states. It includes a new mortgage program with low down payments, concerns about new student loan repayment options affecting credit scores, class action settlements offering financial opportunities, and various grants and assistance programs for small businesses and individuals. Also, it highlights several local news and assistance programs across various states, focusing on affordable housing, healthcare, legal aid, education, and disaster relief.

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.