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How to Get Free Rent Relief in the US

How to Get Free Rent Relief in the US

Rent relief is available from countless organizations across the United States. If you’re looking for assistance with your housing costs, you’ve come to the right place.

In this list, we will specifically be addressing agencies and organizations that assist with rent across the United States. For local organizations, you’ll want to scroll to the end and select your state from the alphabetical list. As you can see, we’ve found hundreds of organizations around the country that can assist with your rent expenses!

If you’ve recently been hit with a rent increase, you should also check out this guide to determine if that rent increase is even legal.

Nationwide Rent Relief Programs

There are several organizations that assist with rent relief across the United States, although they may have strict eligibility criteria. Some of these organizations are organized into local chapters and services may vary between chapters, so not every local chapter may offer assistance with rent.

Emergency Rental Assistance Program

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government authorized an Emergency Rental Assistance Program. This program disbursed money to the states, which were in charge of distributing that money to tenants and landlords who were struggling because of the financial impact of the pandemic.

This program is typically open to low income renters who meet income requirements and can prove that they were financially impacted by the pandemic. This impact may manifest as reduced hours, receiving unemployment benefits, or otherwise experiencing financial hardship on or after March 2020.

In some areas, this program will continue operating until 2026 or until funds run out. In order to learn more about the Emergency Rental Assistance Program in your state, select your state from the alphabetical list at the end of this article.

Esusu Rent Relief Loans

If you are a renter in the United States who is experiencing financial hardship, you may be able to get an interest-free loan from Esusu Rent Relief Loans. They will provide up to three month’s worth of rent but the funds must be repaid within one year. This is a 0% interest loan and repayment begins 3-6 months after the funds are disbursed. You can apply online here.

Section 8 Housing Vouchers

Section 8 Housing Vouchers are coordinated by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. These vouchers can be used to pay a portion of your rent. However, this is not an emergency rent relief program and it takes a while to receive these benefits.

For more information on Section 8 vouchers in your state, choose your state from the list below.

The Salvation Army

Many branches of The Salvation Army offer assistance with rent but some do not. We’ve included them, as applicable, in the local directories below.

The Salvation Army is a great place to start when you’re looking for low income help, though. They typically offer homeless assistance, disaster assistance, holiday gift assistance and more.

Specialized Rent Relief Programs

Across America, there are many societies and organizations dedicated to helping people with specific challenges. Often, these are related to specific medical diagnoses or life circumstances. The following organizations offer assistance with rent relief, but you must meet their requirements in order to receive assistance.

Employment-Based Rent Relief Programs

Actors Fund

The Actors Fund offers financial assistance, social services, housing assistance, senior care programs, financial management classes and more. Their financial assistance programs can provide emergency help with rent and medical expenses for performers who have a minimum of five years of paid industry employment with earnings of at least $6,500 for three out of the last five years OR who have twenty years of industry paid employment with a minimum of ten years of earning at least $5,000 each year.

CORE: Children of Restaurant Employees

CORE supports restaurant employees who are supporting children. Restaurant employees include people who work in hotel food service, concessions, cafeterias and dining halls, catering, fine dining, casual dining, fast casual dining, quick service and food trucks.

This organization provides financial grants for rent, mortgage payments, utilities, medical supplies, therapy, prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, travel costs, funeral expenses, groceries, clothing and other essentials that you may need when you have a qualifying special circumstance. A qualifying circumstance includes a significant medical diagnosis or injury (including COVID), accident, death of an immediate family member, loss of life or home due to natural disaster, or documented domestic violence.

Dramatists Guild Foundation

The Dramatists Guild Foundation offers a housing assistance grant program for professional dramatists, including playwrights, composers, lyricists and librettists, who need help with housing expenses accrued as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. They also have an emergency grant program.

Pinetop Assistance League for Elder Musicians

Musicians who are at least 50 years old,, have played professionally on stage, has played on professional albums and CDs, and have a household income of $30,000 or less may be able to receive assistance from Pinetop. They can assist with rent, utilities, medical expenses, transportation and even burial costs.

St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund

Financial assistance from St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund can be used for rent, utilities, vehicle payments, insurance and prescriptions when you are out of work or recovering from illness. In order to be eligible, you must hold a Class A commercial driver’s license, receive most of your income from driving a semi truck, and have a significant medical problem that led to financial difficulty in the last year. You can apply online here.

Medical-Based Rent Relief Programs

Glenn Garcelon Foundation Grant

This organization assists patients who are living with a primary brain tumor that are receiving treatment anywhere in the United States and its territories. You may be able to receive a grant of up to $1,000 if you are eligible.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

You must be diagnosed with blood cancer in order to receive assistance from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This organization can assist with co-pays, treatment-related travel, non-medical expenses and urgent needs. Through their Urgent Need program, eligible patients can receive a $500 grant toward their rent, mortgage, lodging, utilities, child care, food, transportation, car repair, car insurance, phone service, acute dental work and more.

Live Like Bella

Live Like Bella may be able to provide up to $400 toward rent for families of children who are receiving treatment for pediatric cancer. Details here.

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

You must be diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in order to receive assistance from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Although their website implies they provide financial assistance, they are very vague about the terms. You can call their organization at 1-800-344-4867 to speak to an MS Navigator during normal business hours. These Navigators can help you find assistance with housing (rent and mortgage and payments) as well as service dogs, transportation, computers, air conditioners and other resources.

The Samfund

The Samfund offers grants for young adult cancer survivors. The average grant is between $1,500 and $2,000. You can find more details on their website.

Womens Cancer Fund

The Womens Cancer Fund can award up to $250 per family per year to assist with utility and rent. They can also assist with groceries, per a recent news release.

Rent Relief Programs for Military & Veterans

Army Emergency Relief

Soldiers and their families may be able to receive rent relief from Army Emergency Relief (AER). This program provides zero-interest loans and grants to those who need assistance. They can help with rent, security deposits, food, vehicle costs, utilities, funeral expenses, basic furniture, appliance costs, child care seats, dental care, home repair, clothing, and so much more.

Helping Hands for Freedom

Military and wounded veteran families may be able to receive assistance from Helping Hands for Freedom’s Life Needs and Financial Assistance program. This fund can assist with rent, mortgage payments, insurance, car payments, utility bills, and some travel expenses. This program requires you to have at least one child age 18 or under currently living in the home.

Navy-Marine Corp Relief Society

This organization exclusively serves members of the Naval Services of the United States, as well as their eligible family members and survivors. If you qualify for assistance from this organization, they may be able to assist you with rent and mortgage payments, security deposits, utility deposits, car repairs and insurance deductibles, medical expenses, funeral expenses and more.

Operation Homefront

Operation Homefront offers Critical Financial Assistance. In order to be eligible, you must be active duty military or a veteran who is deployed, wounded, ill or injured. If you qualify under that criteria, you may be able to receive assistance with auto payments, auto repair, child and dependent care, dental, food, essential home items, medical, moving and relocation assistance, rent payment assistance, mortgage assistance, travel and transportation, utilities, vision care, home repairs and more.

Semper Fi Fund

The Semper Fi fund can assist with rent payments, disability modifications, transportation assistance, vehicle modification, caregiver support and so much more. This organization provides financial assistance and support to post-9/11 veterans who are combat wounded, ill and injured.

Sentinels for Freedom

Through the Bridge for Education program, participating veterans can receive up to four years of assistance with their housing costs while they are pursuing educational goals. The overall purpose of the Bridge for Education is to help veterans find a fulfilling post-military life by pursuing education, career and family goals.

Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF)

This program helps veterans and their families maintain stable and secure housing. There are SSVF partner agencies all over the United States who may be able to help you if you are eligible.

USA Cares

USA Cares provides assistance for post-9/11 veterans, service members and their families. They can provide financial assistance and/or post-service job skills training to help you achieve long-term stability.

VFW Unmet Needs Grants

Veterans, service members and military families may be able to receive assistance from the VFW Unmet Needs Grant. This program is designed to help military and former-military households who experience unexpected financial difficulty as a result of deployment, military activity or injury. Grants of up to $1,500 are available and do not have to be repaid.

Local Rent Relief Programs

Many of the best resources we’ve found for rent relief can be found in your local communities. These services are limited to certain states, counties, cities and sometimes even zip codes. In order to find help in your area, please select your state from the list below.

September 2022 announcement: This list is currently being developed. Links will become active as we complete the research for new areas. Please check back for updates.

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

Washington DC

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

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.

Edward Krahn

Sunday 15th of January 2023

Dear Sir or Ma'am, The state of Washington above is grayed out. I'm currently finishing out my military career in the Washington State Army National Guard and my 20 year mark is going to be this April. I'm pretty much non-mission capable at this point because of my bad knees and I'm not sure if they would try to Medical me out if I tried to extend for another year. My ex-roommate had a relationship go sour and ended up packing up and moving to Florida which left me in my SUV as I could not cover rent by myself. My job went away and just before covid but I was lucky enough to get put on orders with the National Guard in response to the pandemic. I'm on unemployment but right now it's only just over $400 a week. I've been trying to save money but between my vehicle being stolen on one occasion and later a window busted out and items grabbed from the inside as well as gas prices to try to heat the inside of the vehicle and the storage costs where all of my belongings reside it seems that I'm running in place. Now I've got a bad heater hose assembly. Do you have any kind of number to any local agency that might be able to help me locate a new place and move in? Perhaps something that isn't as pricey as $1,300 for a studio before security and last month's rent? In reading the local paper it said that local rents have only gone up 20 or 30% in the last 2 years. It seems to me that they've gone up about 50% since the onslaught of the pandemic. I've heard different theories about the increase such as the real estate owners trying to make up for lost income, but then again I don't see increased wages to make up for anything during the span of covid. I'm not even going to get into food costs because I can't even see the reason for it. Usually it's Transportation costs, but does the increased gas prices justify double the price of a 2 litre of soda?

I appreciate your time, Name appears below (Protocol?)

Catherine Marucci

Tuesday 17th of January 2023

Hi Edward. It might still be worth contacting some of the national programs listed above. Also, here's more info for Washington: https://lowincomerelief.com/spokane-housing-assistance/ https://lowincomerelief.com/emergency-housing-kent-wa/ https://lowincomerelief.com/need-help-paying-rent-in-tacoma-washington/ https://lowincomerelief.com/low-income-veterans-may-qualify-for-2-year-rent-subsidy/ https://lowincomerelief.com/rental-security-deposit-assistance/

Carolyn

Friday 30th of December 2022

Hello. So I am in a terrible bind right now fixing to get evicted. I am 2 months behind on rent and the 10th of January I will be 3 months behind. My fiance was in a motorcycle accident September 6th was on life support for 6 days had to have 4 brain surgerys and was in the hospital about a month and some days. I lost my job of 10 years I was the general manager about 2 years for a local business Sonic Drive In. I also had my license expire in the mean time and had no funds to get them back so I couldn't get another job or any help. I have searched and searched for some rental relief and I cannot find any anywhere for me. The local Catholic Church thought I was trying to scam them for rent money to my landlord and refused to help me. I've asked churches for help around here as well and they tell me to ask my home church. I don't have one so I don't get help threw them. Is there anyone who can tell me where I can get some help before me and my family loose our home. We have nowhere to go and no funds to move somewhere else as well. Please and thank you.

Catherine Marucci

Friday 30th of December 2022

Hi Carolyn. If you have already tried the resources listed above, it may be worth calling 211 to see if there is anything else they can suggest in your area.

Ellie

Friday 11th of November 2022

I’m finding myself approved for programs for rent relief but unfortunately a landlord that won’t accept the assistance. Every program has not been successful at navigating marking an exception to this and it’s been awfully frustrating.

C'lene Pique

Friday 7th of October 2022

OHio, OHio, where forth are'th you OHIO...???

Tina Tokar

Saturday 27th of August 2022

Their is none if you are single with no kids at home and are disabled and live in Michigan.