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Low Income Resource Roundup | Oct 21, 2023

Low Income Resource Roundup | Oct 21, 2023

From emergency housing assistance to tax filing and grants for businesses, this week’s low income news update is packed with information that can help you save money and make ends meet!

Nationwide Low Income News

From help paying your rent to a simplified tax filing experience, this week is full of low income news updates! Don’t forget to check out our other recent updates for more information you might’ve missed!

Up to $30,000 Housing Assistance Available

While compiling this update today, I found that several states including Nebraska and Iowa have brought back the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. This is the program that covered past-due and future rent during the pandemic.

At first I couldn’t understand why this program was resurfacing, since it ended in September 2022. However, the Treasury issued guidance this week that addresses the difference in the ERA2 program.

According to the document, “The ERA1 program ended in late 2022. The ERA2 program is authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and provides $21.55 billion for assistance to eligible households. The ERA2 program remains ongoing.”

There are several states that have funds available through the ERA2 and Homeowners Assistance Fund program. These programs vary widely depending on where you live, though. In Nebraska, renters can get up to $30,000 in rental assistance. In Illinois, homeowners can get up to $60,000 toward their mortgage and other housing expenses! There are other states that are offering similar benefits, which we’ve outlined in the Local News section below.

On a smaller scale, we’ve also found programs that can help low income homeowners get help maintaining their sewer systems in some states, too! Both Washington and Wisconsin have new programs that can help with this, and they join other states with programs we’ve announced in previous updates.

For more information on what is available in your area, please check your state subheading below.

IRS ‘Direct File’ Pilot Launches in 13 States

Given all the problems that have plagued the Free File system, the IRS has decided to move forward with the creation of a free Direct File program. This program will allow you to file your taxes online for free. However, instead of using a third-party company to file your taxes, you’ll just file them directly with the IRS.

The pilot program will start in 2024 with a limited launch in just 13 states:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Massachusetts
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

In order to be eligible to use this new system, you will need to have a “relatively simple” return. The IRS expects this system to be able to process W2 earnings, Social Security income, unemployment and interest of $1,500 or less. You will be able to use the system to claim tax credits like the valuable Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Credit for Other Dependents.

Senators Take Notice about Medicare Scams

On Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing about the Medicare Advantage plan scams that happen every year during open enrollment season. This is something we’ve talked about extensively in our recent news updates.

There were several interesting things revealed in this hearing, including:

  • In many areas, there are more than 100 Medicare Advantage plans available.
  • CMS rejected 300 Medicare Advantage TV ads due to misleading messages.
  • Brokers are usually not required to find the best deal for their customers
  • Many brokers receive $1,300 or more for every person they enroll, even though the government sets the maximum reimbursement to $611

Because brokers earn money by directing you to certain plans, it’s important to have an impartial third party help you make a wise decision about your health care coverage.

You can get free health insurance counseling from your State Health Insurance Assistance Programs. These hotlines can help you review your coverage, understand your costs, and make informed decisions so you don’t end up with a bad plan.

You can also contact your Area Agency on Aging for referrals to others who can guide you through this process. Just be careful about talking to brokers, because they are financially motivated to influence your decision.

HUD Funds Clean Energy Upgrades

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is setting aside $100 million to help renovate 1,500 homes in low income and tribal areas. This money is intended to bring clean energy to those communities by installing rooftop solar panels, wind turbines, reinforced roofing and/or energy-efficient HVAC systems.

When discussing this new initiative, Department of Energy Deputy Secretary David Turk revealed that one in five US adults were unable to pay their utility bills in 2020. Another administration official claimed that bringing clean energy to these communities will reduce bills and help people afford their energy usage better.

Claim Your Settlement Checks!

Did a defective product or misleading ad affect you? There might be a class-action reward with your name on it. Every week, we spotlight companies that need to compensate consumers.

It’s usually simple to stake your claim. Remember, there’s potential cash out there for you. Stay informed with our latest updates and find out how to secure your deserved payout!

Boston Globe Facebook Tracking – $20 value (estimated)
If you had a Facebook account, a Boston Globe subscription (digital or home delivery) and you visited their website between February 5, 2020 and May 25, 2023, then you may be able to claim this money.
Oct 23, 2023 Facebook Privacy – $30 value (estimated)
Military Advantage, the company that runs, has been accused of disclosing personally identifiable information to Facebook via the tracking pixel. If you used the site between June 8, 2020, and Nov 1, 2022, then you may be eligible for a settlement.
Oct 24, 2023
WSE Property Management
If you rented a property that was managed by WSE Property Management between September 17, 2000 and November 30, 2023, then you may be eligible for this payout.
Oct 30, 2023
GHP Management (California)
If you paid a late fee while renting a property from GHP Management in California between December 10, 2014 and May 16, 2022, then you may be owed money from this!
Oct 30, 2023
Cash Express – Data Breach
If you got a letter about a Cash Express data breach from January 29 to February 6, 2022, this settlement might include you.
Nov 1, 2023
Dude Wipes “Flushable” False Advertising – $2.50 value (estimated)
If you bought Dude “flushable” wipes between February 5, 2015 and August 8, 2023, then you may be eligible for this check.
Nov 11, 2023
Nationstar Mortgage
If you have a mortgage serviced by Nationstar and you had an incorrect payment withdrawn on April 23, 2021, then you may be eligible!
Nov 13, 2023
Batiste Dry Shampoo
If you bought Batiste or Bare Dry Shampoo before May 30, 2023, you may be eligible for a settlement check!
Nov 15, 2023
CVS Lidocaine Products
If you purchased a CVS maximum strength lidocaine product like a patch, cream, roll-on, or spray between December 11, 2017 and July 18, 2023, you might be part of this settlement.
Nov 20, 2023

Get Grants to Start or Grow a Business

Great news for aspiring and current entrepreneurs! Skip is back and they’re here to support your business dreams. Whether you’re just starting out or planning to take your venture to new heights, Skip’s updated grant options are tailored just for you.

Skip has a proven track record in identifying grant opportunities perfect for entrepreneurial spirits. Their extensive database is packed with financial resources waiting to be tapped. Don’t let these opportunities slip away!

Open Entrepreneur Grants
Creceiendo Con TikTok – $5,000
This grant fund will provide FORTY (40) Latinx small business owners with a $5,000 grant! You must be a US-based, Latinx small business owner with a TikTok account in order to be eligible. Apply by October 23.
Small Business Growth Fund – up to $25,000
Got a small business in the United States? You could get up to $25,000 to help accelerate your growth. Apply by October 27.
October Skip Grants – $1,000
Every month, Skip gives away $1,000 to a US-based small business owner! To enter to win October’s grant, you need to apply by October 30.
Marketing Grant for Growth – $20,000
This in-kind grant offers $20,000 in services to help your business grow. In order to be eligible, you must have owned a business in the United States for at least two years, have a website and at least one social media account. Applications are due October 31.
“No” Grant – $2,000
This grant is open to US-based moms over age 18. Applications are due October 31, 2023.
Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Program – $5,000
Every year, this organization selects 50 women to participate in a yearlong program to grow their businesses. Winners even get a trip to New York City! Apply by November 2.

Remember, you can get more information about any and all of these upcoming grants by claiming your free Skip account today!

Local Low Income News

We’ve found low income news updates in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin!


LBW Community College has announced a new scholarship fund called the Ms. Sierra Newman Memorial Scholarship. This program is named in honor of a beloved LBW Ensemble member who lost her life in a car accident in 2019. The scholarship will help students who pursue a Fine Arts Degree with an interest in music.

The first application period will be opened in December. Interested students can apply on the LBW Scholarship Application page.


The YMCA of Greater Whittier distributed free refurbished laptops to 50 people this week through a partnership with AT&T. This is one part AT&T’s Human-I-T initiative that has distributed thousands of computers across the state of California. Be sure to follow their organization for details about future distributions!

Don’t forget about these upcoming events!


Don’t forget about these upcoming events!

  • Nov 1: St. Petersburg’s new free public transportation program begins
  • Nov 2: Veterans Resource Fair at CareerSource Tampa Bay


The Cathedral of St. Philip is turning over management of the Cathedral Towers to a nationwide organization called National Church Residences. Under the current plan, NCR will lease the building for 99 years. During that time, NCR will be responsible for repairs and renovation.

The tenants are very upset and have formed a Renters Association to fight back before the deal is finalized next year. Around 150 of approximately 190 tenants have joined the association. Some of those protesting have prior experience living under NCR management.


Maui’s disaster relief efforts are continuing. The United Way reports that it has issued over $7 million in payments to more than 7,000 survivors.

The Red Cross has also reported that they are still helping approximately 7,000 people who were impacted by the fires. Their services included mental health, free meals, and sheltering services.

If you were affected by the Maui wildfires this year and have at least one child in your household, you may be eligible for the Maui Relief TANF Program. Applications opened October 20 for this fund, which will provide four months of financial assistance to those who were affected.

Meanwhile, the Aiea Sugar Mill site is being transformed into a new affordable senior housing complex!


The Homeowner Assistance Fund is open for applications until October 31. This program can give eligible homeowners up to $60,000 to cover housing-related expenses like mortgage payments or HOA payments.

If you are a renter and have a current eviction case, you may be able to get up to $25,000 in emergency rent payments. The Illinois Court-Based Rental Assistance Program can cover up to 15 months of past-due rent and three months of future rent!

You can apply for both of these housing programs at

Don’t forget about these upcoming events!

  • Oct 24: Senior Adult Fair in Quincy
  • Oct 31: Deadline to apply for Homeowners Assistance Fund
  • Nov 2: Crisis LIHEAP open
  • Dec 1: LIHEAP open for everyone


The Salvation Army’s Daviess County Service Extension has received a $10,000 grant to help local residents with shelter or utility bills. This money is expected to help 50-100 households stay in their homes.

In order to get assistance, you need to contact Connections or Indiana 211 for a referral.


Linn County has opened the Emergency Rental Assistance Program again! This program can help pay rent and utilities for eligible Linn County households.

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

  • You must rent a home in Linn County.
  • You must have a household income that is 50% or less of the Area Median Income.
  • You must have experienced a financial hardship during the pandemic.
  • You must be at risk of housing instability. This could include a threat of eviction, utility shut off or homelessness.
  • You also cannot have already used 18 months of ERA assistance.

If you are eligible, you can contact Waypoint by calling 319-366-7999. You can also email them at [email protected]. The goal of this funding is to help people connect with community resources and address the root cause of housing instability, so applications can take longer to process than they did before.

Don’t forget about these upcoming events!


Don’t forget about these upcoming events!

  • Oct 26: Senior Resource Fair in Topeka


Governor Moore has announced new funding to help bring better internet access to around 15,000 households. This will add to other initiatives that have expanded infrastructure to bring internet access to 52,000 people who didn’t have it before.

The state is also offering financial assistance for child care through a scholarship program. Families have to meet income guidelines, but they are very generous. The income limits for a family of four are over $90,000 per year! According to WBAL TV, the scholarships are available through the State Department of Education.


Governor Healey has issued a dire warning about shelters pace in the state. A recent influx of people into the state has caused the state to approach their shelter capacity.

As Governor Healey said, “We do not have the space, service providers, or funds to safely expand beyond 7,500 families. We expect to hit that number at the end of the month. From that point on, we will no longer be able to guarantee shelter placement for new families entering the system.”

Don’t forget about these upcoming events!

  • Oct 20: Digital Resource Fair in Pittsfield


Investors scooped up 230 homes in Genesee County at a recent tax auction. These homes were in foreclosure but people were still living in them. Of the homes, 190 are located in Flint. Some of the homes involved in this sale have no water, no electricity or no working furnace.

County Treasurer Deb Cherry was surprised because none of the property bundles they’ve offered for sale have ever sold before. Usually, the bundled properties end up going to the county Land Bank, which allows people to continue living in them until arrangements could be made for them to relocate or buy the home. According to Cherry, this was a way that the county could help those who had financial difficulties.

However, To Life Real Estate interrupted that process when they paid $1.2 million for the bundle in the recent auction. Within two weeks, the company issued letters informing the residents that they need to set up rental agreements or prepare for eviction.

As of the most recent report, only about one-third of the affected residents have responded to those letters. If you have received a letter like this, please reach out to the company right away to make arrangements so that you don’t get evicted.

Also, striking workers in Michigan may be able to get help from their credit unions. Many Michigan credit unions have announced supportive programs to help those who are currently on the picket line.

Don’t forget about these upcoming events!


Don’t forget about these upcoming events!

  • Oct 23: Applications open for the St. Louis Guaranteed Income Program
  • Nov 1: Applications due for the St. Louis Guaranteed Income Program
  • Nov 6: Winners Selected for the St. Louis Guaranteed Income Program


Pack the Place in Pink is a nonprofit that provides financial assistance to people who are afflicted with breast cancer. In order to be eligible, you must be a Montana resident with a breast cancer diagnosis.

If you would like to get help from this organization, you can fill out the request form on their website.


According to the North Platte Bulletin, the Nebraska Emergency Rental Assistance Program is open for applications again! This program can provide up to $30,000 toward your rent, utilities and internet payments. This money does not need to be paid back.

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

  • You must be a legal resident.
  • You must be a renter in Nebraska.
  • You cannot live in Douglas or Lancaster county.
  • The home you are renting must be your primary residence.
  • You must have an income that is at or below 80% of the Area Median Income.

You can apply at

Also, the Lincoln Public Schools Student Emergency Fund can help low income families with at least one student who attends the public school system. These funds can be used to help with gas cards, utilities or other needs. Families can get help once per year. Contact your student’s school social worker to get started.

New Jersey

Don’t forget about these upcoming events!

New York

Governor Horchul announced that families with children age 17 and under will receive a one-time payment of around $100. The state began issuing payments on October 17. Around 120,000 families should receive these checks.

Don’t miss your chance to apply for these affordable housing lotteries!

  • Oct 24
    • 1073 Tiffany Street Bronx – 13 units
    • 912 Broadway Apartments Brooklyn – 4 units
  • Oct 25
    • 477 Gerard Avenue Apartments Bronx – 20 units
    • Maven Mott Haven Apartments Bronx – 60 units
    • 1230 Prospect Ave Apartments Bronx – 6 units
    • 280 Meeker Ave Brooklyn – 21 units
  • Oct 27
    • 83-15 Parsons Blvd Apartments Queens – 10 units
    • Federation Nameoke Apartments Queens – 45 units
    • 280 West 24th St Senior Apartments Manhattan – 48 units
    • 219 Lenox Road Apartments Brooklyn – 15 units
  • Oct 31
    • The Hub Wait List Brooklyn – 150 units
    • 40 Bruckner Blvd Apartments Bronx- 110 units

North Carolina

Don’t forget about these upcoming events!

  • Dec 1: expected Medicaid expansion date


Don’t forget about these upcoming events!

  • Oct 27: Deadline to apply for veteran homeowners in Tulsa to apply for Revitalize T-Town‘s home repair program


The Shapiro Administration has released another $2.5 million in funding for food banks, soup kitchens and emergency food providers. Eligible organizations need to apply for TEFAP Reach and Resiliency Grants by December 8.

In Tunkhannock, The Burke Center has received a grant that will be used to provide mental health services to uninsured and underinsured patients. Visit their website or contact them for more information.

Don’t forget these upcoming events!

Rhode Island

Governor McKee has released the state’s winter shelter strategy. The state has 30% more shelter beds available now than it did in January last year, which is a great improvement. The state has also developed pallet shelters, which are temporary shelters that can be set up quickly.

If you’re interested, you can review the entire plan online.

South Carolina

The low income seniors who live in the Wardlaw Apartments in Columbia have been given 60 days to find new housing. Those with current leases may have a little longer, since they can stay until the end of their current lease.

The property was sold to a developer in Florida who wants to renovate the property. According to representatives from SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center, the developer has followed the law and that means that residents don’t have many options.

Residents are encouraged to call the Area Agency on Aging and Senior Resources Inc. for assistance.


Don’t miss out on these upcoming events!

  • Oct 26: Free all-ages Halloweenfest at MLK Jr. Community Center in Midland
  • Oct 28: Trunk or Treat at Mission Square Plaza in Midland


If you own forestland that was damaged by the July rainstorms, you may be able to get financial assistance through the Emergency Forest Restoration Program. This program is intended to help address erosion, water quality, and other issues.

In order to be eligible, you must own a nonindustrial private forest. This means that you have existing tree cover or tree cover before the disaster occurred. The land must be able to sustain tree growth.

The deadline to apply for this assistance is November 8. You can apply at your nearest USDA Service Center.


Lawmakers have created the Virginia Mass Violence Care Fund, which will provide assistance to mass violence victims, survivors, and their families. This is the first fund of it’s kind in the entire United States. The hope is that this fund will provide support when other financial resources run out.

Virginia Natural Gas is encouraging customers to apply for payment assistance right away! There are many different types of payment assistance available. According to the company, LIHEAP is available until November 10th and you’ll need to apply through the Virginia Department of Social Services.

The Salvation Army’s EnergyShare Program is also operational. The company also has other tools, like deferred payments, available if you need them.


Homeowners who live in Skagit County may be able to get up to $200 in rebates for septic system care. The rebate can be claimed if you have paid for septic system inspections, septic pumping, or riser installation.

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

  • You must own a home in Skagit County.
  • You must complete the free Septics 101 class and quiz.
  • You must have an inspection, pump, or rise installation completed by a Skagit County certified provider.
  • You must pay for the services and keep your receipt.
  • You must apply with the Skagit County Public Health department.

Don’t forget these upcoming events!

West Virginia

The Department of Housing and Urban Development will spend over $10 million building over 1,500 homes in the Rupert area! The new homes will include 1,262 new affordable housing units for low and very-low income seniors and 526 market-rate units.


It’s time to apply for the Wisconsin Fund! If you are a homeowner or a small business owner with a failing private wastewater system, such as a septic system, then you may be able to get financial assistance. These funds can be used to repair or replace the system.

Applications are open now. You must apply before January 31, 2024. If your application is approved, the money will be available after July 1, 2024.

Also, the Wisconsin Assembly has passed the bill that would authorize driver’s ed grants for students who receive free or reduced price school meals. The bill is now in the hands of the state senate.

Don’t forget these upcoming dates!

  • Nov 1: Winter Moratorium for utilities begins


Stay informed with our team’s roundup of low income news from across the country. Key highlights include the return of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program in several states, the IRS’s new Direct File pilot, the senate’s focus on Medicare scams, and more. We’ve also found some great local programs that may be able to help you!

Nicole is the founder and lead researcher of Low Income Relief. After a personal experience with poverty and homelessness following her husband's sudden medical discharge from the U.S. Army, Nicole discovered the life-changing impact of community resources. This experience ignited her passion for empowering others to navigate similar crises. Nicole launched her writing career at age 16, working for various newspapers and publications. Her commitment to in-depth research and accessible content has been recognized by Google for Publishers and other industry leaders. For over 20 years, she has applied her investigative skills to uncover the most helpful, up-to-date information on benefits programs and community resources, ensuring Low Income Relief maintains the most extensive resource databases available.

Ginger Voisine

Sunday 10th of March 2024

I wish you would include info for the state of Maine

Elissa Cantrell

Tuesday 7th of November 2023

I wish to see if I could get more food stamps then $23 a month. I have to pay for my car insurance. I have to pay for my car tabs my plates. I haven't seen citizen on social security and I get Medicaid. This website is not what it says it is why????!!!

Catherine Marucci

Friday 10th of November 2023

Hi. Here's the info on possible ways to get an increase in food stamps:


Saturday 21st of October 2023

There is no rent assistance info under my state subheading. Texas

Catherine Marucci

Monday 23rd of October 2023

Unfortunately, we haven't found any new programs there.