The U.S. Government offers rental payment assistance to the poorest Americans through HUD in three ways
- Privately owned subsidized housing – landlords receive assistance from HUD for offering low rent to low income tenants.
- Public housing – housing units/apartments owned by the government offered to low income tenants
- Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) – a voucher is given to a low income person to use for paying rent in the home of their choice.
In each case, the tenant pays a percentage of their income, with of minimum payment due of 50 dollars each month – even if the tenant has no income.
The demand for these programs is high and often the waiting lists for these programs are many years long. BUT for newly created programs that address homelessness, these waiting lists can be bypassed, allow the homeless to move into housing much sooner.