Housing Assistance for Single Mothers – Affordable Housing Resources

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Housing Assistance for Single Mothers – Affordable Housing Resources

Being a single mom can be stressful on more than one front, especially if you are a low-income earner. Statistics from Pew Research Center indicates that about 30% of solo mothers live below the poverty line, making it challenging to meet the demand of daily living in addition to finding safe and decent housing.

Thankfully, various state and federal housing assistance programs are designed to help low-income individuals access decent housing. This article discusses some affordable housing assistance for single mothers looking to create a happy, healthy, and stable home.

We recommend exploring as many housing assistance programs as possible to find the right option for you. Federal programs tend to be more common, but you might find a few state, city, and non-profits programs with more robust housing assistance.

With that in mind, let’s look at some affordable housing programs available for a single parent with a limited budget.

Public Housing

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers the public housing program designed to provide affordable housing options for families in need. With about 958,000 public housing units across the nation (as of 2021), the program has helped more than 1.8 million low-income families to access affordable homes.

Eligibility is typically based on income, so this may be a good option if you struggle financially as a single mother. While public housing homes aren’t specifically for single mothers, many low-income single-parent families leverage them to avoid homelessness.

Keep in mind that many public housing projects are in low- to moderate-poverty areas, and these communities are likely to have high crime rates.

The good news is that single mothers can access financial counseling, parenting classes, and other family-friendly activities in some public housing communities. Also, getting a landlord to help with repairs shouldn’t be too difficult since the HUD oversees the property owners.

State-Sponsored Housing

State agencies are not left out when it comes to providing safe and affordable housing assistance for single mothers and vulnerable individuals.

State-sponsored housing programs are administered by individual states, and like HUD’s housing programs, the aim is to offset the cost of rent for low-income households.

Each state usually has certain eligibility requirements which applicants must meet. The good news is that if you qualify, you are more likely to find decent and secure housing with a state-sponsored housing program than a public housing assistance program.

If you are interested in this option, visit the HUD’s local information webpage and select your state to find secure and moderately-priced state-sponsored housing programs in your area.

Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)

Formerly known as Section 8, the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program is a better option for vulnerable families, including single mothers, who want a say in the type of home and neighborhood they live in.

The HUD administers the housing assistance program through public housing agencies (PHA) in partnership with property owners.

If you are eligible for the program, you will receive a housing voucher from the government, which you can use as part of your rent. With this kind of financial assistance, you can find a decent, safe, and affordable home in an area you like, provided the owner is willing to participate in the HCV program.

Your local PHA will negotiate the terms, and you can use the voucher to buy a home for your family in some cases.

Eligibility for the HCV program is based on household size and income. To qualify, you must not earn more than 30% of the median income for your area. Even if you don’t qualify based on your current income, you may still qualify in the future since the median income rates are adjusted yearly.

If the HCV program appeals to you, contact your local PHA to learn how to participate and get a housing voucher.

USDA Rental Assistance

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) may not readily come to mind when considering housing assistance for single mothers. But the USDA does much more than initiate and oversee food-related policies and programs.

The USDA rental assistance program has helped about 300,000 eligible low-income tenants across the nation pay their rent, giving them a place to call home.

Solo moms who prefer raising their children in quieter areas can leverage the USDA rental assistance program to help pay a portion of their rent. Eligible individuals can purchase homes in rural areas with the program’s help.

The amount of assistance you can get will depend on how much you earn and the size of your family.

Subsidized Housing

Low-income single moms who meet the HUD’s income limit in their states may qualify for subsidized housing assistance, which is one of the most common housing assistance programs.

Subsidized housing is essentially a rental assistance program where the federal government gives a subsidy to interested property owners on qualifying properties. In turn, the participating property owners give out housing units at a reduced rate to low-income renters who meet certain criteria.

The program is not limited to single mothers and their children or sing-parent households. Senior citizens, low-income individuals, and people with disabilities can also qualify.

If you choose to explore the subsidized housing option, you will be paying less in rent for a decent home courtesy of the HUD. However, you will be dealing directly with the landlord (not the government), and like renting any home, you will have to comply with the landlord’s rules.

Other Housing Assistance Programs for Single Mothers


Many financially struggling single mothers may not qualify for government assistance or an emergency rental assistance program, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get help to pay rent and raise their kids in decent homes and neighborhoods.

Depending on where you live as a single parent, you can find affordable housing besides the more common federal and state housing assistance programs.

Here are a few affordable housing resources offered by non-profits and private organizations that you may want to explore as a single mom, especially if you are not eligible for government housing assistance.


Sometimes, splitting the rent with a roommate can help relieve the financial burden if you are a struggling single mother. This is especially true if you find a roommate who is also a single mom.

That’s where the CoAbode, a non-profit organization, can be quite helpful. It brings compatible single mothers together, helping them to share a home and support each other in raising their kids.

It is free to sign up with the program, and because CoAbode is available nationwide, it is easy to screen and match you with another single mom who shares similar parenting philosophies and interests as you.

Salvation Army

Single mothers, victims of neglect and abuse, as well as families facing homelessness can find safe housing through the various housing programs of the Salvation Army.

Some of these programs include:

  • Supportive Housing program
  • Housing Now program
  • Shallow Subsidy program
  • Emergency Assistance and Shelter

With the Salvation Army, help is almost always available, so do not hesitate to reach out to the organization if you need housing assistance as a struggling single mother.

Religious Organizations

Single moms in need can get help from religious organizations offering housing assistance programs. Interestingly, you don’t have to be religious or belong to a specific faith to leverage these opportunities.

A few religious organizations offering reliable housing assistance programs include:

  1. Catholic Charities USA: Founded on the strong belief that access to housing is a fundamental human right, Catholic Charities USA is committed to eliminating or significantly reducing homelessness in America. The religious organization provides emergency shelters for vulnerable people, including single moms and their children. In addition to standing behind the nation’s affordable housing policies, the program offers long-term assistance to needy families.
  2. Bridge of Hope: Although Bridge of Hope is a Christian-based organization, single mothers can get housing assistance from the program, regardless of faith, race, or ethnicity. The program provides sustainable and safe housing to single moms (usually single mothers with two kids). Thanks to the 12 to 24 months program, families facing homelessness can get the help they need to achieve stability and long-term change.
  3. Habitat for Humanity: Whether you are a single mom considering owning an affordable home or simply need shelter to keep you and your kids safe, Habitat for Humanity can help you. Habitat for Humanity is a Christian non-profit organization headquartered in the United States, but its operations span 70 countries (as of 2020). Since its inception in 1976, the organization has assisted over 35 million people in building, preserving, or rehabilitating homes, making it one of the largest not-for-profit builders in the world.

You can visit the official websites of these religious organizations to learn how to get housing assistance.


No single mom should have to experience homelessness, regardless of race, ethnicity, or faith. Thankfully, there is no shortage of housing assistance for single mothers, as you can see from the various options listed in this guide.

If you don’t meet the eligibility criteria for government housing assistance programs, you can get help from private and non-profit organizations.