Are There Government Programs To Help Make Moving More Affordable?

Are There Government Programs To Help Make Moving More Affordable?

Moves can be expensive, and you don’t always get to choose when you have to relocate. Sometimes work can force you to move to a new city, or a family emergency might take you to a different state. These situations can prove disastrous if you’re experiencing financial hardship, making a move impossible. However, you don’t have to manage these situations alone, as numerous valuable government assistance programs can take the financial weight off your move. This article will cover those programs and who qualifies for them. 

Programs That Provide Aid for Moving

Program Program Provider Who Qualifies More Info 
Emergency Solutions Grants HUD Individuals and families who are homeless or are at risk of homelessness. Read More Here
Rural Housing Development Programs USDA  Individuals or families moving to rural or underdeveloped areas. Read More Here
Housing Assistance Services Veterans Affairs  United States Veterans Read More Here
Good Neighbor Next Door HUD Firefighters, emergency medical technicians, law enforcement officers, and teachers. Read More Here
Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program HUD Must be at risk of homelessness if not for the aid of the grant, or must already be homeless. Read More Here
Federal Relocation Assistance Program  FEMA Individuals or families whose home has been destroyed or impacted by a natural disaster. Read More Here
Moving Expense Reduction IRS Military personnel undertaking a move due to service. Read More Here
Mortgage Assistance Program  FHA and HUD Various groups such as seniors, first-time homebuyers, and more. Read More Here
Housing Choice Voucher HUD Applicants (or their families) must have a total gross income of less than 50% of the U.S. or local metropolitan median income. Read More Here
Real Estate Acquisition and Relocation Program  HUD Individuals who are displaced due to government possession of property or housing facilities. Read More Here

Emergency Solutions Grants

The Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program, provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is a fund designed to provide financial aid and affordable housing to those at risk of homelessness. It provides funding to:

  • Individuals and families who are currently homeless
  • Individuals and families who are at immediate risk of homelessness
  • The operation and management of homeless shelters 
  • Rapid re-housing programs and initiatives

Low-income individuals and families who apply for this grant can use it to pay for rental assistance and expenses involved in finding and obtaining housing. Here are some of the possible services and expenses this grant can apply to: 

  • Payment of first and last month’s rent
  • Rental application fees 
  • Security deposits 
  • Utility deposits 
  • Utility payments 
  • Moving costs 
  • Housing search and placement
  • And much more 

The application process for this program varies by region. Contact your state’s local commerce department to find out more specifics. Alternatively, you can use this site to get the appropriate contact information for your state’s grant recipients.

Rural Housing Service Programs

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Housing Service provides numerous programs and grants. This agency also works alongside various local, partnered organizations to provide valuable services. These initiatives are geared toward placing individuals and families in rural areas. You can obtain grants, loans, and services that can aid in: 

  • Building a new home
  • Purchasing a new home 
  • Modernizing or otherwise renovating a home 
  • Obtaining rental housing 
  • Payment of moving costs and expenses 

Veterans Affairs Housing Program 

If you’re a United States veteran, you might be able to qualify for a grant or loan program through the Veterans Affairs (VA) housing program. These services provide financial assistance in buying a new home, making payments, renovating or remodeling existing homes, and other aspects of home acquisition. These benefits and programs vary by region, so you must contact your local VA office for specific information. Each branch also offers specific, tailored programs catered toward retired service personnel, disabled veterans, senior veterans, and active service members.

Good Neighbor Next Door Program

Provided by the HUD, the Good Neighbor Next Door program seeks to aid individuals who work in community-centric professions and are moving into revitalized areas. Specifically, eligible single-family homes are listed through the program for one week (seven days). During this time, eligible homeowners utilizing the program get first to pick at these properties.

Homes listed through this program are greatly reduced in price, up to 50% off the initial listing, allowing participating homebuyers to acquire them at lower rates. To meet the eligibility requirements for the Good Neighbor Next Door program, you must be a member of one of the following or related professions: 

  • Emergency medical technician 
  • Teacher
  • Law enforcement officer
  • Firefighter

Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Grant

Like the ESG, the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Grant aims to help low-income families or individuals at risk of homelessness. Specifically, to qualify, applicants must be at risk of homelessness if not for the aid of the grant or must already be homeless. If they do qualify, the funds from this grant can be used for:

  • Short-term or medium-term rental assistance
  • Housing relocation 
  • Stabilization services 
  • Mediation 
  • Rent payments 
  • Security deposits 
  • Utility deposits 
  • Utility payments
  • Moving costs or services 

Federal Relocation Assistance Program 

This aid program is offered by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and gives funding to those whose homes have become damaged due to a natural disaster. This program can apply to any needed services after a disaster, including moving, childcare, and temporary housing. Or, you can apply this program’s funds to home repairs and reconstruction. When applying, you must thoroughly explain what disaster has damaged your home and the extent of the damage. Furthermore, you may also need a full inspection to verify your claims. 

IRS Moving Expense Deduction 

This entry is not technically a grant program or loan but instead a general practice for getting more money out of your move. Up until 2018, all homeowners could deduct certain expenses of their moves from their taxes. Deductible elements included moving trucks, movers, gas mileage, security deposits, and much more, depending on the nature of your move. However, since 2018 this only applies to military personnel moving due to relocation. The policy prohibiting non-military moves from deduction eligibility is set to last until 2025. So, if you’re moving for the military, you may be able to deduct major elements of your move on your tax return. 

Federal Housing Administration Mortgage 

The HUD offers numerous options for financing a relocation, one of which is a Federal Housing Administration Loan. When trying to obtain a loan for a home, the FHA can insure it, allowing you to obtain much lower interest rates. The HUD and the FHA offer various loan options for different types of applicants, such as a first-time homebuyer loan, senior citizen loan, and energy efficiency loan. 

Housing Choice Voucher

Another program offered by the HUD, the Housing Choice Voucher, allows applicants to select an eligible form of housing and receive financial assistance. Unlike similar services that set limitations on what kinds of homes the applicants can move into, this program allows them to choose any housing, including apartments, townhomes, or single-family homes. The applicant or the applicant’s family must be low-income to be eligible for this program. Specifically, their household must not gross more than 50% of the median income of the country or metropolitan area where they have chosen to live. Once a suitable location has been selected, the local Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) pay direct housing subsidies to the landlord. These vouchers can be used to cover rent payments or aid in the purchasing and payments of a home. 

Real Estate Acquisition and Relocation Program

This program is likely the most niche on this list but can be invaluable for those who qualify for its uncommon criteria. The federal government can occasionally repossess, demolish, or displace homes or properties due to federal projects. When this happens, the government must ensure that those affected by this displacement are given adequate time and resources to adjust. As a result, the Real Estate Acquisition and Relocation Program offers services and financial assistance to those affected by government projects. For affected residential structures, homeowners can receive:

  • A written notice to vacate 90 days prior to possession 
  • Relocation advisory services 
  • Reimbursement for moving expenses and services 
  • Payments for the cost of rent or purchasing comparable replacement housing 

Final Thoughts

While moving can be expensive, plenty of reliable options are available for homeowners in need. Through various government assistance programs, locally and federally, a homeowner can finance their move to their new home. They can save valuable funds by taking advantage of public programs like charities, nonprofit organizations, moving assistance programs, or support hotlines. Finally, they can further reduce relocation costs by properly budgeting and planning their move

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Use Moving Grants on Moving Companies?

Yes, most moving grants and aid programs geared toward affordable housing typically allow you to allocate funds toward moving services. However, it’s always a good idea to check the details of your specific aid program before signing up with a professional moving company. 

What Are the Best Non-government Sources of Aid?

Outside government programs, your best bet for moving aid is local support services, religious organizations, and community rental assistance programs. Specifically, organizations like the YWCA, Modest Needs, and The Salvation Army are good places to start looking.

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