Housing help for people on disability

by shadee
(summerville ga)

Visitor Question: Does the government help single moms that are disabled get a HUD home?

Editors' Answer: Most likely the fact that you're a single mom or that you are disabled won't influence whether the government would help you buy a home.

By the way, those of us who write this site talked about it and thought that a single parent with a disability should be working with a nonprofit agency of some type to see what help you could receive.

Let's assume for a minute that your question is whether you can purchase a HUD home. (HUD stands for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, for other readers.) To read all about the current process for buying a HUD house, go to the HUD Home Store website.

The website is a little sketchy, but it gives a bit of an overview. If you're serious about this approach, you need to find a local real estate broker who has experience in helping people buy a HUD home. Many agents don't want to fool with the paperwork, so that isn't necessarily easy, depending on your community.

However, HUD does require that you use a broker, so go to a nearby larger city if you need to, in order to find that real estate agent.

For the first several weeks after the house is put on the market, only owner-occupants (people who intend to live in the house) are allowed to make offers. If the home is still available after that period passes, investors are free to make offers.

Like a private real estate transaction, you're allowed to have a home inspection, but you should expect every detail of the sale to be a little trickier than normal home buying.

You say you are on disability, but a few other people might benefit if we say that HUD has a Good Neighbor program where the federal government gives a 50 percent discount on HUD houses to law enforcement officers, emergency medical workers, firefighters, and teachers. It's a good deal if they find a government-owned propety they want.

In most states there also are Dollar Homes that are FHA (Federal Housing Administration) foreclosures that end up back in public hands. Those can be really good deals, but I worry about someone on disability being able to pay for repairs.

The recent foreclosure crisis led to three rounds of federal funding in the form of what was called the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. This program gave local governments great flexibility about how they handled foreclosed properties. Ask the local government (city, town, or county if it's rural) whether they have any of the NSP properties available.

That's about all we'll say about the government helping you buy a HUD home, except to point out that there is more information at our government housing assistance page.

This brings us to the other way to answer your question, which is whether the government would help a single mom on disability obtain a rental unit. Usually, though, HUD houses aren't rented out. Maybe there's an exception somewhere but that would be very rare.

If you need housing, however, you should consider approaching your local housing authority about either obtaining a housing voucher to let you find a rental from a private party or getting on a wait list for living in public housing. Especially in some smaller cities, the units aren't half bad. The experience varies widely, of course, with some public housing still deserving its terrible reputation. In big cities it's usually no place to raise a family.

However, if you can obtain a voucher, you can rent from any private landlord that will take on the responsibility of government inspections and other red tape that are necessary for them to participate in the program. If this happens, the voucher from the government pays your rent.

Comments for Housing help for people on disability

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by: Anonymous

Is there a program that will help with home repairs on a unsafe marked home that was purposely damaged and left my mom homeless?

Editors Respond: That depends entirely on where you are located. Ask your question to the city if it within the limits of a city or town. If it is not within a town or city, ask your county government. Also use a search engine to find out if there are home repair programs in your state. Another place to check is with a bank, or better yet a credit union, near where the home is located. The financial institution may provide or know about a grant program or credit source for repairing the home.

In the meantime, be sure to report the vandalism to the police and discuss the issue with them.

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