Everything You Need to Know About the Rural Rental Assistance Program

Everything You Need to Know About the Rural Rental Assistance Program

Updated January 11, 2023
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Everything You Need to Know About the Rural Rental Assistance Program

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Does your family live in a rural area and on a very low income? You may be eligible for rural rental assistance.

40% of Americans stated they had trouble paying for basic needs like rent and food. If you can relate, you may want to consider a rural rental assistance program through the government.

Programs such as these are designed to help people who are financially struggling. They help beneficiaries get on top of their finances and back on their feet. Here's what you need to know about the rural rental assistance program.

Who Qualifies For Rural Rental Assistance?

The rural rental assistance program was designed to provide housing opportunities for the very poor. It's for people who have recently suffered financial setbacks and are struggling to get back on their feet.

Section 521 is specially designed for rural areas and is run by the US Department of Agriculture. The goal is to provide enough financial relief to help tenants regain control over their finances.

As an aside, if you're looking to rebuild your finances, tools like spending logs and budgets can be a great place to start.

Who Is Eligible?

Your rent needs to be higher than 1/3 of your adjusted gross income to be eligible for the rural rental assistance program.

You must also live in an area considered "rural" to be eligible for this program. You can check your town's assistant program office.

Not all landlords accept rental assistance programs, so you need to check with your existing landlord. You may need to move to a place that accepts rental assistance.

It's the property manager who applies for this benefit, but you can ask them to do so on your behalf.

To be eligible as the tenant, you must bring in income that is 50% below the area median income, or somewhere between 50% to 80% below the AMI. The program prioritizes those who need it most, so the very poor will receive assistance before the poor.

How Much Can I Save?

Section 521 for rural rental assistance is designed to pay any portion of your rent over 30% of your adjusted gross income.

Let's say your rent is $1,000, but your adjusted monthly income is only $2,000. The rental assistance program will provide your property manager or landlord with $400 for your rent.

For most people living on less than 50% of their area's median income, $400 is a massive help. It can help pay off debt, build up some savings, and get back on the right financial track.

What Next?

If you think you may be eligible for rural rental assistance, find the office in your county that manages rental assistance. They'll be able to answer all of your questions and help you with the next steps.

Rental Assistance Can Help You Get Back on Your Feet

If you're interested in applying for rural rental assistance, take advantage of the resources provided. Remember, rental assistance is nothing to be embarrassed about; it exists to help you get back on your feet and help you get your life in your control.