It is important for there to be affordable rental housing available to low-income families. It is however unfortunate that rental housing can be more challenging to secure outside of urban city areas as there may not be as many options available. 

Fortunately, there are several organizations mentioned on the website of the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) that are dedicated to making the rental search and application process more manageable. Below, we’ll review how to find affordable rental housing in a rural area by utilizing the available programs.

lowIncomeHousing.Us – it was established in the early 2000s, it was converted to an online version in 2010. With local affordable housing offices, this program works to compile lists of low-income and affordable housing options that are open to residents in every area. There is however no charge for services or information provided on the LowIncomeHousing.Us website and the properties are updated on a daily basis by employees.

By utilizing their rental lists, potential renters can locate further information on rental properties, such as pictures, contact email and phone numbers, maps, and addresses. Prices are sometimes made available on listings; however, they are often not listed due to pricing being constructed based on a renters income level. The website does recommend contacting any potential listings you’re interested in via phone primarily as it is usually the easiest way to find current availability information and be placed on waiting lists if applicable.

USDA Rural Development Multi-Family Housing Rentals – The primary aim of this website is to provide information on government rental projects. The USDA subsidizes over 15,000 section 515 apartment complexes all over the United States. 

Section 515 is a USDA loan program that enables funding to be provided to low-income residents and families so that they can afford housing in rural areas. All properties that fall under this program are managed by approved agencies that must provide a certification process for all of their tenants. The USDA also manages over 1,000 section 514 properties. Section 514 allows loans and grants to be given to qualified on-farm and off-farm residences. These properties also require an annual tenant certification.

Rental assistance through 250,000 apartments located in rural areas throughout the US are also provided by USDA. Qualified low-income tenants are guaranteed to pay no more than 30% of their income in rental costs in these programs. The criteria for qualification vary in each state and within different countries of the state as costs of living are different in each area. 

Affordable Housing Online – The purpose of the website is to serve and provide waiting list information on affordable housing and subsidizing housing to low-income renters. The website was established 15 years ago. There are over 6,229,000 apartment and homes listed that are comprised of 77,500 apartment communities according to their website.

Those seeking affordable housing can quickly locate potential opportunities, complete applications for housing, and even apply for waiting lists all on the website. There is also an available blog to keep up to date on current events and news, an extensive FAQ section that addresses most related questions for renters, and up-to-date, affordable housing data and tools to advocate for housing issues that are important to you.

An additional opportunity allowed by the website is individual apartments and apartment communities that receive Federal funding to list their rentals for free and all information is provided to potential renters free of charge as well. Available listings and information are updated by employees daily. 

Numerous informational guides are also available on the site, ranging in topic from low-income housing guidance to Section 8 guidance, to discrimination law and housing scams. There is also educational information available to potential landlords, such as on the Low-income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC).

15 Replies to “How to Find Affordable Rental Housing in a Rural Area”

  1. Just checking to see if there are any available section 8 homes or apartments, that are based on income of potential renter, near me

  2. Every where seems to be so expensive these days. It can prove stressful when I am the only income. I have my nephew with me,too. Thank you.

  3. I am a mentally and physically abused woman trying to start over at the age of 51…..i am currently homeless because i left the abusive relationship and need a home

  4. I need a three bedroom low income house for rent as soon as possible we have to move April 30th the owner’s sent a notice to vacate on February 1st. I have a section 8 voucher I cannot find a place to move I have disability’s. That require I have my own room it’s my spouse and I and my grandson we’re in a position to become homeless. I need help.now.

  5. Thank you for the email, I would appreciate it if you would email me more information on rental assistance in Lake Isabella, Ca 93240 The rental would be for my spouse and myself we receive ssi & retirement combined income is $1,140.
    Thank you,
    Linda Franzle

  6. I’m needing assistance in getting sec 8 funding to a home I already rent and help with assistance on my bills.

  7. I can not figure out how to apply for any of these low income housing programs or section 8. I filled out an application almost 2 months ago at pha but they said nothing is available and they’d be in contact but I have had no word at all about anything. Now the coronavirus pandemic has occurred and cost me to lose my job and even harder to find another job to replace it. Meanwhile I am unable to find any assistance for me and my 2 daughters to find a place to live.

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