The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) works with local housing authorities across the country to provide a number of housing assistance programs to renters. The local housing authorities manage public housing developments to provide affordable apartments for low-income families, the elderly and people with disabilities. They also provide Housing Choice Vouchers (also known as Section 8 vouchers) to help these same groups of renters pay for all or part of their rent in privately owned apartments.
Housing authorities also offer subsidies to private apartment owners so that they can offer reduced rents to low-income tenants. Depending on the state, housing authorities may also offer help for low-income families in buying homes, avoiding foreclosure and paying utility bills. They also assist renters with filing housing discrimination complaints, if renters feel landlords have refused to rent to them based on race, disability, gender or other legally protected categories. Agencies can also help individuals and families experiencing homelessness to find temporary and long-term housing assistance.
Most cities or counties in the United States have local housing authority offices supported by HUD. Renters can find contact information for these offices and more information about the individual programs they offer at the HUD website, HUD.gov.