What Is Emergency Rent Assistance?


Quick Answer

Emergency rent assistance is financial and informational assistance available to people facing housing crises, particularly those who cannot pay their rent and who may face eviction as a result. Such rental assistance is typically obtained through a variety of governmental entities, non-profit organizations and charities.

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Full Answer

While the types and extent of emergency rental assistance vary widely, resources are primarily aimed at heading off worst-case scenarios, with homelessness of course being the worst. Consequently, the lion's share of assistance is reserved for the most needy, including low-income families, the elderly, children and the disabled. Healthy adults who have endured long-term unemployment and who have failed to achieve self-sufficiency are often less eligible.

Emergency rental assistance funds are not permanent solutions. Moreover, these programs typically expect people to exhibit an urgent willingness to repay any debts incurred. As such, rental assistance programs frequently feature training and resources designed to help people get back on their feet and to stabilize their capacity to pay their rent effectively. In some cases, programs assign case workers or counselors equipped to give people one-to-one help and instruction. For example, such counselors generally offer an introduction to tools such as federal grants, rapid re-housing, section 8 and motel vouchers. Additionally, counselors may also supply referrals to other social service organizations or assistance programs better suited to a borrower's unique circumstances. .

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