Moving to a new home is one of the top 10 most stressful life experiences. If you are having a hard time finding a place within your budget, the situation can create even more anxiety. Locating affordable housing is difficult, but here are four ways to make the process more manageable.
Ask Friends and Family
The rising cost of housing across the country is hitting families of all income levels. From rental prices to property taxes, no one is immune. Let your friends and family know you want to move and ask them to keep an eye out for opportunities opening up in their neighborhoods.
Zillow Can Be Your Friend
Many think that Zillow is only useful if you want to buy a place, but many landlords are increasingly listing rental properties on the site. You can use the search functions to narrow down what areas of your town are affordable for your family.
Research Local Public Finance Regulations
Municipalities are increasingly requiring developers to include a percentage of affordable housing units in any complex that receives public financing. Learn where the Tax Increment Financing districts are in your city and if TIF-funds come with such a requirement. Your local city council representative is an excellent place to find this information.
Learn About Federal Programs
The Department of Housing and Urban Development sets guidelines for how Public Housing Authorities can distribute federal subsidies. Visit your local PHA and find out if you meet the minimum income requirements and learn more about HUD screening criteria. The PHA will also know if there are nonprofits in the area that can help.
Although it might sound like an overwhelming amount of research, others will be helping you, and the results will be worth it. Your home is your castle, and you want to make sure your family is living in one that is safe and affordable.