Housing Assistance for Low-Income in Maine

Housing Support programs are specifically designed to support the low-income families facing challenges paying their rent or mortgages. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development administers most of these programs at the local level through the local housing authorities. Eligibility requirements for these programs vary depending on several factors, including location. However, most of these programs give priority to individuals living with disabilities and seniors. It is important to apply for more than one program as this increases your chances of getting into an assistance program. Read this article and find out about housing support programs in Maine.

Homebuyers Programs

Maine Housing understands the need to provide financial support to most homebuyers struggling to make ends meet because of loss of income, underemployment, or layoffs. The authority aims to make homeownership affordable for the low-income Maine residents and enable them to achieve self-sufficiency in their communities. There are many options you can always explore, including little to no down payment options. There are also down payment and closing cost support to homeowners in need. Did you know that homebuyer’s assistance comes with payment protection for individuals unemployed?  The Maine Housing homebuyers’ programs include:

First Home Loan Program

The First Home Loan program is designed for low-income individuals who have never owned a home for the last three years and are looking to fulfill their dream of becoming homeowners. The program also offers payment protection for qualified applicants who just lost their incomes. Why choose the Maine Housing First Home Loan program? We both know you are looking for the most affordable way of achieving your dream of finally becoming a homeowner. The program enables you to have access to a quality home below the normal market price. With the First Home Loan program, you have options of making little or no down payment at all. Besides, veterans or retired military personnel qualify for a discount of up to 25% on the loans, which are payable over 30 years. Who is eligible for this program? You must be a first-time homebuyer, meet the low-income limits, and have a credit score of at least 640. Please visit https://www.mainehousing.org/programs-services/homebuyer/home-loan.

Disaster Assistance Loan Programs

The Disaster Assistance Loan program works to provide loans at low-interests and mortgages to homeowners whose residential homes have undergone destruction as a result of a disaster. Loans are meant to repair and improve the condition of destroyed homes. who is eligible for this program? Your primary residence must have been damaged as a result of a disaster, and your income should not exceed the low-income set limits in your area. If the cause of the destruction to your home was flooded, Maine Housing cannot allow you to rebuild your home in the same area. You must have proof of the damage caused to your home. In case you experience storm damage, please reach out by contacting 211 to be connected to available community resources. To learn more about the program, please visit https://www.mainehousing.org/programs-services/homebuyer/homebuyerdetail/disaster-assistance-loan-programs.

Maine’s Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program

the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program is committed to helping to cover a portion of the low-income families’ rent and household utility bills and sending payment to the property owners. In case the utility is not included in monthly rent; the section 8 housing program pays a larger portion to enable qualified families to cover utility bills without feeling overburdened with the expenses. How much assistance does the program provide? Eligible low-income renters can contribute either 30% or 40% of their income towards monthly rent once their vouchers have been approved. The assistance provided to each tenant is the difference between their income and the amount they pay for rent. The program provides rental assistance to over 3,800 households in Maine. The Maine Housing and Finance Authority administers the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program in Maine, and it usually gives priority to the homeless families when awarding the vouchers. Have you been to jail as a result of criminal activity such as a sexual offense or drug abuse? The local Public Housing Authorities conducts a background check on each applicant to determine in cases of criminal activity. You can’t qualify for rental assistance if you have been involved in drug abuse or sexual offense. Find out more at https://www.mainehousing.org/programs-services/rental/rental details/housing-choice-vouchers#:~:text=MaineHousing’s%20Section%208%20Housing%20Choice,it%20directly%20to%20their%20landlords.&text=This%20program%20helps%20more%20than,income%20Maine%20households%20each%20month.

Maine Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

The Maine State Housing Authority administers the LIHEAP, which is designed to assist families having trouble paying home energy bills. The Department of Health and Human Services oversees the program activities. The program funds are used to help low-income families settle for their energy bills, including heating and cooling costs. Support includes fuel and crisis assistance and emergency crisis intervention. The program funds are distributed through the state by the community action programs. The funds are directed to the fuel vendors who offer services to low-income families. Are you eligible for this program assistance? Well, are you a low-income homeowner or renter residing in Maine? Then you automatically qualify. Find out more at https://www.maine.gov/legis/housedems/liheap.htm.

Bridging Rental Assistance Program (BRAP)

BRAP is committed to helping individuals with serious mental illness to have access to transitional housing in the surrounding communities. The program offers payment assistance by partly covering for qualified applicants’ monthly rent and helping them achieve independent living in the community. The program aims to solve the problem of homelessness and provide more permanent affordable housing options to qualified applicants. Once you qualify for assistance, BRAP requires that you contribute 51% of your income towards monthly rent payments. However, due to the constant loss of jobs and underemployment, many people go through, the program now allows the applicants to contribute 40% income contribution. The change aims to offer relief to families facing financial struggles and enable them to achieve stability in their communities. Visit https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/samhs/mentalhealth/housing/brap/.

Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA)

The Tenant-Based Rental Assistance program is offered to the residents of Portland City. The program provides rental assistance, including security deposits to the families living in the homeless shelters. The City of Portland’s Social Services Division oversees and decides how the program activities operate. Learn more about the program at http://www.portlandmaine.gov/1504/Tenant-Based-Rental-Assistance.

Portland Lead-Safe Housing Program

The purpose of this program is to help reduce the risk of child poisoning in the community. Eligible families include homeowners and renters who meet the low-income limits. The program gives preference to families with a poisoned child or those whose children at risk. This program aims to enhance public awareness concerning lead hazards and to develop more lead-safe housing units for qualified applicants. Visit http://www.portlandmaine.gov/1006/Housing-Assistance-Programs for more details.

USDA’s Single-Family Housing Direct Home Loans in Maine

This program aims to provide low-income with financial assistance through low-interest loans payable over 20 years. The loans enable qualified applicants to obtain decent and affordable housing in the surrounding community. The payment assistance the program provides to the qualified applicants is also meant to increase their repayment ability. The amount of assistance you may get depends on your family’s size and income. what factors does the program consider when determining qualified applicants? You must demonstrate the need for housing assistance. That means you must not possess safe and decent housing. You must also be a resident of Maine and meet the citizenship requirements. Have you participated in the federal programs? Ensure you were not suspended from the federal programs. The funds can be used to support low-income families to have access to quality housing in the eligible rural areas. Please visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/single-family-housing-direct-home-loans/me for more details.

USDA’s Single-Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants in Maine

What does the Single-Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants program do? USDA provides financial assistance in form of loans and grants to qualified applicants. Through this program, homeowners get access to loans, which are used to help them improve their housing condition and grants for the elderly to support them in removing the health and safety hazards from their homes. Do you want to apply for grants? You must be 62 years or older and demonstrate your inability to make repayment. For both loans and grants, applicants must be the homeowners of their properties and provide proof that you occupy the premises. Your income must be or below 50% of the area median income. Please check if your home is eligible at http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do?pageAction=sfpd. Did you know that loans are provided at a 1% interest rate and can be rapid over 20 years? The program requires that you demonstrate an inability to repay the grant but once you sell the property in less than three years, you will have to make repayment. Can you Repay at least some portion of the assistance? Then you may qualify for a combination of grant and loan. Want to apply for the program? Visit your local Rural Development Office at https://www.rd.usda.gov/contact-us/state-offices to make an application. For how long can you wait for your application to be approved? The program assistance majorly depends on funding availability. Why don’t you reach out to a USDA home loan specialist to assist you with the application? Visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/single-family-housing-repair-loans-grants/me and find more details about the program.

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