Cut Your Rent By 50%

Studies show that people with less income pay a higher portion of their salary on housing than people in higher income categories. It is not unusual for a single mom to pay 70% of her salary in rent. The government has a program called Section 8 Rental Assistance Program that offers vouchers and direct payments to landlords. This will, in turn, cut your rent down to only 30% of your income. Of course, there are income requirements for this program. For example, in Arlington Country, VA, a one-person household with an income of $23,000 qualifies for the program. Arlington County also has housing grant rental assistance for low-income elderly, disabled, and working families with children. Some of these programs have waiting lists, but it could be worth the wait. To apply for these federal programs, contact your state housing authority listed in the blue pages of your phone book, your local housing authority, or a community services agency. If you have trouble getting the help you need, you can contact Information Center, Office of Community Planning and Development, P.O. Box 7189, Gaithersburg, MD 20898; 800-998-9999, Fax: 301-519-5027; {www.comcon.org}.

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