In Arizona, you have a few places to go for housing assistance as a single mother with no income. The housing authority provides housing units and financial assistance with rent and security deposit. Arizona is also the home to UMOM, a large shelter facility that specializes in families and integrating them back into society.
Housing Choice Voucher Program
Without an income, you are eligible to apply for the Housing Choice Voucher program since being low-income is a requirement. The voucher program is administered by the local housing authority. For example, if you live in Mesa, you would submit your application to the City of Mesa Housing Authority. Under the voucher program, you choose your housing location rather than the housing authority making the decision for you. This means you can select an apartment, townhouse or free-standing home, so long as it is within the housing authority's service area. The voucher is then applied to your rent. The amount of your voucher will be determined by the housing authority after taking your income, or lack of it, assets and family size into account.
Security Deposit Assistance
If you have secured housing, but are struggling to come up with the security deposit, the housing authority also provides money for this. These payments often come from the Tenant Based Rental Assistance Program, however housing authorities are free to use money from this program in a way that best works for the population it serves. For example, Mesa Housing Authority uses TBRA funds to help low-income applicants with their security deposits. Generally, your income must be 50 percent or below the median income for a family of the same size in the area to qualify. Since you lack an income, you will likely meet this requirement. The housing authority will request such information as your lease agreement with proof of the security deposit amount, documentation of any alimony or child support you receive, and bank statements.
Another option is applying for public housing. These are government-subsidized housing units, also administered by the local housing authority. Some housing authorities accept applications online, which means you can apply for housing at locations that are a distance away and increase your chances of finding placement. For example, the Phoenix Housing Department posts its vacancies online. You can then select the apartment that interests you and immediately submit an application. You can also request an application by mail from housing authorities that don't provide online applications or complete the application in person. The information required is typically the same, proof of identity, citizenship status, income and assets, and family make-up.
UMOM New Day Center
The UMOM Day Center is the largest homeless shelter in the state that caters to families. It is located in Phoenix and provides emergency living quarters. However, it doesn't stop there. UMOM works to transition families into safe and permanent housing that is affordable. It also provides child care services, education assistance, skills training, and medical care. For more information, call UMOM at (602) 275-7852. You can also send them a message online.
- City of Mesa Housing Authority: General Section 8 Information
- Housing Choice City of Mesa Housing Authority: Voucher Eligibility Requirements and Applications
- City of Mesa Housing Authority: Tenant Based Rental Assistance Program
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development:
- Phoenix Housing Department: Housing Application
- UMOM: About UMOM
- UMOM: Permanent Housing
Based on the West Coast, Mary Jane Freeman has been writing professionally since 1994, specializing in the topics of business and law. Freeman's work has appeared in a variety of publications, including LegalZoom, Essence, Reuters and Chicago Sun-Times. Freeman holds a Master of Science in public policy and management and Juris Doctor. Freeman is self-employed and works as a policy analyst and legal consultant.