According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, more than 470,000 New Jersey children lived in single-mother homes in 2009. Single mothers in New Jersey can obtain housing assistance through state and federal programs. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that more than 156,000 low-income New Jersey families receive rental assistance through federal programs, which can include public housing and rent subsidies. Government housing programs do not extend eligibility exclusively to single-mother households, and applicants must meet income guidelines.
State Homelessness Prevention Program
The State Homelessness Prevention Program, administered by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, offers financial assistance for low- to moderate-income households to help prevent foreclosure or eviction. The program only offers limited financial support for families facing temporary financial hardship. Recipients can receive help through grants or loans and the DCA pays funds directly to mortgage servicers or landlords on behalf of participants.
Housing Choice Voucher Program
The DCA administers the Housing Choice Voucher Program in New Jersey. Also known as the Section 8 Program, the HCVP provides a rent subsidy, which recipients can use to rent homes, apartments or townhouses on the private rental market. New Jersey housing agencies across the state determine applicant eligibility and administer subsidies. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds the voucher program; all rental housing must meet guidelines established by the local housing agency. Participants must pay a portion of the monthly rent, often about 30 percent, and must meet income limits to qualify.
State Rental Assistance Program
The State Rental Assistance Program, administered by the DCA, provides rent subsidies for low-income New Jersey residents who do not receive assistance through the HCVP. The program offers assistance for households with incomes up to 40 percent of the median income, based in region and family size. Participants can receive the subsidy for a maximum of five years. Participants who start receiving HCVP subsidies must relinquish assistance provided by the State Rental Assistance Program.
New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency
The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency offers housing assistance for homeowners, home buyers and renters. The HMFA's Mortgage Assistance Pilot program provides financial assistance for homeowners faced with foreclosure due to temporary financial hardship. The MAP makes no-interest loans to cover mortgage payments for up to six months, not to exceed $20,000. The HMFA's Refinance Rehabilitation Program provides refinancing loans, with fixed-rate mortgages of up to 30 years, for homeowners who need to rehabilitate a house. The HMFA also provides on its website lists of affordable housing developments for senior citizens and families.
Public Housing Program
New Jersey public housing agencies administer the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Public Housing Program throughout the Garden State. The PHP offers affordable housing for low-income households in various styles, which can include high-rise developments or single-family homes. PHP participants must meet income guidelines to qualify and typically pay no more than 30 percent of their income for monthly rent. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the state of New Jersey offers more than 39,000 public housing units.
- New Jersey Department of Community Affairs: Homelessness Prevention
- New Jersey Department of Community Affairs: Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher
- New Jersey Department of Community Affairs: State Rental Assistance Program
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Housing Choice Vouchers Fact Sheet
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: HUD's Public Housing Program
- New Jersey Department of Community Affairs: Public Housing Authorities and Rental Assistance Agencies
- Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images