A single woman supporting herself or her family bears the entire burden of maintaining a home financially. Women needing help with housing and housing related expenses can turn to federal and private organizations for assistance. Your income and the number of dependents you have will affect your eligibility for most federal programs. Cash, reduced housing, emergency shelter and help paying housing expenses is available.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development features several programs to help single women obtain affordable housing. Section 8 Vouchers through the Housing Choice Program allow you to select a home outside of public housing. Eligibility is based on income. Child support payments received are included in your income total. You local public housing authority is in charge of distributing the vouchers. You are required to pay 30 percent of your income toward housing. The voucher is used to pay the rest. In most states, you must have children to receive a voucher. If you are a single woman without children, consider renting a subsidized apartment. Similar to a voucher, rent is based on your income with HUD paying the remaining balance. You can find a list of subsidized apartments in your area by visiting the HUD website. Applications are accepted directly at the apartment complex.
Community Action Agencies
A community action agency is a private, non-profit organization that is in charge of administering certain assistance programs in your area. CAAs receive grants from the government and charities to fund programs that help people in need. If you are a low-income single woman, you can qualify for help with utilities through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Programs and services offered at each agency vary, depending on your location. The Little Dixie, Oklahoma, CAA utilizes HUD grants to build homes for families in need. The Ottawa County CAA in Michigan features a variety of programs, including a home rehabilitation program, weatherization assistance and emergency food assistance as well as several different counseling programs to address any issues you may have regarding your taxes, vehicle requirements or home ownership.
Department of Human Services
Cash assistance is available through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. TANF is a federal program. However, your state sets certain eligibility guidelines and participation requirements. The amount of cash you can receive varies, depending on your location and the number of children living with you. In New York, TANF payments include energy assistance and housing grants. Unless you are disabled, you must complete 30 hours of work or a work activity approved by your assigned caseworker. If you have a child under age 6, the work requirement is reduced to 20 hours. In addition to receiving monthly grants, the TANF program helps with daycare and transportation needs. The New York Safety Net program is designed to assist single adults without children. If approved, you can receive up to two years of cash assistance. The funds can be used to cover for household needs or expenses at your discretion.
Women's Resource Centers
Women's resource centers can help single women become self-sufficient. Centers provide information about local programs, including federal assistance programs. Some centers supply shelter to women and children who are victims of domestic violence. In Texas, the Women's Fund of El Paso allows women to access a variety of organizations devoted to providing a safe environment for women and children. Some offer additional education and career programs. Counseling and crisis intervention services are also provided.
- Little Dixie Community Action Agency: Self Help Housing
- Women's Fund of El Paso: Resources for Women
- New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance: Temporary Assistance
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Housing Choice Vouchers Fact Sheet
- Ottawa County Community Action Agency: Housing Programs