How To Get Low-Income Housing Fast

Low-income housing assists individuals and families that do not have a home. Homelessness is a rising issue, and it is often that those that need help immediately don’t get help fast enough or at all.

Keep reading to learn how you can get housing fast when you are struggling.

What Programs Are Available To Help Find A Home?

There are two different programs you can look to when you need housing.

First is the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); this program provides safe and quality housing for low-income, elderly, and those with a disability.

Second, Continuum of Care (CoC) is a program that provides funding to quickly house those that are homeless or in transition because of a disaster.

When you think of housing, we often refer to Section 8, now named Housing Choice Voucher, but this is only a fraction of what is available.

HUD Programs

  • Housing Choice Voucher – You can find a home of your choice from a private landlord at a subsidized rate.
  • Public Housing – Government-owned apartments and homes at a subsidized rate.

CoC Programs – Run through non-profit organizations but are funded by HUD

  • Rapid Rehousing – Like the Housing Choice Voucher, but they have homes readily available to you faster than Section 8 (HUD).
  • Permanent Supportive Housing Once you’re approved, it is permanently available to you and completely paid for you. This program is available for more complex situations like those with drug addictions or mental illnesses.

Which Housing Program Can Help Me Fast?

Rapid Re-Housing:
Of the programs between both HUD and CoC, getting help from a Rapid Re-Housing Program should benefit you faster than going through traditional Section 8 HCV or Public Housing.

Rapid Re-Housing is a housing intervention strategy that connects homeless families and individuals to permanent homes through a customized package of resources, including short-term financial aid and other services suited to the applicants needs.
The purpose of the program is to shorten the period of time a person is homeless and to assist them in achieving long-term housing stability.

Rapid Re-Housing is a low-cost approach to ending homelessness that focuses on removing the housing issues that caused homelessness in the first place.
The method is based on the assumption that most homeless families can return home and remain housed without long-term supportive services.

Short-term support has shown enormous potential in relieving many families’ acute homelessness crises and preventing future homelessness.

Of the programs between both HUD and CoC, getting help from a Rapid Re-housing Program aims to benefit you faster than going through traditional Section 8 HCV or Public Housing.

HUD exchange states that after you apply and are approved for Rapid Re-Housing, the program hopes to get you in a home as soon as possible, HUD states within 30-60 days, while Section 8 HCV’s could possibly years due to long waiting lists.

Please be aware that not all areas have the same resources and housing available. We have communicated with many areas that are behind the 30 day mark in placing people in homes.

However we are confident if you qualify and are approved for a type of Rapid Re-Housing that it typically is a much faster solution to housing assistance than many other subsidized rental assistance program like Section 8 HCV’s and Pubic Housing.

Please note that your area may refer to their homelessness and emergency housing in other terms. Please contact the COC in your area and ask for information about rapid rehousing or resources for emergency housing. Steps and links to on how to contact your COC and PHA are at the bottom of the page.

Rapid Rehousing Programs are usually a faster option for emergency housing because it is easier to meet requirements. This program is readily available for those that are homeless or nearly homeless. Homelessness, by definition, is when you don’t have a home.

Meaning, you don’t have title to a home, or your name isn’t on a lease.  You can be considered Homelessness even if you’re temporarily staying in an extra room of family or a friend’s home.

HUD’s definition of Homelessness is:  “A homeless individual or family that lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.

There is no where to apply for directly for Rapid Re-Housing online. To our understanding, you will need to ask your local Public Housing Agency (PHA) office about their CoC sponsored programs for homelessness and rapid rehousing.

For a list a Public Housing Authorities in your area go here and follow the instructions in the article. Or go to HUD’s PHA database here.

Enter your state and then contact the PHA nearest to where you will live. Ideally you should seek housing assistance where you have work, family or living history connecting you to the area. PHA offices will verify information on your application. Most PHA offices will have an online applications to the housing services they provide.

How Can The CoC Help Beyond Housing?

With any assistance program, they want to see an improvement in your situation. Additionally, due to funding, the program can’t help forever.

The CoC’s ultimate goal is for you to be independent. But they will give you all of the assistance you need to get there. Here are a few alternative methods that the CoC Rapid Rehousing program will use to help you regain independence.

  • Wean you off of their housing assistance. As you start becoming more financially stable, they will wean you off their assistance to keep you from becoming dependant. However, if you’re unable to be independent, then their program, Permanent Supportive Housing, is a better option for you.
  • Get you in touch with affordable and necessary medical or mental health assistance. While they can’t directly help you, they can assist you in applying for assistance through other programs.
  • Transportation Assistance. Get you to and from appointments or place of employment.
  • Utility Assistance. Help pay all or some of utilities such as water and electricity. Help pay for all or some of your deposit on utilities.
  • Child Care. For families with small children, you can rest assured that your children are in a safe environment while you are working for free or at an affordable rate.


If you find yourself facing homelessness, there are housing assistance programs that can get you into a home within 30-60 days,  typically much faster than Section 8 (HCV) or Public Housing. Below are some options that might help:

  1. You will need to ask your PHA about their CoC sponsored programs for homelessness and rapid rehousing. There is no where to apply directly for Rapid Re-Housing (as far as we know). You need to speak to your local Public Housing Agency or authorities about your situation to qualify.
  2. For a list a Public Housing Authorities in your area go here and select your state. You can then find the nearest office to your location.
  3.  Be sure to contact your PHA about: Public Housing,
    Supportive Housing, low income, Elderly, and Special Needs Housing
    • Ask about all Housing resources!
  4. Visit this article and follow the instructions to locate all housing resources in your area online!


  1. I’m about to be without a home due to falling behind on the $900 rent here. I have a 4 year old and get no child support. I have nowhere to go and matter of weeks to figure this out. Where I’m from they only open the section 8/hud waitlist to get your name on it once every year or two so none of that is possible here. I’m at a loss what to do but I’m losing everything I’ve worked so hard for. Don’t want to lose my son too because of all this and having no home.

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