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Frequently Asked Questions


How do I find out what the average median income is for my area?

The average median income (AMI) is determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. View AMI limits per county.

I’ve only received verbal threats that I will be evicted. How can I provide proof that I am at-risk of housing instability to qualify for assistance?

There are multiple way to demonstrate a risk of homelessness or housing instability, including:

  • The calculate household income is less than 30 percent of the median family income for the area (note: during the coronavirus public health emergency, the median family income limit has been raised to 50 percent);
  • The individual or family does not have sufficient resources or support networks, e.g., family, friends, faith-based or other social networks, immediately available to prevent them from moving to an emergency shelter;
  • The individual or family meets one of the following conditions: 
    • Has moved because of economic reasons two or more times during the 60 days immediately preceding the application for homelessness prevention assistance; 
    • Is living in the home of another because of economic hardship;
    • Has been notified in writing that their right to occupy their current housing or living situation will be terminated within 21 days after the date of application for assistance;
    • Lives in a hotel or motel and the cost of the hotel or motel stay is not paid by charitable organizations or by Federal, State, or local government programs for low-income individuals;
    • Lives in a single-room occupancy or efficiency apartment unit in which there reside more than two persons or lives in a larger housing unit in which there reside more than 1.5 persons reside per room, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau;
    • Is exiting a publicly funded institution, or system of care (such as a health-care facility, a mental health facility, foster care or other youth facility, or correction program or institution); or
    • Otherwise lives in housing that has characteristics associated with instability and an increased risk of homelessness.

What help is available to me if I am homeless?

Individuals and families experiencing homelessness can receive help in several ways. The services listed below can be accessed through your local Continuum of Care (CoC), an organization that can help connect you to resources in your local area. Find your local CoC here.

Emergency shelters provide shelter, essential social services, and prevent homelessness among individuals and families who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.

Rapid rehousing connects families and individuals experiencing homelessness to permanent housing through a tailored package of assistance that may include the use of time-limited financial assistance and targeted support services, like case management.

Case management services are also available to help individuals and families return to housing stability by developing a customized plan for the right mix of services that meet your specific needs.

I’m a landlord interested in helping house individuals and families experiencing housing instability due to COVID-19. How can I help?

Incentives are available to landlords to obtain housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness and at-risk of homelessness. Eligible landlord incentive costs include:

  • Signing bonuses equal up to two months of rent;
  • Security deposits equal up to three months of rent;
  • Paying the cost to repair damages incurred by a homelessness program participant not covered by the security deposit or that are incurred while the program participant is still residing in the unit; and
  • Paying the costs of extra cleaning or maintenance of a program participant’s unit or appliances.

Please note, incentive amounts will not exceed three times the rent charged for the unit.

I’ve received requests for rent collection from my landlord and/or debt collectors. What should I do?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers help for individuals and families experiencing trouble making rent payments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about what you can do to avoid eviction, access resources, and develop a plan to catch up on rent.