Being a single parent can be tough. This rings true for single fathers out there, as parenting tasks can be challenging. Single fathers represent a sizable majority of single parents in the United States. According to recent data, there are 2.6 million single fathers in America. This growing number of population is largely understudied, and many in the social help community are not aware of the issues and challenges they struggle with. 
One of these challenges is access to affordable housing. Many single fathers in our society, whether divorced or widowed, face housing issues. As breadwinners and custodians of their children, many single fathers suffer financial burden, especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many have lost their jobs, and have to rely on government assistance to get by.
Fortunately, the government works with different agencies and non-profits to offer programs that help single fathers in need. Apart from free government money in the form of hardship grants, housing assistance for single fathers is also available through different agencies and non-profit organizations. The government ensures that no single parent is deprived of the resources necessary to provide a brighter future for their child, not to mention, a place to live.
In this article, we list down the different types of housing assistance for single fathers that are offered through various government departments and agencies. We also added a few resources below that offer grants to single fathers who are seeking financial aid.
Emergency Housing For Single Fathers
You need emergency housing if you don't have a roof over your head and are a single father. Various shelter houses step in to help in such situations by allowing you to reside there temporarily until you can afford to buy or rent a home. Housing assistance for single dads is available through various schemes and programs. The following is a list of some of those programs:
HUD Rental Assistance
Housing assistance for single dads is available from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Single fathers in need of housing can apply for programs and schemes that assist them in finding a home. The HUD Rental Assistance program helps applicants pay their rent on time to avoid being evicted from their homes. The program pays the landlord directly on behalf of the grant applicants so that they do not have to get anxious about paying the rent every month.
- A single person or a family units, which also include those living with elderly or disabled individuals
- Households whose income is below 80% (low-income), 50% (very low income), and 30% (extremely low income) the median income of their local area
- U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens (e.g. persons with Green Cards), as well as mixed families with both citizens, eligible non-citizens, and ineligible members
How to Apply:
To apply, contact a public housing agency (PHA) in your state. You may also contact an HUD-approved housing counseling agency in your locality. They will help you fill out a written application form, as well as other arrangements. If you need any advice, you can call the toll-free number (800) 569-4287.
Section 8 Voucher
A Section 8 housing choice voucher is a government-run program that helps provide housing assistance for single dads. It assists low-income fathers in paying their rent in their current residence. Moreover, it requires the applicant to find a secure and healthy home, and the landlord must agree to be paid under the Section 8 voucher program. The applicant is free to live anywhere in the neighborhood. Plus, he is not required to choose a home from one of the government's housing developments.
- Applicant’s income should not exceed 50% of the median income for the county or metropolitan area where he chooses to reside
- Has to be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (Green Card holders)
- Must provide the number of people in his household
- Has previously received assistance or met other criterias set by the HUD
How to Apply:
The public housing agency will gather information from you regarding your family income, assets and family composition upon your application. The PHA will verify this information with various agencies, your place of work, and financial parties to establish whether you qualify for the program and how much housing assistance you will receive. Once you’re eligible, you will be placed on a waiting list, unless the PHA can assist you immediately. When it’s your turn on the list, the PHA will contact you and hand you your housing voucher.
Continuum of Care (CoC) Program
The Continuum of Care (CoC) Program aims to foster a community-wide commitment to ending homelessness. It provides government and nonprofit organizations funding to quickly rehouse the homeless while minimizing the trauma and dislocation that homeless people and families experience.
The CoC grants cash for housing support for single fathers and builds a house for those evicted from their homes. It provides them with leased and transitional housing, as well as permanent housing. Their ultimate goal is to save people from the traumatic experience of rehabilitation and migration.
- Individuals and families experiencing homelessness or at risk of losing their homes
- Eligible applicants must be designated by the CoC program to submit an application to the HUD to apply for funds
How to Apply:
Funds are disbursed through non-profit organizations, state and local governments, agencies and organizations operating under local governments, and public housing agencies. Once you’ve been determined eligible by the HUD, you can submit an application through them. You may also get in touch with your local public housing agency for assistance.
Government Subsidized Housing
The government gives shelter to low-income single parents through this program. The Subsidized Housing program helps low-income single fathers find a safe, livable home for themselves and their children. The program pays the applicant's rent in full or in part straight to the renter. If you apply for this program, you will be given a list of properties whose owners collaborate with the HUD, and you will be required to choose one from the list based on your income and family size.
If they rent their houses to the needy, the landlords who own a residence in these privately owned buildings receive a portion of the rent directly. The owner gets his rent money, while the tenant gets subsidized housing.
Specific requirements may vary by county, but the HUD has established a general set f requirements for subsidized housing. Ask your local HUD for region-specific eligibility guidelines.
- Individuals and families making 50-80% of the average annual income of the county
- Must be U.S. citizens or hold eligible immigration status
- Other requirements and limitations are subject to the HUD’s approval
How to Apply:
The first step is to find a neighborhood where you want to live in, and apply at the subsidized developments in those areas. Get in touch or visit the management office of the property that interests you.
You can obtain a list of subsidized housing developments by contacting the HUD at their toll free number at (800) 955-2232. Visit the HUD’s Subsidized Apartment Search to select a property here: https://apps.hud.gov/apps/section8/index.cfm
You will have to accomplish a written application form with each housing development separately. Prepare necessary documentation, such as birth certificates, social security cards, and proof of income documents for your application.
Public housing aims to provide quality and safe rental homes for low-income families, the elderly, and those with disabilities who qualify. It also provides housing assistance for single dads. The term "public housing" refers to groups of houses erected by the government to assist the homeless and poor. Approximately 1.2 million low-income residents have benefited from this initiative to date.
- Applicant must have an income that is less than 80% of the median annual gross income of the local area where he plans to live in
- Must hold U.S. citizenship or eligible immigration status
- Another determining factor is family size
How to Apply:
Either you or the HA representative will fill out your written application form. The HA will collect some documentation like birth certificates and tax returns, as well as information regarding the members of your households, present address and phone number, family characteristics and circumstances, anticipated income and sources of income, employer names and addresses, and more.
Once you’re found eligible, you will be put on a waiting list, and once your turn is up, the HA will contact you. If found ineligible, the HA will provide you a reason, and you may request an informal hearing to take place.
Government Assistance for Single Fathers
Besides housing assistance programs, single fathers can get financial assistance from the following programs to support themselves and their children.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
States and territories receive grant funds through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to deliver financial support to low-income families and single parents. Childcare help, career preparation, and employment support are examples of state-managed programs.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the federal government’s largest food assistance program. SNAP distributes benefits to low-income people, single parents, and families through an Electronic Benefits Transfer card. This card can be used in authorized retail food stores like a debit card to purchase qualified food.
Headstart can be your savior if your child is extremely small and you cannot care for them all the time. It helps children in their early years of life with child care. Infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children from low-income families benefit from Headstart programs, which help them get ready for school. Centers, family child care, and children’s homes are all services delivered. Headstart programs also encourage strong relationships between parents and other key family members, focusing on family well-being.
It becomes more difficult to balance school and home if you are a single father and a student. The government provides Pell Grants to help students pay for their higher education. Single fathers can receive up to $6,095 in grant money from this program.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Multiple alternatives are at one's disposal, comprising public housing, the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8), the Homeownership Voucher Program, transitional housing programs, and nonprofit organizations that provide housing assistance for single fathers and support services.
Depending on the program and the area, certain criteria must be met in order to qualify, but in general, you must have a low income and satisfy certain conditions, such as being a US citizen or legal resident. To learn more about eligibility, get in touch with your neighborhood nonprofit or housing authority.
Typically, you must take out an application and submit supporting proof of your income and other qualifying requirements in order to be considered for housing aid. To learn more about the application procedure, get in touch with your neighborhood nonprofit or housing authority.
Some organizations that provide housing aid additionally offer help services including job training, education, and counseling. To learn more about the services offered nearby, get in touch with your neighborhood nonprofit or housing authority.
Yes, in many cases, single fathers with children may be given priority for housing assistance programs. Contact your local housing authority or nonprofit organization for more information on eligibility and priority status.
Finding The Right Single Father Assistance Program
Housing support is available from the government for single fathers. These programs assist them in regaining their footing in a short period. Support programs and grants to single fathers have proven to be a huge help for those trying to raise their children while facing financial difficulties.
Are you interested in learning more about the various grants and foundations that can help you with your financial needs? Check out the rest of Gov Relations’ resources today!