For Native Americans with low income, rent can be one of the most burdening payments to make each month. As such a large portion of a monthly income, small inconveniences, unforeseen events, and global emergencies like the one we are facing today can unfortunately lead people into the fearful cycle of homelessness.
Fortunately, there are a multitude of government organizations, non-profits, and private companies that provide resources and opportunities for Native Americans. A number of these organizations and programs provide financial aid for Native Americans and other citizens struggling to pay rent. Here are just a few of these opportunities:
Grants: Many private and public organizations offer grants for Native Americans and other individuals in need. These can include the Tylenol Future Care Grant, Chevron Grant, Amber Grant, and Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund. Grants such as these range from $500 to $10,000 or more, so it’s extremely important to research grants that could be available to you.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): This federal program offers a cash grant intended for paying rent and living expenses. Qualification requirements include low income and citizenship or legal immigrant status. See the TANF administor in your area or your local Tribal Office to apply for TANF.
Tribal HUD-VASH: This government program, Tribal Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing, provides support for Native Americans who have served in the military and face risk of homelessness. It targets Native Americans living on or near reservations. Contact your local Tribal Office for more information about Tribal HUD-VASH.
Housing and Urban Development (HUD): This federal program supports citizens at risk of homelessness by helping them find affordable housing options. They offer a variety of services, such as helping homeowners avoid foreclosure, helping renters pay rent, and aiding in necessary home repairs. Qualification requirements include a low income and citizen or legal immigrant status. Speak with a HUD counselor in your state for more information on how to apply for HUD.
Nonprofit Organizations: A plethora of nonprofit organizations are founded to support Native Americans and those in need. They can help individuals pay bills and rent and provide other opportunities and resources. Two major nonprofits to contact are Salvation Army and Catholic Charities.
NeighborWorks America: This program helps citizens find affordable housing options; they manage over 100,000 rental homes and properties in the United States. Additionally, they provide a network of organizations that can aid in the housing process, including rent assistance.
State Programs: There are a multitude of programs funded by individual states across the nation. It is important to contact the housing authority in your state to learn more about programs in your area. Some large urban cities even have their own programs as well, such as the Chicago Housing Authority.
Water department assistance programs: Some water departments offer resources for water bill assistance such as bill discounts, flexible payment terms, subsidized rates, or temporary assistance. Water efficiency programs may also be available to help reduce your water usage. Contact your local water department to learn about programs they offer.
Property Management Companies: Many property management organizations, such as Utopia Management, offer resources or programs to help renters that are struggling. Do some research to find out if your property management company has any opportunities available.
There is an endless amount of financial assistance opportunities out there, so it’s vital to continue researching opportunities that might fit your needs. Visit websites like grantsfornativeamericans.org on a regular basis, and always apply as early as possible to these programs to ensure you have the best chance of receiving aid.