Housing Assistance in California

It is constantly a challenge for single mothers to locate safe and affordable housing. Several housing assistance programs can offer help in your time of need. The programs offered by different organizations in the State of California are discussed in detail below.

Emergency Housing Assistance

Emergency housing assistance for a limited period of up to 24 months is accessible from The Salvation Army, particularly for lower-income single moms who do not receive child support. The housing is safe, stable as well as a clean environment that provides services that include hot meals and case management to encourage self-sufficiency. Women and families in the program create service plans and consult with a social worker to get rid of the barriers that inhibit them from developing independence. https://westernusa.salvationarmy.org/usw_thq/location_search?location=California+&cat=7

Rent Assistance

The Catholic Charities have homeless prevention programs that offer financial assistance directed at rental assistance in an emergency to pay rent when are faced with imminent eviction. The fund can also be paid for security deposits. This enables at-risk families to regain stability in their current housing. https://catholiccharitiesla.org/transform-homelessness/

Utility Bill (Heating, Water, Electricity) Assistance

The California Public Utilities Commission operates a state program known as the California LifeLine. The program offers reduced cell phone and home phone services to qualified households. The California LifeLine discounts assist consumers to lower the cost of their phone bills. Only one discount per household is permitted. https://www.californialifeline.com/en/login

The Love Inc. organization provides one-time financial help with rent and utility bills to ensure that families in need don’t have their heat and power shut off and can stay in their homes. To get access to the assistance available, place a call to the ministry. They will screen, verify, and validate the need then the family will then matched with resources from their church network closest to you. https://www.loveincsb.org/programs

The United Way organization offers utility assistance through the Gas Association Fund (GAF) program, to customers faced with financial hardship. Particularly when having a challenge in paying the SoCalGas or Edison bill. This is an annual program that operates from February to May. The GAF has since extended the funding to run through to December (or until funding is depleted). This program offers a one-time grant that will amount to your gas bill. https://www.unitedwayla.org/en/utility-assistance/

The Pacific Gas and Electric Company runs a program that helps as a one-time energy bill assistance program that is administered across 160 Salvation Army locations all over northern and central California. The program is known as REACH. It is specifically intended for people that are experiencing short-term or unexpected hardship. https://www.pge.com/en_US/residential/save-energy-money/help-paying-your-bill/one-time-assistance/reach/reach.page

Eviction Prevention and Legal Assistance

Fannie Mae Los Angeles Help Center runs a Homeless Prevention program that can be used before someone loses their home or is evicted from their apartment. They work with clients to provide a solution to a housing crisis by offering rent or foreclosure assistance. The homeowners can receive help in reducing the risk and potentially avoiding the financially-devastating option of foreclosure. https://www.fanniemae.com/newsroom/fannie-mae-news/news-release-fannie-mae-mortgage-help-center-opens-los-angeles

Bay Legal operates a program known as Bay Area Legal Aid that offers beneficiaries access to the civil justice system by providing quality legal assistance regardless of the client’s location, language, or disability. https://baylegal.org/

The Greater Bakersfield Legal Association strives to offer legal assistance to those in need and had therefore formed a partnership with the Kern County Superior Court, and the Landlord-Tenant Assistance Center to cater for a variety of services to assist in resolving landlord-tenant disputes. https://gbla.org/#page-6

Charities and Churches Housing Assistance

The Salvation Army has locations in all states where families with children, can get help with their rent, and utilities. Find a Salvation Army for an assistance program near you. https://westernusa.salvationarmy.org/usw_thq/location_search?location=California+&cat=11

At St. Vincent de Paul, there is an intake line or Clearinghouse, in which individuals are required to apply for assistance. The help that St Vincent de Paul offers is particularly for individuals or families that have run out of options after exploring all the other resources that are provided in the region. They offer family and individual resources to cater for an emergency, temporary, and transitional housing and support. https://www.vinnies.org/need-help/housing-help/

Volunteers of America is an organization that works to provide numerous programs catering to women including single mothers. Their programs assist women to confront the negative societal messages about their potential and offer tools to assist them to become empowered and thrive while living in a safe and drug-free environment. https://voala.org/services/girls-women/

The Powerhouse Ministries is an organization that operates a shelter with 20 beds. The shelter caters to men, women, and children. They offer other services that include parenting classes, support to low-income or homeless families, and families of prisoners. The Community Care Center aims to assist when an individual or family requires an urgent resource such as utility assistance, legal assistance, shelter, and also other resources such as food and clothing, struggling with emotional well-being are available to the public. https://phmfolsom.org/what-we-do/

Homeless Shelter Help – Prevention Homelessness (Transitional Housing)

Lutheran Social Ministry runs Coordinated Assessment Referral and Engagement (CARE) centers. The centers are designed to offer numerous services, including assistance in housing search as well as referrals and screening for housing and utility assistance. https://www.lssnorcal.org/get-involved/education-resources/homeless-resources.html

Red Cross offers assistance to individuals or families affected by disasters and empowers individuals in the community by providing temporary shelter.  https://www.redcross.org/local/california/northern-california-coastal/get-help.html

Homeowner/Buyer Grants and Assistance

The Jewish Free Loan Association provides emergency loans to avoid homelessness. These loans can be used for security deposits, Section 8 housing, moving expenses, basic furniture, and more requirements for the home. https://www.jfla.org/emergency-loans/housing-emergency-or-general-loans/

The California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) provides first-time home buyers a grant under the program known as MyHome. They provide a deferred-payment for a junior loan serve as the down payment or closing costs.

The property requirements are:

  1. It should be a one-unit residence, single-family unit
  2. Manufactured housing is accepted by the program

The following documentation is required when inquiring about the program:

  1. Pay stubs
  2. Employment history
  3. Bank statements
  4. Previous tax returns


Home Improvement Grants

The Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA) runs a program that provides home improvement grants to low-income homeowners in Los Angeles. The development program is known as Single-Family Home Improvement Program (SFHIP). This program was initiated to assist low-income earning homeowners of single-family units. The home improvement program repairs include roofing, electrical, exterior painting, plumbing, and heating just to name a few. To qualify, the property is required to be in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. https://www.lacda.org/home-improvements

There are plenty of organizations that offer essential Housing Assistance but they are not all covered by this article. The link below provides more resources available throughout the State of California, including Housing Assistance.