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Rental Housing Programs (Solo en Inglés)

You will also find information on this web site about different types of housing programs funded by the government. Below are some descriptions that may help you to understand your housing options.
Bridging Rental Assistance Programs (BRAP)
Bridging Rental Assistance Program (BRAP) is a transitional housing voucher program designed to assist persons with mental illness for up to 24 months or until they are awarded a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher, or alternative housing placement. Program participants pay 51% of their income for rent.
Fixed Below-Market Rate Rental Housing
A general term used to refer to housing where rents are lower than market rate (what people would normally pay for renting the unit), but where the rent is not based on a percentage of the tenant's income. Rent is generally based on a specified percentage of the median income for the area, and a tenant may have to be within a certain income range to live there.
Group homes
Are small, residential facilities located within a community and designed to serve children or adults with chronic disabilities. These homes usually have six or fewer occupants and are staffed 24 hours a day by trained caregivers.
Income-Based Rental Housing
A general term used to refer to housing where the tenant pays rent based on his income. Generally, the lower the income, the lower the rent. A common example is that a tenant may be asked to pay 30% of his income for rent. May also be called Sliding Scale.
Public Housing
Housing owned by a local public housing agency. Tenants generally pay 30% of their income toward rent, and qualify based on family income (less than or equal to 80% of the median household income for the area) and other factors.
Section 8 Project Based Subsidy
Privately owned (either for-profit or non-profit) rental housing that is made available to people with low incomes. A contract between HUD (U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development) and the property owner governs the administration of the subsidies. Subsidies are paid directly to the owner of the property, who then rents units to tenants who generally pay 30% of their income toward rent. Some units are available specifically for those 62 and older, those who are chronically mentally ill, people with AIDS, families, and those with mobility-impairments.
Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher
Also known as the Housing Choice Voucher. Tenants receive a voucher and find a private landlord willing to lease to them and accept the voucher. Tenants generally pay 30% of their income toward rent and HUD (U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development) pays the rest. Eligible housing must be inspected and approved by the agency to meet federal Housing Quality Standards (HQS).
Shelter Plus Care
Provides rental subsidies to individuals who are involved with a participating agency and their families. Eligible applicants must be aged 18 or older, low-income, homeless, AND have specific disabilities. Participants pay approximately 30% of their income toward rent and utilities, and the program pays the remainder of the rent. Eligible housing must be inspected and approved by the agency to meet federal Housing Quality Standards (HQS).
Single Room Occupancy (SRO)
A multi-room facility that offers single rooms for rent, typically with shared kitchen facilities. The Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Program provides rental assistance for applicable properties that will, when the renovations are complete, contain upgraded single occupancy units for individuals who are homeless. As a result, it is designed to move people into the permanent housing phase within the Continuum of Care.
Stability Through Engagement Program (STEP)
Stability Through Engagement Program (STEP) is designed to provide short term rental assistance to help individuals and families achieve housing stability. The focus is on rapidly re-housing people who are homeless and referred by a shelter in one of the six counties where the program is offered: Androscoggin, Cumberland, Kennebec, Knox, Penobscot and York Counties.
Subsidized Housing
Also known as Government Subsidized Housing, this is the general term used to refer to any housing that is paid for in part by the local, state or federal government. Subsidized housing allows the tenant to pay rent that is less than market rate -- often based on a percentage of the tenant's income.
Tax Credit Properties
Buildings where the landlord received a tax break to develop the property and, in return, must offer a certain number of units at below market rents.
Transitional Housing
Although not listed on this web site (because it is not considered permanent housing), these programs offer a temporary place to stay for people who are trying to live on their own, but who do not currently have the financial resources or the ability to do so. These programs usually provide supportive services to help people become better prepared for independent living. Some programs require that people be transitioning from an emergency shelter. Transitional housing is generally provided with a higher degree of privacy than short-term homeless shelters; may be provided at no cost or low-cost to the resident, and may be configured for specialized groups such as people being released from prison, people with substance abuse issues, people who are mentally ill, veterans, people with AIDS/HIV, domestic violence victims, people with disabilities and other groups. Information on shelters can be obtained by calling 211.
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