- National Homebuyers Fund
- Bridge of Hope Housing Assistance
- Good Neighbors Next Door
- Bank of America’s Community Homeownership Commitment
- Housing Choice Voucher Program
- Community Seconds
- The Chenoa Fund
- Community Development Block Grants
- Habitat for Humanity
- Operation Hope
- Shelter Care Plus Program
- Local Housing Authority Grants
The best housing grant for single mothers is available through the National Homebuyers Fund. This non-profit organization provides grants and down-payment assistance to single mothers and low-income homebuyers. They provide closing cost and/or down payment assistance to qualified single mothers and offer access to funding up to 5% of the mortgage amount.
Borrowers must have at least a 640-credit score, a debt-to-income ratio of 45% or less, and obtain a conventional, FHA, VA, or USDA loan. However, you don’t need to be a first-time homebuyer. Additional qualifications vary depending on the state, but the National Homebuyers Fund can be an excellent way for single mothers to overcome some financial barriers to buying a home.
Another one of the best housing grants for single mothers is from Bridge of Hope, a humanitarian outreach program affiliated with the Christian Church. Bridge of Hope Housing Assistance grants are designed to reduce homelessness and assist low-income single parents and families with housing assistance. They have a 12 to 24-month program that helps single mothers secure housing through counseling, assistance with applications, and financial aid for security deposits, rent, and utilities. The program is available nationwide and typically run by a local church or ministry. Exact requirements will vary depending on the administrators, but it’s mainly geared toward single mothers with one child or more who are clean from drugs but facing homelessness.
The Good Neighbors Next Door Program is an initiative offered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development that helps reduce the cost of purchasing a home for qualified borrowers. You don’t have to have children to qualify, but it is a great program for single parents struggling to purchase a home and work in one of the qualifying occupations. To qualify for the Good Neighbors Next Door program, you must be employed in one of the following professions:
- Full-time teacher (pre-K through 12) at a state-accredited public or private school
- Full-time law enforcement officer working for the state, local or federal government
- Full-time first responder (such as an EMT or firefighter) in a department run by a federal, state, or local agency
Applicants who qualify can get a home through HUD for 50% of its value, which can be a huge savings for single parents struggling to purchase a home.
Bank of America’s Community Homeownership Commitment is another excellent housing grant program for single mothers that can be used to cover the down payment and closing costs when purchasing a home. You must get a mortgage from Bank of America, which may have stricter credit and income requirements than other programs. But those who qualify can get a substantial grant to cover some of the costs of buying a home.
Single mothers can get down payment assistance worth up to 3% of the purchase price of the home or $10,000 (whichever is less). Applicants can also get a closing cost grant of up to $7,500. They also offer what is called an affordable loan solution mortgage, which can also be beneficial to single parents, which is a mortgage up to $647,200 with a 3% down payment (or a $970,800 loan with a 5% down payment in high-cost areas). Lending requirements may be stricter than an FHA loan; however, when paired with other grants, it can make the total cost of purchasing a home more manageable.
The Housing Choice Voucher program is the major program offered by the Federal government to ensure single mothers and other low-income individuals can access safe, affordable housing. Through the section-8 program, qualifying applicants can get a monthly voucher of up to $2,000 to put toward rent. You must be a US citizen (or eligible non-citizen), and your household income cannot exceed 50% of the median income in the county. Specific landlords and housing authorities may have additional requirements, but Section 8 and the housing choice voucher program can greatly reduce monthly rental costs for single mothers.
Community Seconds is a program offered by Fannie Mae that allows lenders to accept loans from non-traditional sources such as community organizations, non-profits, and employers as down payment assistance. So, if you can find any housing grants from local non-profits or state agencies, Fannie Mae allows you to bundle them into a second mortgage that can be put toward the down payment or other closing costs. Although Fannie Mae does not provide the funding, they set the guidelines and guarantee the loan, so other lenders can issue the mortgage. Freddie Mac also has a similar program called Affordable Seconds.
The Chenoa Fund is another excellent option for single mothers searching for a housing grants that offers two down payment loan options to single mothers and other borrowers. The Chenoa Fund is a government-chartered organization that provides down payment assistance on FHA loans with two different options: a 10-year repayable loan or a 30-year forgivable loan.
The repayable loan requires a monthly payment with an interest rate of 2% higher than your mortgage rate. The forgivable loan has a 0% interest rate and does not require a monthly payment, although you must stay current on your mortgage payments.
The forgivable loan also offers two options: a 3.5% down payment loan that’s forgiven after 36 consecutive payments and a 5% down payment loan, forgivable after 120 consecutive payments. So, depending on what you need, this can be an excellent option for single mothers who need help affording a down payment.
Community Development Block Grants are another great resource for single mothers. Every year, HUD provides funding to improve the quality of housing in low-income neighborhoods at the county and city levels. Many communities use this funding to provide housing grants and other programs that are good for single mothers. The exact terms and qualifications will vary depending on where you live, but HUD has a list of all the agencies offering rental and homebuying assistance by state on its website.
Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that strives to help low-income communities worldwide improve their housing conditions. They have a program that can be very beneficial to single mothers in the form of an interest-free loan. Applicants must demonstrate a clear need for safe, affordable housing and an ability to repay the loan. They must also actively participate in the Habitat for Humanity program by helping to build a home for themselves or others first. While it may not be feasible for everyone, single mothers looking to save a significant amount of money over the life of their home loan who have the time to commit should look consider the program.
Operation Hope is a non-profit that provides resources to single mothers and other low-income applicants on financial literacy and economic education. They have a program designed to counsel participants on becoming homeowners, which includes a homebuyer workshop with direct assistance from a HUD-certified counselor. Although the organization does not offer any grants or loan programs directly, it is a great way for single parents to receive information on homeownership and look into any possible programs with the guidance of a trained professional.
The Shelter Care Plus Program is a grant-funded rental assistance program that benefits single mothers and other low-income residents on the verge of homelessness. Applicants must meet HUD’s guidelines for homelessness and income restrictions. The program offers rental assistance with long-term housing options to help struggling single mothers and disabled populations get back on their feet. After getting you into a permanent place to live, the program also offers a range of other services to support participants that are funded by various governmental agencies.
The best place for single mothers looking for grants and home-buying assistance is to visit the local housing authority. There are many programs available at the state and local levels that are either tailored specifically to single mothers or will benefit them immensely.
The local housing authority will be able to assist you with finding the best option for your situation and also help connect you with the right departments and non-profit organizations to get you the assistance you need. Typically there are numerous local housing grants for single mothers available, making it much easier to afford a home.
Single motherhood can make it more challenging to afford housing costs, especially in more expensive areas. However, that doesn’t mean you should lose hope, as there are many reputable programs available that can make it easier to afford a home or pay your rent through housing grants and financial counseling. You’ll need to do some research to find the right program, but if you’re willing to put in the work and fill out the applications, you will be surprised by how many resources are available.