Finding affordable housing after an eviction can feel overwhelming. But fear not! Securing low-income housing with an eviction history is still achievable. This guide will walk you through the process step-by-step, providing resources and strategies to increase your chances of success.


Understanding the Low-Income Housing Landscape:

  • Variety of Programs: There’s no single “low-income housing program.” Instead, numerous federal, state, and local programs offer rental assistance. Each has its own eligibility criteria, including those related to evictions.
  • Start Local: Focus on programs in your area. Here are some resources to get you started:
    • Your local Public Housing Authority (PHA): Every major city has a PHA that manages public housing units. Find yours at
    • State and Local Government Websites: Many state and local governments offer subsidized housing programs. Look for a “.gov” website related to housing or community development in your state or city.
    • Non-Profit Organizations: Non-profits often manage affordable housing options. Look for organizations focused on housing or homelessness in your area.

Gather Your Documentation:


Every program will have specific application requirements, but some common documents include:

  • Proof of Income: Paystubs, tax returns, or letters from your employer can verify your income.
  • Photo Identification: A government-issued ID like a driver’s license or passport.
  • Social Security Card: Needed to verify your identity for many programs.
  • Bank Statements: These can help demonstrate financial stability.
  • Eviction Records: Having a copy of your eviction record allows you to explain the situation proactively.

Addressing the Eviction:


An eviction on your record can be a hurdle, but it doesn’t have to be a roadblock. Here’s how to navigate it:

  • Be Prepared to Explain: Be upfront about the eviction during the application process.
  • Documentation is Key: If the eviction resulted from circumstances beyond your control (e.g., job loss, medical emergency), gather documentation to support your explanation.
  • Time Heals (Eviction Records): Some programs may be more lenient towards evictions that happened further in the past (typically 1-2 years).

Proactive Strategies for Success:


Honesty and proactiveness are crucial throughout the application process:

  • Transparency is Key: Don’t try to hide the eviction. Be truthful and provide any documentation that strengthens your explanation.
  • Showcase Responsibility: Show your potential landlord you’ll be a responsible tenant. Gather references from previous landlords (if possible) or proof of on-time rent payments for current utilities.
  • Maintain a Positive Attitude: The application process can be lengthy. Stay positive and persistent in your search.

Seek Help From Fair Housing Organizations:

Fair housing organizations are invaluable resources for navigating the application process and ensuring your rights are upheld:

  • Fair Housing Act Protection: The Fair Housing Act protects against discrimination based on eviction history. Fair housing organizations can help you understand your rights under this act.
  • Local Assistance: Find a fair housing organization near you through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website:

Additional Resources:

  • National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC): The NLIHC advocates for policies that ensure decent, affordable housing for low-income people. Their website offers resources and information on various housing programs:
  • HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research: HUD’s research arm provides valuable data and reports on housing issues, including low-income housing:


Even with an eviction on your record, qualifying for low-income housing is still achievable. By being prepared, proactive, and honest throughout the process, and by seeking help from fair housing organizations, you can increase your chances of finding stable and affordable housing.

1. I need affordable housing, but I have an eviction on my record. Can I still qualify for low-income housing?


Yes, it’s possible! While an eviction can make things trickier, many low-income housing programs consider applicants with eviction history.

2. What are some of the different low-income housing programs available?

There are various options, including public housing, Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8), and low-income tax credit properties. Look for programs in your area through your local PHA, state/local government housing websites, or non-profit housing organizations.

3. What documents do I typically need to apply for low-income housing?

Be prepared to show proof of income (paystubs, tax returns), photo ID, Social Security card, bank statements, and any eviction records (be upfront about them).


4. How can I overcome the eviction on my record?

Be honest about the eviction and explain the reason if it was due to unforeseen circumstances (job loss, medical emergency). Gather documents as proof. Show your ability to pay rent consistently through references or past payment history.

5. Where can I find resources to help me locate low-income housing?

Your starting point should be your local Public Housing Authority (PHA) and state/local government housing websites. Non-profit housing organizations can also be helpful. Additionally, national resources like the NLIHC and HUD’s research arm offer valuable information on various programs.


6. Is there financial help to move into low-income housing?

Some programs may offer move-in assistance for security deposits or other costs. Check with your local PHA or program administrator for details.

7. What are the typical income requirements for low-income housing?

Eligibility varies depending on the program but generally considers income level, family size, and citizenship status. Check with specific programs for details.

8. How long does approval for low-income housing typically take?

The wait time can vary depending on the program and applicant pool. Be prepared for a wait and stay persistent in your search.


9. What are my rights if I feel discriminated against due to my eviction history?

The Fair Housing Act protects against such discrimination. Fair housing organizations can advise you on your rights and assist with filing a complaint if necessary. Find one near you through HUD’s website.

10. What can I do to keep my low-income housing after I’m approved?


Follow program guidelines, pay rent on time, maintain your unit in good condition, and communicate any maintenance issues promptly. Most importantly, abide by your lease agreement.