Housing Struggles: How to Pay Rent When You're Seemingly Out of Options

Kelly Cooke
Published May 19, 2024

The pandemic and other national and world events have made it difficult for a large number of people to pay their bills on time. Instead of using their time and energy to maintain and improve their overall finances, they find themselves focused entirely on trying to prevent the loss of their homes.

This type of financial struggle does more than cause anxiety and stress, which can undermine a person's mental and physical health and well-being. It risks their loss of access to a safe living environment as well. A housing struggle can also limit opportunities, especially now that many people rely on study-at-home and work-from-home setups to continue their educations and make an income, respectively.

If you're struggling to pay the rent that you owe on an apartment, a house, a trailer or some other type of residence or associated land, the following information can help make it easier for you to regain both housing and financial stability:

Financial Assistance Fast

Get Financial Assistance FAST >>> Are you in need of emergency funds right now? click here Did you know that there are government and private programs that give thousands of dollars every year to people that need it? It's easier than you think to receive assistance and/or guidance for any financial hardship you may be going through.

Human Services Agencies

Renters often don't realize that local, state and federal health and human services agencies often have access to rental assistance funds. They also refer residents to other agencies. Check with your county assistance or welfare office, Community Action and the Public Housing Agency. Additionally, whether you're 60 years old or older or not, check with your local Area Agency on Aging. With the pandemic, many of these agencies also have access to emergency rental assistance, homeless prevention and pandemic relief funds. If you're a veteran, you can also find rental assistance information through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Independent Non-Profit Organizations

If you don't qualify for rental assistance help through a government-created agency, you still have a wide range of options. Check www.211.org and www.findhelp.org to find out more information about rental assistance programs in your area based on your ZIP code. Typically, these resources can refer you to independent non-profit organizations that often help people with rental assistance, emergency financial assistance and referrals, such as Catholic Charities, St. Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army and the Red Cross. If you're at risk of homelessness or already homeless and need help with paying for a room-for-rent or an extended stay hotel room, they can usually also refer you to local shelters and crisis centers.

Specialty-Focused Programs

Even if you feel like you don't have any options remaining after trying governmental and independent agencies and organizations, always search for organizations and rental assistance programs based on your specific situation. Beyond homelessness, you might try to find programs designed specifically to help members of certain groups. For example, if you're a woman with or without children, contact your local women's center. If you're a member of the LGBTQ+ community, you might try an associated organization. If you have one or more disabilities, you might seek a referral to a rental program via your local Center for Independence, your medical insurer's case management team or an organization that helps patients with your specific type of health condition or conditions.

Personal Fundraisers

Of course, given the current housing problems across the country, you might still find yourself unable to find the help you need to pay your rent in a timely fashion. Several programs have months-long application and approval processes, especially for Housing and Urban Development vouchers and homeless prevention and assistance programs. As a result, you might need to request help directly from generous members of the public through a local or online fundraising program. For example, you might raise the funds you need by hosting a ticket raffle that features some prized items you own. You might ask family and friends to help you by donating items to the raffle. Another idea: You might post a request on a social media platform or fundraiser crowdfunding site.


Some people feel so ashamed or embarrassed by their debt that they refuse to seek help when they need it. As this guide shows, many people face this struggle. You're not alone. You can find the funds you need. You merely need to cast a wide net when searching for rental assistance. You might receive governmental or independent non-profit help or find other rental assistance programs that you never realized were available. You might even raise all of the necessary current rental funds and perhaps gain enough help to create some breathing room for the following month with a fundraiser.

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