Man moving boxes from moving truck into home.

15 Low-Income Moving Assistance Programs And Resources

Miranda Crace6-minute read

July 20, 2022

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If you’re planning to move, it’s important to keep in mind that – like all things housing – it can be very expensive. Additionally, moving is accompanied by all kinds of expenses – like buying your new house or putting down a new deposit on a rental – that can make you feel cash-strapped before you even get your first quote.

Although many of the resources listed below are specifically targeted toward low-income families, some resources are available to a wider group of movers. Let’s take a look at what’s available and who qualifies.

Help With Your Move: What Is Relocation Assistance?

Whether you are planning to move locally or across several states, it’s expensive.

Lower-income individuals and families can use relocation assistance grants to partially relieve some of the financial burden of moving. These grants may be offered through private nonprofit organizations as well as through federally funded programs. The programs may differ depending on your destination. 

"A quarter of survey respondents who relocated for work received employee compensation for moving expenses."

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Help With Funds To Move: Moving Assistance Resources

Moving is expensive. The average cost of a long-distance – generally 100 miles or more –  household move is currently $4,300. The average cost for a local move is $2,300.

If you’re buying a house and getting a mortgage, you probably don’t have much extra cash around to pay for movers. But if you’re moving from a densely populated state to a less densely populated one, or changing employers, help might be available.

1. State And Local Government Incentive Programs

Some states, counties or cities offer relocation assistance in a variety of ways to encourage population growth within their borders, or to help low-income families relocate when necessary. Check with the state or city where you’d like to move to see what’s available.

2. Relocation Due To Job Loss

The Trade Adjustment Assistance Program (TAA) offers relocation allowances to those affected by job loss through the American Job Center. To receive these services, search through the AJC service locator to find a center near you or contact their service hotline.

How to apply: Contact your employer for more information about specific new employee grants available to you.

3. Modest Needs Grants

Modest Needs is a nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance for families and individuals that aren’t eligible for conventional social assistance. The organization can provide transportation grants for those that are unable to afford moving assistance.

How to apply: To apply for a grant, you’ll need to submit an application through their official website. You’ll need your most recently filed tax return or bank statement and income documentation to complete the online application.

4. Emergency Solutions Grants

The Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program is supported by federal funds that are used to provide aid to those that need rental assistance, emergency shelter, house search and placement, and related services. ESG also provides services for both individuals and families that are at risk of homelessness.

How to apply: The application process will depend on where you currently reside. To find out more information, go to your state’s official department of commerce website and search ESG to find the state’s online application and requirements checklist.

Charitable Organizations And Nonprofits That Help With Moving Expenses

cartoon of couple carrying couch

Many charities offer financial assistance for low-income families and individuals. Some of these charities offer short-term aid, while others provide more long-term funding, depending on the program and individual circumstances.

5. Catholic Charities USA

There are currently 160 Catholic charities in the United States, which include grants and financial programs for low-income individuals. Catholic Charities USA runs both private programs and works in partnerships to provide resources and grants.

How to apply: Start by searching Catholic charities in your local area to find one that works for your financial needs, either by state or county. Most Catholic charity organizations offer assistance for low-income families and those in job transitions.

6. Salvation Army 

The Salvation Army is one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the country, and provides short-term financial resources for those in need. Its Housing Now program specifically offers home assistance for low-income families, including rental and housing assistance.

How to apply: To apply, check which Salvation Army center near you offers moving assistance. You’ll need to set up an appointment at that specific center beforehand to complete the application process. For the application, you’ll need photo identification, relocation information, low-income status and proof of residence such as a security deposit document.

7. YWCA

The YWCA works to strengthen women’s empowerment and civil rights in the United States. The organization offers financial moving assistance for low-income individuals, especially for women who plan to invest in a home.

How to apply: To be eligible for financial moving assistance, you must live in proximity to a YWCA office. Search your location and from there, you’ll be able to navigate to the office’s website to view the housing resources available to you. These services will be categorized under the “Supportive Housing” tab.

8. Housing Industry Foundation

The Housing Industry Foundation provides help to those in need of stable housing. The foundation offers financial assistance for low-income families and individuals through its Housing Emergency Fund.

How to apply: To apply for a  Housing Emergency Fund grant, you’ll need to apply for assistance through the official website. The foundation accepts applications from community members and works directly with partner agencies to provide additional financial assistance.

Government Benefits For Low-Income Families

The United States government offers many benefits for low-income families to utilize. In particular, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds several programs that provide relocation housing and rental assistance. For more detailed information on each service, it’s best to navigate to the official HUD website.

woman speaking to client

9. Rural Housing Service 

The USDA’s Rural Housing Service has several programs that assist in grants and relocation loans for single individuals and families in rural areas. The moving agency has partnerships with other nonprofit organizations and agencies to provide services. These grants and loans may be used for moving costs.

How to apply: To apply for a grant or loan, you must be in proximity of a local agency office or center. The application process will differ depending on the size of your family and the circumstances of your relocation. Information needed for the application includes family size and income eligibility documentation. 

10. Veterans Affairs Relocation Assistance Program

The Department of Veterans Affairs offers veterans comprehensive transition assistance, including relocation assistance. The VA works to offer the best relocation plan, depending on your situation. Veteran moving assistance may be allocated through your local branch agency.

In addition, many private moving companies offer discounts for veterans and their families. Make sure you ask about veterans discounts while getting moving company quotes.

11. Federal Relocation Assistance Program

You may receive money to help with moving costs through federal aid. The Federal Relocation Assistance Program protects those affected by the acquisition or demolition of their property. The program provides funds for transportation costs and a security deposit.

How to apply: You must apply for a grant through the official website. Search the relocation claim form directory and fill out this application for residential moving and housing expenses.

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How To Find Affordable Housing

HUD also provides several programs that offer affordable housing to a variety of buyers. It also maintains a database of home buying assistance programs available in your state and locality.

The availability of these resources will differ from state to state, so it’s important to review your state’s official website for more information on specific requirements and steps.

"April 2021, HUD allocated nearly $700 millionth provide affordable housing to low income-families."

12. Good Neighbor Next Door

HUD’s Good Neighbor Next Door program offers teachers, law enforcement officers and emergency medical technicians to purchase HUD homes in designated areas for 50% off the list price.

To be eligible for the grant, you must be in a single-family home that is listed in one of the revitalization areas. You must also agree to reside in the home for 3 years, while annually submitting your residency to the program.

13. Privately-Owned Subsidized Housing

This type of housing is operated privately by lenders who receive subsidies while leasing to low-income individuals and families. You may search for subsidized housing through the HUD location website and apply for housing through the apartment’s management office. 

14. Public Housing Funds

HUD offers affordable apartments for low-income families and individuals. To apply for the housing voucher, contact a public housing agency in your local area.

15. Housing Choice Voucher

HUD allows families to both lease and purchase affordable and safe housing with low income through its Section 8 Voucher program. These vouchers support rentals and offer the opportunity for some renters to become homeowners.

Is There Moving Assistance Available Specifically For Disabled People?

One source of help specifically aimed at helping disabled people with moving expenses is the Administration for Community Living (ACL), which offers discretionary grants that can be used for this purpose.

The Bottom Line: There Is Relocation Assistance Available When You Move

There’s no way around it – moving is an expensive part of buying or renting a new home. If you’re a moderate- or low-income wage-earner, or you’re able to take advantage of state or local incentive programs, you may be able to get some help.

Ready to get the process of buying a home started? Apply online now to see what you qualify for.

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See expert-recommended refinance options and customize them to fit your budget.

Miranda Crace

The Rocket Mortgage Learning Center is dedicated to bringing you articles on home buying, loan types, mortgage basics and refinancing. We also offer calculators to determine home affordability, home equity, monthly mortgage payments and the benefit of refinancing. No matter where you are in the home buying and financing process, Rocket Mortgage has the articles and resources you can rely on.