Assistance Programs, Local Agencies and Charities
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Homeowners Assistance and Housing Programs
Connecticut – Making Home Affordable options
Making Home Affordable is a federal program designed to cover different homeowners’ hardships and financial situations. Under the program there are various options that can help Connecticut homeowners in hardship stay in their homes. Depending on the situation Connecticut homeowners in hardship can apply to lower their monthly payments, lower the interest rate on their home loan or even get principal reduction in some cases.
There are foreclosure alternatives and temporarily help for unemployed homeowners as well.
Here are some of the most used options under Making Home Affordable Program:
- Lower your monthly mortgage payments with Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)
- Lower your interest rate with Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)
- Check eligibility for principal reduction with Principal Reduction Alternative SM (PRA)
- Get help if currently unemployed with Home Affordable Unemployment Program (UP)
- Reduce your 2nd mortgage monthly payments with Second Lien Modification Program (2MP)
- Explore your foreclosure alternatives with Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA)
- FHA Home Affordable Modification Program (FHA-HAMP)
HUD (US Department of Housing and Urban Development) approved housing counselor can be reached at: 888-995-4673 (Hearing impaired: 877-304-9709 TTY) to help you understand your options, prepare your application, and work with your mortgage company.
Rental Help for Connecticut Residents
Public Housing – Subsidized and Low-Rent Apartments
Public Housing provides safe, decent and affordable rental housing to eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides federal grants to local Public Housing Agencies (PHA), in Connecticut those are the Housing Authorities under the Department of Housing, which manage the public housing developments for low-income residents at rents they can afford.
In general, housing developments owned, managed and maintained by the local PHA are referred to as Conventional Housing, or Low Rent Public Housing and units are offered to eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities at rental rates established by the PHA authorities within the HUD income limits and guidelines. Local Connecticut Public Housing Authorities manage more than 14,000 federally subsidized public housing units across the State.
Inquire about current availability of subsidized and low-rent apartments at you local Connecticut Public Housing Authorities.
Search for affordable subsidized apartments in Connecticut using the HUD database.
Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers
Section 8 Housing Program provides qualifying low income population with affordable, decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market where the program is available. The Section 8 Housing Program is a federally funded housing assistance designed to help the poor and very low-income individuals, families, senior citizens, and people with disabilities.
Section 8 Housing for Connecticut is administered statewide by Connecticut Department of Housing and through local Connecticut Housing Authorities. The program helps Connecticut eligible individuals and families broaden their housing options in the private rental market. Find more about Section 8 Housing Programs and Housing Choice Vouchers.
Connecticut Section 8 Housing Voucher Program offers Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) vouchers for low income Connecticut community residents. This program provides TBRA vouchers for more then 39 thousand housing units across the state.
Normally, the demand for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers in Connecticut exceeds the available funds and there are long waiting lists. As a result, the applications for the Section 8 Vouchers are taken periodically at a time determined by each local Public Housing Authority. The open period for taking Section 8 applications is usually advertised in the local newspaper 2 weeks prior to starting acceptance of applications, and all related social service agencies are notified.
When the waiting list is open, completed applications are accepted from all applicants. The Housing Authority will then verify the information in each application relevant to the applicant’s eligibility, admission and benefits level.
Eligible Section 8 applicants can select housing within a neighborhood of their choice from a property owner willing to participate in Section 8 program. TBRA contracts must have a minimum lease of one year and cannot exceed two years – but they can be renewed. Choices of housing units may include family’s present residence. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by the local Housing Authority. The rents assisted units must be affordable to low-income families and remain affordable for a designated amount of time. If the household needs to change location, the household may take the TBRA assistance along when it moves to another rental unit.
Section 8 Program allows families to pay a predetermined share of their income toward the rent while issued Housing Choice Vouchers make up the difference. The program does not pay for security deposits and moving expenses. The tenant is responsible for paying for any utilities not included in the rent according to the lease.
Income eligibility limits and benefit levels are based on local median income and local housing costs but are set largely at the federal level with limited local discretion. Income requirements are set generally as less than 50% of Area Median Income (AMI), but can be up to 80% in some cases. By law, seventy five percent of the newly issued vouchers must go to families with incomes below 30% of the Area Median Income.
Current recipients maintain vouchers until their income reaches a level at which the value of their housing subsidy is reduced to $0.00 – all housing subsidies are calculated based on family income, housing costs, and other factors.
For specifics on eligibility for each Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher please, check with your local Connecticut Public Housing Authority.
Project-Based Rental Assistance
The Connecticut Public Housing Authority promotes affordable housing opportunities through Project Based Rental Assistance. Project Based Rental Assistance involves over 16,000 units throughout the state of Connecticut. The rental assistance pays part of the rent to qualified tenants for a specific building designated as Section 8 and subsidized by the Federal Government with the main purpose to provide affordable housing for low-income families. Applications are accepted and waiting lists are maintained at each housing site.The populations served are households that are extremely-low income with income up to 50% of the Area Median Income. HUD establishes and publishes the income parameters annually.
Connecticut Department of Housing – Special Section 8 Programs
Section 8 Family Unification Program
In partnership with Connecticut Department of Children and Families and Section 8 contract administrator, the Division of Housing administers a special Family Unification Vouchers program. The Family Unification Program (FUP) targets youth at least 18 years old and not more than 21 years old who left foster care at age 16 or older and who lack adequate housing or, families for whom the lack of adequate housing is a primary factor causing the imminent placement of the family’s child or children in out-of-home care or delay in the discharge of the child or children to the family from out-of-home care. Families in need of FUP help are identified and referred to the contract administrator by the Department of Children and Families. Usually there is a waiting time until a FUP voucher is available.
The Connecticut Family Unification Program helps low income families to rent affordable housing in order to prevent separation of children from their families or, when renting affordable housing will help reunifying the children with their families. Families who are interested in applying for Family Unification Vouchers should contact their local Connecticut Housing Authority to determine availability and eligibility of this type of rental assistance.
Mainstream Housing Opportunities Program for Persons with Disabilities
State of Connecticut operates Section 8 Mainstream Housing Opportunities Program for Persons with Disabilities which provides safe, decent, sanitary housing to low income persons with disabilities. This special program allows qualified elderly and non-elderly (up to 62 or younger) persons with disabilities to access affordable private housing of their choice. In addition of required Section 8 the applicants for this program must also meet the Mainstream Program eligibility requirements. Persons with disabilities may apply to local Connecticut Housing Authorities when the Section 8 Mainstream Vouchers waiting list is open.
Nursing Facility Transition Preference
Nursing Facility Transition Preference is designed specifically for persons with disabilities transitioning from licensed nursing facilities into a private rental unit. Department of Housing works with Connecticut Association of Centers for Independent Living to make special Section 8 Vouchers to this segment of the population. To apply for Nursing Facility Transition, the person with a disability who resides in a licensed nursing facility has to develops a service plan and must be determined eligible by the PHA to receive a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher for this program.
Learn more about Connecticut Housing Programs form local Connecticut Housing Authorities.
Housing Counseling Services
Contact one of the HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies in Connecticut State for the following education workshops or counseling services
- Mortgage Delinquency and Default Resolution Counseling
- Fair Housing Pre-Purchase Education Workshops
- Financial Management/Budget Counseling
- Financial, Budgeting and Credit Repair Workshops
- Home Improvement and Rehabilitation Counseling
- Non-Delinquency Post Purchase Workshops
- Pre-purchase Counseling
- Pre-purchase Homebuyer Education Workshops
- Predatory Lending Education Workshops
- Rental Housing Counseling
- Services for Homeless Counseling
- Home Improvement and Rehabilitation Counseling
- Reverse Mortgage Counseling
Connecticut Homeless Service Organizations
Connecticut has regional homeless service organizations that coordinate local resources and can provide assistance to the homeless. One of the federal programs that funds most Homeless Service Organizations is Continuum of Care (CoC). Continuum of Care is a federal program that consolidate the following Homeless Assistance programs: the Shelter Plus Care Program, the Supportive Housing Program, and the Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program. The CoC Program is designed to promote community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness by providing grants to nonprofit providers, State and local governments to quickly rehouse homeless individuals and families while minimizing the trauma and dislocation caused to homeless individuals, families, and communities.
Connecticut Homeless Service Organizations funded by CoC assist individuals (including unaccompanied youth) and families experiencing homelessness. With main goal goal of long-term stability those Connecticut homeless service organizations provide the services that are needed to help such individuals move into transitional and permanent housing. Here is a short list of some of Connecticut Homeless Service Organizations by county with services offered.
If you are homeless in Connecticut and need help – call the listed homeless service organization in your area.
Domestic Violence Shelters
Ansonia The Umbrella (203) 736-9944
Bridgeport The Center for Women and Families (203) 384-9559
Danbury Women’s Center of Greater Danbury (203) 731-5206
Dayville Domestic Violence Program United Services (860) 774-8648
Enfield Network Against Domestic Abuse (860) 763-4542
Greenwich Domestic Abuse Services (203) 622-0003
Hartford Interval House (860) 527-0550
Meriden Meriden-Wallingford Chrysalis (203) 238-1501
Middletown New Horizons (860) 347-3044
New Britain Prudence Crandall Center for Women (860) 225-6357
New Haven Domestic Violence Services of Greater New Haven (203) 789-8104
New London Women’s Center of Southeastern Connecticut (860) 701-6000
Norwalk Domestic Violence Crisis Center (203) 852-1980
Sharon Women’s Support Services (860) 364-1900
Stamford Domestic Violence Crisis Center (203) 357-8162
Torrington Susan B. Anthony Project (860) 482-7133
Waterbury Safe Haven Greater Waterbury (203)575-0036
Willimantic Domestic Violence Program United Services (860)456-9476
Overflow and No Freeze Shelters
Dorothy Day Hospitality House – (203) 744-6177
164 Deerhill Ave, Danbury, CT 06810
Area Congregations Together Spooner House – (203) 734-3702
30 Todd Road, Shelton, CT 06484
Immaculate Conception Shelter – (860) 724-5156, 4pm-8am
560 Park St., Hartford, CT 06106
Salvation Army Marshall House
225 South Marshall St.,Hartford,CT 06105
Salvation Army South End – 860-543-8439, 7pm-7am
Complex-Citadel No Freeze
225 Washington Street, Hartford, CT 06106
Columbus House Overflow Shelter
232 Cedar St, New Haven, CT 06511 4pm-8pm
Emergency Shelter Management Services
645 Grand Avenue, New Haven, CT 06511 4am-11pm
Norwalk Emergency Shelter – Overflow Shelter – (203) 866-4974
4 Merritt Street, Norwalk, CT 06854 4:30pm-9am singles bad weather 24-hours
Norwich Community Care Team Hospitality Center – (860) 823-3793
80 Broadway St. Intake, Norwich, CT 06360
Emergency Shelter For Men-Pacific House – (203) 348-5813
597 Pacific St., Stamford, CT 06902 24 Hrs
Wallingford Emergency Shelter – (203) 265-9844
123 Quinnipiac St., Wallingford, CT 06492 7pm-7am
Windham Region No Freeze – (860) 465-0169
Hospitality Center, Inc.
1110 Main Street, Windham, CT 06226 8pm-7:30am
Food Assistance Programs, Services, and Organizations in Connecticut
Connecticut Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or the Food Stamps Program as it is known by the public, is a federal program that provides grants to the States for purpose of reducing the hunger and malnutrition in all eligible households across the nation. SNAP helps provide healthy food to qualifying low-income families with children, elderly or disabled in each State of the USA, including Connecticut. SNAP also provides education about nutrition to help recipients choose foods that enhance their health and well being.
It is important to know that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a federal entitlement program funded by U.S. Government grants. Any U.S. Citizen, even some legal alien residents, will get free food assistance as long as they meet the SNAP eligibility guidelines. In other words, there is enough Supplemental Nutrition Assistance for every American that qualifies. Learn more about SNAP.
In Connecticut the SNAP is administered by the Department of Social Services (DSS). The Federal Government oversees the State operation of the SNAP. The main purpose of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is to help end hunger and improve nutrition and health of low income households. The Food Assistance Program provides monthly benefits to low-income Connecticut households that help them buy the food needed for a nutritionally adequate diet.
Who is Eligible for SNAP Food Stamps in Connecticut?
The eligibility rules and benefit amounts in Connecticut, like in other States, are based on limited income, limited liquid resources, household size, and other requirements. Most eligibility rules are determined by regulations issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service.
The federal law allows States some flexibility when implementing SNAP on a State level. State agencies can adapt some of the SNAP food assistance program rules in order to meet the needs of eligible, low‐income local population.
Connecticut Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is designed for individuals and families with limited income resources, who compose a household, and purchase and prepare their meals together for home consumption.
In general, to qualify for Connecticut Food Assistance Benefits you must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Connecticut Resident – must be a U.S. Citizen or a legal resident with SNAP eligible non-citizen status;
- Asset Limit (if Gross Income > 185% of FPL) – Households with gross incomes over 185% of the poverty line face a $3,250 limit on liquid assets. Retirement accounts, household’s cars and home are not counted as assets for the purpose of qualifying for food stamps in Connecticut;
- Income Limits – Income limits eligibility depends on the household size and composition and are based on the current federal poverty levels (FPL). Households with no elderly (60 years of age or older) or disabled individuals must meet both gross and net income limits, otherwise they must meet only the net income limits in order to qualify. Gross income includes wages, salaries, commissions, dividends, child support, self-employment income, unemployment compensation, social security benefits etc.. Household net income is computed by deducting certain allowed expenses from gross income. The resulting numbers must fall below the net income dollar amounts listed in the table below for your household to get food assistance benefits. This dollar amount depends on the number of people in your household.
See the table with Connecticut food stamp income limits per household size below.
[table id=37 /]
Source: USDA, SNAP Income Eligibility Standards
Connecticut residents may be automatically or so called categorically eligible for Food Assistance if they already participate in other means tested assistance programs. Getting benefits or services (e.g. getting “Help for People in Need” brochure) from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) federal block grant program or receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can make the applicant for Food Assistance categorically eligible, thus bypassing the asset eligibility rules and income eligibility if the household gross income is less than 185% of the FPL.
Quick Eligibility Check
Use this Pre-Screening Eligibility Tool to find out if you might be eligible to get Connecticut Food Assistance Benefits (Food Stamps). The Screening allows interested in getting Connecticut food stamps to provide some basic information and determine if they are potentially eligible for benefits. Although you will be notified immediately if you qualify after completing the questionnaire you still have to make and sign an application at your local County Department of Human Services.
What are the Dollar Amounts of Connecticut SNAP Food Stamp Benefits?
If the applicant is approved, the Connecticut Food Stamp Benefit amounts depend on the household size and the amount of the their net income. USDA has maximum food stamp benefit limits per month per household size. Check below what are the maximum food stamp assistance monetary amounts. The food assistance dollar amounts are called allotments.
[table id=29 /]
Source: USDA, SNAP Maximum Allotments
How to Apply for SNAP Food Stamp Assistance in Connecticut?
In Connecticut a General Application for food, cash, and certain medical coverage is used to apply for SNAP Benefits. The DSS General Application can be downloaded from DSS Application and Forms page.
Fill in the state SNAP application with all required information and turn your application into the local DSS office where you live. If you do not have all the information complete as much as you can including your name, social security number, what you are applying for, and sign it. The DSS Office has to accept the application with the current date. You can provide the rest of the information later at the interview.
The application form can be completed online, or mailed to the local DSS Regional Office. Before decision is made a DSS worker has to interview you and verify all the paperwork. If they find you eligible, you will receive a notice stating how much food assistance benefit and for how long is the applicant eligible for before a review of their case is due. If you unable to get to the DSS Office, ask to do the interview over the phone. If eligible, you will start receiving SNAP Benefits from the date the office received your signed application.
Connecticut SNAP Food Assistance Verification of Information, Rules, Approval
The DSS Office has to interview you and verify provided information before determining if the household is eligible for Food Stamp Benefits. Connecticut Department of Social Services lists examples of information that may be needed at the interview:
- Driver’s License
- ID Card
- Birth Certificate
- Social Security
- Rental Agreement
- Rent Receipt
- Utility Bill (telephone, electric, gas, oil, garbage, water)
- Paycheck Stubs – for the last 30 days
- Benefits Letters from SSI or VA
- Unemployment Insurance Check Stubs
- Pension Information
- Dependent Care Cost
- Child Support
This is not a complete list and depending on case the DSS Worker may request additional types of proof and application supporting documents.
The SNAP Food Assistance program has special rules for elderly or disabled applicants and beneficiaries. If you are disabled or 60 years of age or older call: 1-866-974-SNAP for more information.
The federal rules state that food stamp beneficiaries between 18 and 50 who do not have any dependent children can get SNAP benefits only for 3 months in a 36-month period if they do not work or participate in a workfare or employment and training program other than job search. The goal is to help SNAP recipients transition to economic independence and improve their quality of life. In Connecticut, it is the SNAP Employment and Training Program – a volunteer employment and training program for adults in households getting Connecticut SNAP benefits.
To operate the SNAP Employment and Training Program the Connecticut Department of Social Services partnered with organizations that offer various employment and training services. Under the Employment and Training Program, Connecticut SNAP recipients may be eligible to enroll in English as a Second Language, General Equivalency Diploma, Adult Basic Education, Work Experience or Structured Job Search Skill Training. The Connecticut Employment and Training program also offers short term vocational programs at several area colleges and nonprofit organizations. Department of Social Services maintain a list of participating entities. Through its employment related services, the SNAP Employment and Training Program provides eligible participants with the opportunity to get work experience that is needed to secure a well paying job.
Applicants for Food Assistance in Connecticut should get a response within 30 days from the date they submitted their application to the local DSS Office. Households cannot receive food stamps assistance from more than one Connecticut county in a month. Households getting food stamps benefits must report any changes of their household situation in a 6-months period in order to assure their participation in the Connecticut Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Approved! When and How Do I Get the Food Stamp Benefits?
Connecticut Food Stamp Program provides the SNAP benefits via the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system. The monetary benefits of Connecticut SNAP are transferred to the accounts of qualified beneficiaries and are accessible through Connecticut Quest Card. The Food Stamp Benefits are made available from the 1st to the 3rd of every month, based on the first letter of the client’s last name:
First Letter of the Last Name is: A-F = benefits available on the 1st
First Letter of the Last Name is: G-N = benefits available on the 2nd
First Letter of the Last Name is: O-Z = benefits available on the 3rd
If you have any question regarding your EBT Account or EBT Card call Connecticut EBT Customer Service: 1-888-328-2666
How and Where to Use the Food Stamp Benefits?
SNAP benefits can only be used to purchase eligible food items at Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) authorized stores displaying the Quest mark. Households and individuals get Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards to use their food assistance benefits at any grocery stores and Farmers’ Markets that are authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Families and individuals who receive SNAP benefits can buy the food they need for a nutritionally adequate diet from SNAP approved retailers. Eligible food items are any food to be eaten at home by people, including baby food, non-alcoholic beverages, and seasonings. Seeds and plants to grow food for your own family’s consumption are also allowed to be purchased with food stamp benefits. You cannot buy non-grocery items with food stamp benefits, such as cleaning products, pet food, paper products, alcohol, or tobacco.
I Need Food Assistance Now. It is an Emergency!
Some households may get Expedited Services – that is getting Food Assistance Benefits within 7 calendar days if your household has less than $150 in monthly gross income and liquid resources (cash, checking or savings accounts) of $100 or less; or your rent/mortgage and utilities are more than your household’s combined monthly income and liquid resources; or a member of your household is a migrant or seasonal farm worker. In order to get expedite assistance, if you qualify, provide all required information and proof as soon as possible. Call 1-866-974-SNAP for more information on Connecticut Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.