Georgia Housing Assistance

Georgia Housing Vouchers * Public Housing * Homeless * Making Home Affordable

Georgia housing assistance includes numerous federally and state-funded programs specifically designed to help its residents with various housing needs.

Rental Help for Georgia Residents

Georgia Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers

Section 8 Housing Program is a federally funded rental assistance set of subprograms for low-income families, disabled persons, and the elderly available to all States.

Section 8 Housing Program for the State of Georgia is administered by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCF). Georgia Section 8 rental assistance helps eligible low-income families by subsidizing their rental housing of choice through the Housing Choice Vouchers. The Housing Choice Vouchers help low-income families and individuals broaden their housing options in the private rental market. Find more about Section 8 Housing Programs and Housing Choice Vouchers.

According to Georgia DCF the goals of the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) are to 1) Provide improved living conditions for low-income persons while maintaining their rent payments at an affordable level; 2) Promote freedom of housing choice and integrate lower-income and minority persons into mainstream society; 3) Provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing for eligible participants; and 4) Provide an incentive to private property owners to rent to lower-income persons by offering timely subsidy payments

Georgia Housing Choice Voucher Program is funded entirely by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and according to the DCF, the Section 8 programs currently assist over 15,000 Georgia families. The Program’s vouchers increase affordable housing choices for very low-income Georgia households by allowing families to choose privately owned rental housing.

Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers are issued by a local Georgia Housing Authority to an income-qualified household, which then finds a unit to rent. If the unit meets the Section 8 quality standards, the Housing Authority then pays the landlord the amount equal to the difference between 30 percent of the tenant’s adjusted income (or 10 percent of the gross income or the portion of welfare assistance designated for housing) and the PHA-determined payment standard for the area. In other words, the Section 8 Program operates by providing direct subsidy rent payments to qualified landlords for tenants participating in the program. The rent must be reasonable compared with similar unassisted units.

Housing Voucher Program is also called Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA). DCA administers the program in 149 of Georgia’s 159 counties through four regional offices located around the State. Contact one of the regional offices for information on Section 8 rental assistance. These offices administer the Housing Choice Voucher Program which is a tenant-based assistance program.

Central Office

60 Executive Park South, NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
(404) 679-4940
(800) 359-4663
(877) 204-1194 (TDD)

Athens Regional Office
1061 Dowdy Road, Suite 201
Athens, GA 30606-5700

Eastman Regional Office
21 Industrial Boulevard
Eastman, GA 31023

Waycross Regional Office
500 Alice Street
Waycross, GA 31501

The remaining 10 counties are served by their local housing authority.

Normally, the demand for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers in Georgia 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. Georgia Department of Community Affairs maintains Section 8 Waiting List Status Page where all interested to apply can check if the waiting list in their area is open.

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 Housing Choice Vouchers applicants in Georgia can select housing within a neighborhood of their choice from a property owner willing to participate in Section 8 program. Tenant Based Rental Assistance 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, with approval of the PHA, 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 Georgia Public Housing Authority.

Project-Based Rental Assistance

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs promotes affordable housing opportunities through Project Based Rental Assistance.  Project Based Rental Assistance involves over 16,000 total units throughout the state of Georgia. 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. Project Based vouchers are used at selected developments where providers of supportive services focus on special needs populations. 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.

Georgia Public Housing

Subsidized and Low-Rent Apartments

Public Housing provides safe, decent and affordable rental housing to eligible Georgians – like low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides federal grants to States’ local Public Housing Agencies (PHA) 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.

Under the Conventional Public Housing program, a Georgia Housing Authority rents units that it owns to low-income individuals, who pay 30% of their adjusted gross income towards rent. The Authority administers the Low Rent Public Housing Program in accordance with HUD rules and regulations. Usually, the public housing properties are operated by the Housing Authority with the help of a maintenance and management team. Funding sources for public housing include the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and the rental income.

In Georgia, safe, decent and affordable public housing is offered and managed by local Housing Authorities. Rental housing for low-income Georgians is available in many communities across the State of Georgia. Currently, Georgia Conventional Public Housing Program is used to operate close to 40 thousand rental units across the State for the benefit of low-income Georgians.

Georgia Public Housing rental units come in various types and sizes, and normally offer on-site management, maintenance staff, and may even include other supportive services. Normally there is a waiting list and once a unit becomes available the qualified applicant is invited to a meeting with the Housing Authority official where detailed information on the Public Housing Program is provided and the available public housing unit is offered.

As per the HUD requirements the approved Georgia low-income family pays a portion of their monthly income in rent, and the rest is subsidized by the HUD Public Housing grants.

Inquire about current availability of Public Housing rental units by contacting your local Georgia Housing Authority, or search for subsidized apartments in Georgia here.

 Housing Counseling Services

Contact one of the HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies in Georgia State for the following education workshops or counseling services

– Fair Housing Pre-Purchase Education Workshops
– Financial Management/Budget Counseling
– Home Improvement and Rehabilitation Counseling
– Mortgage Delinquency and Default Resolution 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

Georgia – 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 Georgia homeowners in hardship stay in their homes. Depending on the situation Georgia 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 the Making Home Affordable Program:

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.


Georgia State Homeowners Assistance and Housing Programs

Georgia Hardest Hit Fund – HomeSafe Georgia Program

There is numerous federally funded assistance programs designed to help residents of Georgia with various housing needs.

HomeSafe Georgia is the State of Georgia hardest hit foreclosure prevention program established with funding of the Federal Hardest Hit Fund program.  As a result of the economic crisis Georgia was one of the 18 U.S. States hit hardest by high unemployment and declining home prices. Under the Hardest Hit Fund Program the State of Georgia was allocated close to $339 million. This monetary help became available to Georgia eligible homeowners through HomeSafe Georgia –  a foreclosure prevention program administered by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA). HomeSafe Georgia Program is planned to end December 2017 or until the allocated funds are exhausted.

HomeSafe Georgia is designed to help eligible homeowners of Georgia State who are struggling to make their mortgage payments due to unemployment, under-employment or other types of financial hardships. HomeSafe Georgia monetary assistance can be used by eligible Georgia homeowners on a case by case basis for mortgage principle reduction, unemployment or underemployment monthly mortgage payments, and mortgage reinstatement due to hardship. The amount of mortgage assistance is determined by the need the applicant and the maximum amount allowed under the program. To get HomeSafe Georgia foreclosure assistance homeowners must apply and qualify for at least one of the listed foreclosure prevention options. The overall assistance is limited by the program and is provided one time only to a qualified household for a particular home. Most HomeSafe Georgia assistance to the struggling homeowners is issued as term loans at 0% interest rates and no monthly payments. The loan is forgivable at 20% of the principal balance per year after assistance ends. Loans are forgiven at the end of their term and upon successful completion of the program. There is no cost to apply and no closing cost if you are approved to receive mortgage help through HomeSafe Georgia Program.

According to Georgia DCA, as of  February, 2014 the HomeSafe Georgia Program expanded its eligibility pool. Now, in addition to assisting homeowners who are unemployed or underemployed, HomeSafe Georgia also assists qualified homeowners who have experienced other financial hardships, including those associated with military service, death of a spouse, or a medical hardship that occurred in the last 36 months.

HomeSafe Georgia May Help Homeowners:

  • Who became unemployed or underemployed in the last 36 months – may qualify for mortgage payment assistance up to 24 months total
  • Who can make their mortgage payments now, but have become delinquent in the last 36 months – may qualify for reinstatement and get 12 mortgage payments as a one-time payment
  • Who had permanent reduction of income  – they may qualify for up to $45,000 to reduce their mortgage payment to an affordable level

HomeSafe Georgia program offers eligible Georgia homeowners the following options:

Mortgage Payment Reduction (MPR)

This option of HomeSafe Georgia program is available to eligible homeowners who have suffered a permanent loss of income in the last 36 months. MPR is also known as Recast and Modification Program and offers one time payment of up to $45,000 made directly to the lender of the eligible homeowner. The lender determines the best use of the monetary assistance to achieve a new, affordable monthly mortgage payment for the homeowner. One way to do this is through recasting, which allows using the assistance to substantially reduce the unpaid principal balance of homeowner’s loan and lower their monthly payment. The Mortgage Payment Reduction requires that the lender participates in HomeSafe Georgia Program. In addition, the applicant need to write a hardship letter that would be part of the application for assistance. The goal of the Georgia Mortgage Payment Reduction is to help qualifying homeowners avoid foreclosure by reducing their monthly mortgage payments to 38% or less of their gross monthly household income.

Mortgage Payment Assistance (MPA)

Mortgage Payment Assistance option is available to eligible homeowners who have experienced an unemployment or underemployment hardship in the last 36 months and need help paying their mortgage monthly. The MPA offers up to 24 months of mortgage payments to qualified applicants of which up to 12 months may be used to pay lenders to reinstate first and second mortgage. The homeowners may be required to make partial payments toward their current mortgage loan during the participation in the MPA program, which could be 5% of their household income. Mortgage Payment Assistance ends when: 1) the homeowner is able to sustain the mortgage payment, or 2) reserved funds are exhausted, or 3) 24 monthly payments have been provided. The goal of the Georgia Mortgage Payment Assistance is to provide monthly mortgage payment assistance while you search for new or better employment.

Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance (MRA)

Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance (MRA) help eligible Georgia homeowners who can currently afford their mortgage payments, but had fallen behind on payments due to a qualifying military, medical or death hardship that began in the last 36 months. This option of the program helps qualified applicants avoid foreclosure by making current their delinquent mortgage payments. Financial hardship assistance is provided for up to 12 months in a onetime payment made directly to your mortgage lender. The goal of the program is to bring a delinquent mortgage current.

Here are some basic requirements that must be met by a Georgia homeowner with mortgage and hardship in order to apply for HomeSafe Georgia assistance.

  • The home must be in Georgia, Owner Occupied and Primary Residence of the Applicant with a hardship
  • The home must be Single Family Residence, Condo or Townhouse
  • Total outstanding mortgage balance is less than $417,000
  • Applicant cannot have liquid assets over $5,000 to $10,000, based on family size (doesn’t apply to retirement accounts)
  • The Applicant must have a qualifying unemployment or underemployment hardship that began within the last 36 months
  • The Applicant must provide hardship supporting documents proving minimum 25% of income reduction
  • The monthly mortgage payment must be 25% or more of the gross household income at the time of the qualifying hardship
  • The Applicant cannot be delinquent with more than 12 regular mortgage payments
  • The Applicant must had been current on their mortgage at the time when the hardship started

Contact HomeSafe Georgia customer service at: 877-519-4443 to get more details.

How to Apply for HomeSafe Georgia Program options

Before you begin call your Lender to see if they participate in HomeSafe Program, or check the list below.

source: HomeSafe Georgia Program – list published 11/03/2014

To determine program eligibility, a homeowner must complete  HomeSafe Georgia application and provide all necessary supporting documents to be reviewed by the program underwriters. Visit HomeSafe Georgia website application page and follow the steps to apply for any of the program options online. Within 3 weeks HomeSafe will assign you a counselor who will lead you through the process. For details on HomeSafe Georgia call Customer Service at:  770-806-2100 or toll free 877-519-4443

Georgia Homeless Service Organizations

Georgia has regional homeless service organizations that coordinate local resources and can provide assistance to the homeless. Some Georgia Homeless Service Organizations are funded through Continuum of Care (CoC). Continuum of Care is a federal program that consolidates 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.

Georgia Homeless Service Organizations funded by CoC assist individuals (including unaccompanied youth) and families experiencing homelessness. With main goal of long-term stability, those Georgia homeless service organizations provide the services that are needed to help such individuals move into transitional and permanent housing. Here is a list of Georgia Continuum of Care Organizations.

If you are homeless in Georgia and need help – call the listed homeless service organization in your area.

CoC Coordinator / CD Specialist
Athens-Clarke County (Unified Government of)
375 Satula Avenue
Athens, GA 30601
Phone: 706-613-3155 x1205

Community Development Administrator
Athens-Clarke County (Unified Government of)
375 Satula Avenue
Athens, GA 30601
Phone: 706-613-3155

Innovation Delivery Team Director
Atlanta, City of
Office of the Mayor
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 4310
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: 404 330 6266

Project Manager, City of Atlanta CoC
Atlanta, City of
55 Trinity Avenue SW Suite 4310
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: 404 865 8859

CD Manager
Augusta-Richmond County
925 Laney – Walker Blvd., 2nd Floor
Augusta, GA 30901
Phone: 706 821 1797 x1887

Housing Trust Fund
Georgia Department of Community Affairs
60 Executive Park South, NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Phone: 404 327 6870

COO for Programs
Center for Family Resources, Inc.
995 Roswell Street, NE, Suite 100
Marietta, GA 30060-2151
Phone: 770.428.2601 x244

Center for Family Resources, Inc.
995 Roswell Street, NE, Suite 100
Marietta, GA 30060-2151

Homeless Resource Network, Inc.
Post Office Box 811
Columbus, GA 31902
Phone: 706 571 3399 x5

CD Director
Dekalb County Community Development
150 East Ponce de Leon Ave., Suite 330
Decatur, GA 30030
Phone: 404 286 3338 or 3308

Special Projects Coordinator
Dekalb County Community Development
150 East Ponce de Leon Ave., Suite 330
Decatur, GA 30030
Phone: 404 286 3366

HPRP Coordinator
Dekalb County Community Development
150 East Ponce de Leon Ave., Suite 330
Decatur, GA 30030
Phone: 404 286 3368

Division Manager, Office of Emergency and Transitional Housing
Fulton County Health and Human Services Department
Jefferson Place
1135 Jefferson Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
Phone: 404.613.0416

Deputy Director
Fulton County Health and Human Services Department
137 Peachtree Street, Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: (404) 612-7187

Director of Community Services
Chatham-Savannah Authority for the Homeless
Post Office Box 8936
Savannah, GA 31412
Phone: 912.790.3400

Georgia Low-Rent Apartments

Find more and search for Georgia subsidized and low-rent apartments here.