Need Cheap Rent? A few ideas...

Renting an apartment while unemployed is difficult but not impossible.

Oddly enough, a lot of unemployed people are looking to downsize their lives. As housing is one of the biggest expenses, it is one obvious place to cut.

In yet another one of those cruel ironies of unemployment, it can be difficult to find a place when you don't have a job. Just when you really need to move, you can't.

Here are a few ideas:

First of all, the Housing and Urban Development department exists to help you. This is one of those things where you probably have to swallow your pride -- it might feel like welfare, but dang it, you paid for it. There is absolutely no shame in getting assistance when you need it.

Second: Call your city or town and see if any help is available. In the People's Republic of New York City (How friggin' ironic is it that the heart of capitalism exists in the most socialistic city in America?), there are numerous housing assistance programs. Like everything else in New York, this is no joke. These people are pros; they get sh*t done and they get it done right.

Third (or maybe this should be first, but I would say third): Work your network. See if anybody has an extra room in their basement or attic that they will rent you cheap on an informal, temporary basis. Make sure that if you do move in, you are the best tenant ever because you don't want to end up destroying a relationship. In times like these, we all need each other and your relationships with people are more valuable than gold in the best of times.

Fourth: This is related to third, but... whatever. Join a church or civic organization, or if you already belong to one, get the word out about your situation. People's kindness can really astound you at times if you're open to it.

This is no time for shame. If you need help, ask for it. Renting an apartment when unemployed is difficult but not impossible. Take advantage of the social institutions that can help you. You paid for them when times were good. You used to b*tch about taxes. Well, now it's time to take your cut and collect. F*ck it.

Also keep hustling for every dime you can get your hands on.

Peace and good luck.

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chuck's picture

One more...

... if you're a renter now, ask your landlord to reduce your rent. The worst they can do is say no.

When life hands you sh*t, make fertilizer.

Housing while Unemployed

I agree that it's worth it to ask for "reduced" rent (their idea of it, at least). I did that and my apartment managers agreed to give me 2 more months at my original rental amount - but then yeah, I'm toast, 'cause my Unemployment runs out. I had no choice, so I signed the 2 month lease. As for HUD, I've been hearing that the waiting lines are 2 years long or something. That's too long -- I won't even be alive by then, if things keep going like they are.

I need to move. I'm in WA State, and want to move to ND, because they have about a billion jobs there that I actually qualify for. I don't know how to do that though, when I only get $207/week from the Unemployment Insurance, and I won't qualify for any extensions because that runs out after March 3, 2012 - the date Congress set as the cut off for extensions. Crazy. Anyway, apartment managers require 2.5 times the rent they're charging for income when applying for a place, so I don't know how to qualify while on UI.


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