There is a housing shortage in the United States. This will make it more challenging to find affordable housing. Affordable housing is generally defined as paying no more than 30% of your monthly income before taxes on rent.
Even without a housing shortage, it can be difficult to get approved for an apartment or house rental in the U.S. without credit history, proof of employment, rental history, or references. New arrivals not resettled through the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) will likely need to live with family or a friend when they first arrive until they can secure jobs and start building credit history in the U.S.
As you consider housing options, remember these six tips:
1. Research and understand your new community in terms of affordability. Use this
calculator to estimate expenses across the United States: https://livingwage.mit.edu/.
2. Connect with a local resettlement agency. They may have programs available to help new arrivals secure housing if you are eligible.
3. Utilize local government housing resources if eligible. You can find these resources on websites of local municipalities, counties, and public housing authorities. You can find resources on the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Resources Locator by visiting this link: https://www.hud.gov/states
Click on a U.S. state and then click “Get Rental Help” to find affordable housing resources.
4. Ask a landlord if there are other ways to show that you would be a great tenant. For example, some places may accept an offer letter for a job as a verification of employment or accept a co-signer or guarantor on the lease. A co-signer or guarantor is someone who agrees to pay the rent if you are unable to do so.
5. If comfortable doing so, rent a room in a shared apartment or house. This can be more affordable and may not require a credit check. Avoid unverified housing search platforms, such as Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, and stick to reputable platforms for identifying safe, decent, and affordable housing.
6. Always use good judgment and be sure that the living situation is safe and
acceptable to you before giving anyone money or committing to be a roommate.
Beware of housing scams (such as housing ads that are unusually inexpensive, requiring
payments before showing you housing, lease purchase schemes, etc.), and do not give
money to anyone unless you are sure that the offer is valid. If you are the victim of a
crime committed by a roommate or a landlord dial 911 and report it.