Single mothers carry the unique burden of handling every task in the family normally shared by two parents. Providing food, clothing and basic needs can be difficult enough in a one-parent household, owning a home on top of that can seem a distant dream. There are several options to assist a single mother with the goal of home ownership for her family.
Government Assistance Programs
Two major programs are available to provide both counselling and assistance in the purchase of affordable housing for single-parent families. The Department of Housing and Urban Development specifically targets families with lower income for assistance with home ownership. One-income families such as single mothers can get a low-interest mortgage and other assistance for a home loan through HUD, the link is found in the resources section below.
Another government program is available through the USDA. The Housing and Community Facilities Program, targets more rural areas for home ownership programs and also assists with renovation and repairs for older homes, and provides home ownership programs for lower-income families such as single mothers.
Habitat for Humanity is a well-known volunteer-based organisation with the goal of providing housing to those in need. Applicants contact their local agency to seek approval. The homes are built by volunteers and donated materials and time, and the homeowner provides hours of volunteer labour to the project. Habitat homes are designed for families like single mothers or low-income working families to be able to have home ownership and secure housing.
Church-based groups often will assist single mothers in the local community as well, either with financial counselling and help with finding mortgage resources, or providing a small down payment or a portion of a down payment toward purchase the home. These resources are more difficult to locate as they are specific and local, however contacting local church organisations can be a good start to find this type of assistance.
Some banks and mortgage lenders do provide programs for lower-income families such as single mothers. In the difficult economy and with so many homes being foreclosed, financial institutions have tightened many of the requirements for mortgages. While this means they are more careful about income limits and mortgage guarantees, on the other end of the spectrum there are a large number of homes available at a lower price than ever before. If the lender's requirements are met home ownership is obtainable and at a more reasonable cost. These institutions are interested in filling homes that have been foreclosed on, and will work with new homeowners such as single mothers to see if they meet the criteria. Often in the interest of selling a home, lenders have begun programs that walk potential homeowners through the process of getting a mortgage, and will even connect them with the proper resources for assistance if needed.