Moving your family is already an overwhelming experience during the best of times, but it’s especially stressful when you’re already in a difficult financial position. Unfortunately, there are huge swathes of the population dealing with economic hardship, making it difficult to make a move even if it would improve their overall lifestyle. After all, moving, especially in NYC, isn’t cheap. You have to worry about broker fees, security deposits, and movers.
Luckily, there are a few notable options available for low-income assistance to help with NYC moving costs low during the process. There are both local and national resources available, so don’t be afraid to apply if you meet the necessary criteria for the grants or benefits.
There are several moving assistance grants available for people in need. Some grants do have an income restriction, but others do not so long as you can demonstrate a need for the grant. Before applying, you should read the requirements and see what moving companies these grants fund.
- Move.org – this moving grant provides one-time relocation assistance of $500 for people planning to move within the next six months. The money can be used for truck rentals, moving services, and even car shipping. There’s no income restriction for this grant, but they only provide three grants each month.
- Modest Needs – only available to those who are living at or near the poverty line and need to get through a temporary crisis. This one-time grant provides around $1,000 to help you through your extenuating circumstances.
There are several different charities that help low-income individuals and families make a move. Unlike grants, the charities can provide short or long-term support depending on your needs.
- Salvation Army Housing Now – The Salvation has more than 8,000 nationwide locations and is one of the largest charitable organizations focused on alleviating poverty. In addition to offering help with low-income families during an emergency, they can also offer help with moving costs. Contact the NYC Salvation Army office to see what kind of moving assistance they offer.
- Catholic Charities USA – you don’t have to be a member of the Catholic Church to apply for assistance. With that said, you will need to find your local NYC agency to get started. In order to qualify for help, you need to be at risk of homelessness due to your income and/or leaving a domestic abuse situation.
- YWCA – The organization has been around since the 1850s and continues to work hard in its mission to eliminate racism and empower women. Local NYC YWCAs can offer relocation assistance for women leaving domestic abuse situations, which include covering moving costs. IN order to qualify, you must live near a YWCA location.
You can apply to government aid on both a federal and local level if you meet certain requirements. Make sure you are aware of these requirements beforehand so you’re not wasting your time filling out forms only to realize you aren’t eligible. You can also contact the NYC Human Resources Administration or the NYS Department of Health for more information.
- Department of Health Moving Assistance Services – you are eligible if you must be moved from an inadequate or unsafe housing situation to a more viable environment that suits your health and welfare needs. This can also be used for senior citizens to alleviate the risk of unwanted nursing home placement. The Moving Assistance can provide up to $5,000 per year and must obtain three bids from licensed moving companies with bids over $1,000.
- NYC Human Resources Special Grant – if you need cash assistance, the NYCHRA can provide some help in the form of special grants, including help with moving. You will need to work with HRA to choose an eligible moving company. Once the move is completed, the NYC moving company will need to fill out appropriate forms to receive reimbursement. In addition to moving assistance, NYCHRA also provides cash assistance for
- Security deposits
- Broker’s fee
- Community Development Block Grants – administered by the Office of Community Service, part of the Administration for Children & Families, these grants can provide assistance for moving expenses and even a portion of your first month’s rent. As with other governmental grants, you will need to show proof of low income and that you cannot afford moving costs. You’ll need to apply to your local agency and email or call them directly.
- IRS Moving Expense Deduction – While you won’t be able to get cash in advance, the IRS does provide tax deductions for military families. Any military personnel who spends money on their move can qualify for these deductions. Just make sure to save all of your receipts!
If you don’t qualify as low-income, most of these options likely won’t apply to you. In that case, what can you do to reduce your NYC moving costs? While you might need a bit more ingenuity, you can still find ways to make moving affordable.
- Crowdfund – It can be difficult to ask for help, especially when it comes to asking for money. If you need to move out, but can’t afford it, why not put together a crowdfunding campaign? You can use sites like GoFundMe or even use Facebook fundraisers to enlist the help of friends and families.
- DIY Move – A DIY move might not be the right choice for everyone, but if money is tight, there’s no cheaper option than doing everything yourself. If you have a lot of heavy items to move, enlist the help of several friends and pay them back in a nice dinner and some drinks. You can end up saving yourself hundreds or even thousands of dollars depending on how much you have.
- Ask Employer for Relocation Package – if you’re moving for a job ask the HR department if the company offers a job relocation package. It will generally cover some or all of the moving expenses such as hiring movers, renting a storage unit, or living in temporary housing.
- Find Ways to Save Money – sure, moving isn’t cheap, but it doesn’t have to be expensive either. You can find plenty of ways to reduce your expenses such as:
- Finding free boxes
- Using alternative packing supplies
- Doing your own packing
Make Your NYC Move More Affordable
Moving expenses add up and the costs can be overwhelming. Luckily, there are places where you can find help, especially if you can prove that you are facing hardship and fall in the low-income tax bracket. With that said, there’s a lot of competition for these grants and programs so the earlier you apply, the better.
Even if you don’t qualify for grants or governmental assistance, you can still find ways to reduce your costs by reaching out to your personal network for support or finding local groups who might be able to help you out.
Can I get help with other moving expenses such as broker’s fees and security deposit?
Yes, as mentioned earlier, you can reach out to the NYCHRA for help with broker’s fees or security deposits. Your best bet, however, is to look for no-fee apartments.
Where can I get help paying rent?
If you are having issues with paying rent, you can also contact the NYCHRA for rental assistance. If you are a senior citizen or qualify for disability you can be approved for a Rent Increase Exemption so long as you have a household income of less than $50,000.
Can I take out personal loans to get help with NYC moving costs?
Yes, you can definitely take out a personal loan and it might be a better option for you than using your credit card as you’ll end up with lower interest rate and APR. You’ll need a good credit score to get the best rates though! Some options include SoFi, LightStream, and Happy Money.