Housing Trust Fund (HTF) Rental Assistance
updated August 19, 2021

The Housing Trust Fund (HTF) Rental Assistance program helps people pay for rental housing of their choice. Some HTF Rental Assistance is provided at certain existing sites, and some is provided in settings that the participant finds. It is funded by the state of Minnesota.

The HTF Program can help with temporary rental assistance, security deposits, and other housing-related expenses for High Priority Homeless (HPH) families and individuals who are assessed as needing permanent supportive housing by the local Coordinated Entry (CE) system.

This program works in partnership with service providers to help participants maintain housing stability and to transition to permanent affordable housing. If you qualify for HTF Rental Assistance, you will spend about 30% of your income on your housing and the program will pay the rest.

HTF Rental Assistance is meant to be short-term

This program may help you for up to five years. While you are on it, you work with your service provider to make a transition plan for leaving it. Your plan could include things like getting a better job, applying for cash benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and finding other housing programs that can help you.

You may be able to keep getting HTF Rental Assistance for more than five years if you cannot get a Section 8 voucher. For example, you may not be able to get Section 8 if you are on a waiting list, if the waiting lists in your area are closed, or if you have a criminal record or poor rental history.

Who It Helps

HTF Rental Assistance helps people with low income who are experiencing homelessness. Most people who get help from this program have income that is lower than 30% of median family income. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) lists how much money this is for your family size in your area.

To get help from HTF Rental Assistance, the local local Coordinated Entry System must assess you as needing permanent supportive housing and must give you a referral.

Housing Settings Where HTF Rental Assistance May Help

Usually, HTF Rental Assistance helps people rent any apartment or other housing where a landlord will accept it as a form of payment. This means that you can choose the housing you want to rent. The housing you choose will have to meet standards, which include making sure it is in good physical condition, is the right size for your family, and has a reasonable rent.

Sometimes, HTF Rental Assistance is only for specific apartments or townhomes. If you are offered one of these units and later move out of it, you will stop getting rental assistance.

Whether you choose your housing or move into a specific unit that is offered to you, you will spend about 30% of your income on rent.

Application

Families or individuals must be referred by the Coordinated Entry System. Note: You cannot directly apply for HTF Rental Assistance without a referral.

Finding a Place

If you are approved for HTF Rental Assistance, you will either need to find a place to rent or will be given a specific place to live. If you need to find your own place, it will have to be within size and rent limits based on the number of people in your household, the area you live in, and other factors.

If you need to find a place, try different ways to look for housing. First, talk to your Housing Trust Fund service provider. After that, you can:

  • Search online on websites such as HousingLink
  • Look at bulletin boards in community locations
  • Check ads in newspapers
  • Get recommendations from people you know, and
  • Ask your housing authority and other nonprofits that help people with housing.