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Posted in Moving Preparation, Moving Tips&Tricks on January 12, 2023
Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

Top 5 Programs to Help You Move Out of State

Finding the right resources to help you move, acquire housing and start building your new life can sometimes seem like an impossible task. However, there are plenty of available programs to help you move out of state that can take a bit of financial burden off your back. Keep reading to learn more about fantastic services that can make this overwhelming period a little easier for you and your family.

Why Should You Consider Applying for Programs to Help You Move Out of State?

One of the first things most people consider when relocating to another state is how they’ll pay for it. Luckily, there are relocation assistance programs available that can help with costs associated with relocating out of state. These programs typically offer financial assistance in the form of grants or loans that are intended to help cover some or all of the costs.

They are typically administered by nonprofit organizations or government agencies. We should note that each program has its own criteria for eligibility, so it’s important to research the specific requirements before applying for any relocation assistance program.

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Who Can Benefit From the Support Provided by These Programs?

Fortunately, relocation assistance programs exist to help ease the anxiety about the move for those in need and make the transition as seamless as possible. But who is eligible to receive this type of assistance? Let’s take a look:

Low-income households

Both the government and non-governmental organizations work to give financial support to families who struggle to raise the necessary funds. If you have a low income, there are a number of programs you can use to apply for financial aid. Different housing agencies, NGOs, charities, federal agencies, and even religious institutions administer these initiatives and can help you achieve the relocation benefits you want.

People with disabilities

It is not hard to think that people with impairments find it challenging to finance their relocation. Many organizations are attempting to provide financial aid to such people because they frequently lack the resources needed for a move. The Administration for Community Living (ACL) or HUD administers the majority of these types of programs.


There are numerous services available to help veterans in need. For instance, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides veterans with a comprehensive program of relocation assistance. Additionally, it can put you in touch with affiliated neighborhood groups or branch agencies that can offer the finest program for your particular circumstance.

#1 Good Neighbor Next Door Program Is One of the Best Government-Supported Programs

The Good Neighbor Next Door (GNND) program is operated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It is designed specifically for individuals who are looking for affordable housing. Eligible participants must be employed full-time as a teacher, firefighter, law enforcement officer, or EMT and must agree to live in the property they purchase for at least three years. The program also requires participants to use an approved lender and complete the HUD-approved homebuyer education course prior to closing.

One of the biggest benefits of GNND is that it allows eligible individuals to buy a home at a fraction of its market value. The program also offers other perks, such as no prepayment penalty fees or mortgage insurance premiums, making it even easier for buyers to save money over time.

Application Process for the GNND

In order to take advantage of GNND, eligible buyers must submit an offer on any single-family home listed as part of this program. Once the offer is accepted by HUD, they will need to pay a $100 down payment when signing their contract and then pay 50% of the appraised market value when they close on their loan.

Additionally, note that there are no income restrictions with this program. However, buyers must have enough money saved up to cover closing costs which typically range from 3%-6% of the purchase price. After living in the property for three years, participants can sell it for full market value without paying any taxes on their profits.

A man holding money and a paper house while packing for long-distance moving
Eligible homebuyers have plenty to gain with the GNND program

#2 YWCA USA Program Fights Racism and Empowers Women

Young Women’s Christian Association offers assistance in many different areas related to relocating. They provide:

All of these services are provided free of charge and are tailored to meet individual needs.

Who Is Eligible for This Program, and How Can You Apply?

This nonprofit organization offers a variety of financial housing aid with a focus on serving women and minorities. The application process varies slightly depending on where you live, but typically, it involves filling out an online form and submitting any necessary documents (such as proof of income and so on).

In some cases, there may also be an interview process before final approval is granted. Once you have submitted your application and all required documents have been reviewed and approved by the YWCA staff, they will contact you with further instructions on how to get started.

#3 Modest Needs Program Offers Valuable Financial Support, as Well

Modest Needs was established back in 2002 with the goal of helping families who are either at or slightly above the poverty level or who are going through a temporary hardship with grants for financial support. These one-time grants range up to $1,250, but you will need to have a clear notion of how you intend to use the funds (to rent a truck, get a white glove moving service, pay for packing materials, and so on) because the money usually goes to vendors and service providers directly.

This organization pays particular attention to people who live alone (those who are relocating to a new city alone without dependent children), veterans who have just returned from active duty, teachers, and first responders. They believe that those are the people who contribute the most to our communities but frequently cannot get help from traditional agencies at the time when they most need it.

Modest Needs’ Eligibility Requirements

You can submit an application for this type of financial support if:

  • You are over the age of 18 and a legal resident of the US,
  • You have an active bank account or have recently submitted a federal tax return (within two years or less),
  • You are able to gather and organize important documents and provide the necessary documentation for the application,
  • If you are renting an apartment, you need to have a legal lease with the specified rent amount,
  • If you have passed employment and income tests.

How Do I Apply for Assistance?

To apply for Modest Needs assistance, simply fill out an online form. You will need to provide basic information such as your name, address, and contact information. You will also need to provide information about your current location and your future residence. Additionally, you will need to explain why you are relocating and how much money you are requesting for relocation expenses. Once your application has been submitted, it will be reviewed by a committee, and a decision will be made.

A woman counting money before cross-country moving
If you're looking for a one-time grant, Modest Needs can be your answer

#4 Emergency Housing Fund Can Be of Significant Help In the Time of Crisis

EHF is provided by the Housing Industry Foundation and is an initiative that provides financial support for those facing relocation due to an unforeseen event or crisis. The goal of this program is to help families who are struggling with their current living situation and may not have the resources to move elsewhere. This initiative is funded by public and private donations and grants from organizations that seek to support those in need during times of crisis.

Any number of unanticipated events can be relocation reasons – high medical expenses, loss of employment, or a family member’s passing might lead to an insecure housing situation. HIF works with a network of partner organizations to provide help for people with grants of up to $2,500 they can use to get long-distance movers, pay travel costs, and so on.

Family unpacking after long-distance moving
HIF provided more than $900,000 in aid in 2021, stopping 500 families from becoming homeless

#5 IRS Moving Expenses Deduction Saves Money for Those in the Military Service

The IRS allows taxpayers to deduct qualified relocation expenses from their taxable income. Despite the fact that this is not a true grant, you will see that your money is being saved when you consider the bigger picture. Because of the IRS Moving Expenses Deduction, you are able to exclude your relocation costs from your income and avoid paying taxes on this money. Currently, only military personnel are eligible for this deduction. However, the government has announced that beginning in 2025, it will be open to all taxpayers.

What Qualifies as an Eligible Move and Relocation Expense?

According to the IRS, an eligible move must meet three criteria. The move must be related to starting a new job, it must involve traveling more than 50 miles away from your previous residence, and it must occur within one year of starting the new job. However, there are exceptions in certain cases, such as if you have an illness or disability that requires you to relocate. Therefore, it’s important to check with a tax professional before making any assumptions about whether or not you qualify for this deduction.

In order for an expense to qualify as relocation-related, it must be directly related to your move to a new home or incurred during your move date window (the period between leaving your old home and arriving at your new home). Examples of eligible expenses include:

  • The cost of getting long-distance moving services,
  • Traveling expenses,
  • Packing materials,
  • Transportation costs (for both you and any immediate family members),
  • Cost of storage services,
  • Pet care expenses (if you’re relocating with pets),
  • Real estate fees (such as closing costs),
  • Other expenses related directly to the relocation process.

Any expense that does not fit into one of these categories is likely not eligible for this deduction.

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Useful Tips That Will Help You Save Money to Move

If you’re not careful, the costs associated with relocating can quickly add up, even with the help of the programs mentioned above. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to save on relocation costs. Let’s look at a few tasks you should put on your to-do list to keep your relocation expenses under control:

  • Create a relocation budget to avoid overspending when planning a move to another city,
  • Compare different white glove moving services to get the best deal for your money,
  • Downsize for a move before getting packing services or packing on your own, so you can determine what to get rid of and avoid having to pay to move it,
  • Enlist friends and family to help you pack up,
  • Use old clothes, linens, and towels as wrapping material and see if you can borrow boxes from local stores or find used boxes online for free,
  • Book a white glove moving company during off-peak times when movers and truck rentals tend to be less expensive.

Of course, you’ll probably need to implement some budgeting tips into your everyday life in order to save money for relocation. Some hacks from the video below may be helpful, so make sure to watch it:

YouTube video

Less Financial Worries Guarantee a Smoother Transition

Studies have shown that relocation is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. Organizing your move requires months of preparation and weeks of labor, which may include researching, hiring white glove movers, packing, and countless other hassles. For most people, however, the cost of relocation is the worst aspect of the interstate move. Every step has a price tag attached, which can be daunting for many families. Fortunately, there are several methods to get the money needed. And when it comes to financial assistance, programs that can help you move out of state are definitely worth checking.

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