The various eviction prevention and re-housing programs available in the Albuquerque area combine cash grants from the federal government HUD agency along with case management in an effort to reduce homelessness in the community. Each year there are a few agencies that offer this type of assistance in the greater Sandoval as well as Bernalillo County region.
How the programs work are as follows. Charities in the area apply for grants from the Housing and Urban Development agency (HUD). Each year some money will be awarded to the agencies that operate in the area. The funds are targeted at families that are in rent arrears and facing eviction as well as anyone that is currently homeless or seeking a more affordable home to live in.
Any resident applying for assistance will need to go through case management. Financial aid is only provided if the applicant is on the path to self-sufficiency. However the local non-profits in Albuquerque New Mexico will partner with the client on this task.
The components include the following. Also, this is case management is required for tenants that are behind on their housing payments or those individuals that are currently on the streets or living in some other type of unsafe housing. The situation will need to fit the classification of being homeless as per the McKinney-Vento Act.
Staff from a non-profit will coordinate job training and placement services which are available in Bernalillo County, and this includes ongoing support. There are computer labs in the community that people can use to enhance their skills. Case management also includes Income Support Services, which ranges from credit repair to debt reduction services. Service providers will ensure that clients have full access to resources for a more stable life.
In order to apply for an Emergency Solution Grant or some other form of financial help, there are eligibility requirements. Also, any funds for paying a portion of rent arrears are of course contingent on the self-sufficiency steps indicated above. Once that process is well underway, agencies in Albuquerque New Mexico may be able to provide additional support.
Applicants facing eviction can apply for help is they have a writ of restitution from a Bernalillo or Sandoval County court. Another case in which grants may be issued are if the tenant has an eviction letter or 3 day notice from their landlord. In some cases, an agency will consider helping a family that has not received formal notice but is on the verge of being evicted. An example of this may be a sudden and significant loss of total household income that would result in homelessness.
When funds from ESG or other source are issued, the money paid out is limited to at most one or two months past due rent. Some tenants will not even receive that much. The resources available for preventing an eviction in Bernalillo County are very limited.
Rehousing assistance is also available in Albuquerque. In these cases the applicant needs proof that they are homeless or they live in condemned housing. Examples of this may be a letter from a shelter, notice from the local court system, or past eviction letters from a landlord in the city. In all cases, the person seeking help must show, within reason, the ability to resume rental payments within a short period of time so they are not just soon threatened with another eviction.
It is not always possible to place a homeless family (that is now self-sufficient) back into housing in a short period of time. In some cases a faster solution is a program such as transitional housing. Or in other instances there may be free motel vouchers issued to pay for a room in Bernalillo County, though that is rare.
When housing has been located for a family that was evicted in the past, the monthly rent payment being charged by the landlord needs to be affordable. The amount can't exceed fair market rent in the Albuquerque metropolitan areas as established by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The tenant will also need to pay up to 30% of their income for housing.
When all of the conditions have been met from these homeless prevention programs, funds may be issued. Agencies may pay up to a rental or utility deposit on a new apartment, lease application fees, or moving costs. They may also issue a voucher for a motel while the person moves and even up to one year of future rental payments.
For more information, one number to call is (505) 724-4611, and this is for Catholic Charities. Other agencies such as The Life Link as well as Southwest Neighborhood Housing Services also offer eviction help and rehousing programs.
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