A number of services are available from Arlington Housing Authority for families and individuals in the county, however the focus is on housing and homeless prevention. While much of this is available in the form of referrals, such as to the section 8 program or local PHAs, in some cases the non-profit will be able to offer its own direct financial aid for security deposits, rent, or other costs.
One key resource both locally and across the nation is the HUD Housing Choice Voucher Program. This is the federal government's major rent subsidy program for assisting very low-income families. There are also versions of it that are focused on the elderly and the disabled, and the goal is to help people afford safe, decent and sanitary housing in the private market across Tarrant County.
Since government subsidized housing assistance is provided on behalf of the low income family or individual, participants of the program are able to find their own home or apartment to live in, provided it meets section 8 guidelines around pricing and safety. Staff from Arlington Housing Authority can also offer more guidance on this. Clients can select single-family homes, condos, townhouses and apartments.
Section 8 participants will have a housing subsidy paid to the landlord directly by the local Public Housing Authority to the landlord or management company. This is done on behalf of the participating family, and then the tenant needs to pay the difference between the actual rent charged by the landlord and the amount subsidized by the government. Under certain circumstances, if authorized by the PHA as well as government qualifications, a family may use its voucher to purchase a modest home.
EFSP, or Emergency Food and Shelter, is an annual grant program in which federal funds flow to local government and non-profits such as Arlington Housing Authority. Due to the limited amount of funding available to agencies, the program usually runs from February through June before the money runs out. However it can end even earlier, and the Housing Authority may have referrals to this.
Using grants from the government, Arlington Housing Authority can provide clients referrals to programs that help to prevent evictions and assistance with rent or paying a portion of security deposits. EFSP can also offer free food, clothing and shelter to residents through direct services or referrals to other agencies. In some cases, financial assistance with utility bills is also provided.
Homeless prevention offers even more in Arlington Texas. For persons or families that are homeless or on the verge of eviction, financial assistance may include permanent housing search assistance. There can also be short term temporary lodging in a hotel/motel, payment of rental unit security deposit, loans to be used for utility deposits and first month’s rent, among other expenses arranged by the housing authority.
Another option is the Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Veterans Affairs Supported SSVF program. This was created through a cooperative partnership of federal agencies as well as the VA, and it provides everything from funds for rent, energy bills or deposits to long-term case management, supportive services and permanent housing support. This SSVF service is only for veterans as well as their immediate family members, if they meet conditions in place.
Eligible homeless Veterans, or those facing eviction in Tarrant County, receive VA provided case management and supportive services from Arlington Housing Authority or another partner agency. The goal is to support stability and recovery from physical and mental health, and keep people from being homeless or rehouse them. Components from SSVF also deal with substance use and functional concerns contributing to or resulting from homelessness.
Additional foreclosure and housing counseling is available. There are services such as financial literacy, credit counseling, and more, with the ultimate goal of homeownership. Arlington Housing Authority can provide referrals to local Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Certified Housing Counseling Agencies, and clients can learn about resources for rent and mortgage assistance, education, reverse mortgage counseling, foreclosure mediation, money-management and other support services. Some advice is free, which is mostly for low-income, at-risk and disadvantaged households or residents.
Family Self-Sufficiency is available for section 8 and low income tenants. This is when case managers from the Arlington Texas Housing Authority will provide free advice and support to clients, such as on credit counseling or maybe help the family budget properly. FSS can help ensure future episodes of homelessness are prevented.
Shelter and transitional housing is also available in Tarrant County. The housing authority runs these programs in an effort to offer short term accommodations. The transitional housing homes or apartments are for formerly homeless residents, single parents, and children too. Not only will someone have a place to stay, but they will also benefit from other self-sufficiency services.
Residents of Tarrant County with a mental health condition or disability can receive housing assistance from the Shelter Plus Care Program. This is another HUD support resource, and qualified individuals can receive rental assistance or monthly subsidies. There can also be help in locating, and moving into, low income apartments in the region.
Shelter Care Plus is an option for hard-to-serve homeless persons with disabilities, and it was designed to provide both emergency and long term housing and supportive services on a long-term basis for homeless persons with disabilities. Some of the clients may be primarily those with serious mental illness, substance abusers, or people with a physical condition. The goal is to address the needs of the hard-to-reach homeless population with disabilities.
The Arlington Housing Authority is located at 501 W Sanford St #20, Arlington, Texas 76011, and the phone number is (817) 275-3351.
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