Families in the greater Atlanta Georgia area, including Fulton or DeKalb County, can receive eviction help if they are struggling. There may also be assistance for rehousing a resident into a new home or low income apartment. The assistance is mostly funded using federal government HUD money from Emergency Solutions Grants, and the components to this homeless prevention program are wide ranging.
When seeking assistance, the applicant needs to have an eviction notice (if they are currently leasing a property) or be defined as being homeless. This includes the person may be living in a shelter or transitional housing unit, they may have a residence that is not meant for human habitation, or living on the street. In addition, if any financial help is provided for paying a deposit or rental expenses, then the applicant needs to be on their path to self-sufficiency, which also requires ongoing case management.
Help in stopping an eviction is generally provided from Emergency Solutions Grants, which is available as part of the HUD McKinney-Vento (HEARTH Act). Every year the federal government provides this form of assistance to various non-profits in the Atlanta area. The agencies then accept applications for the funds and determine who is assisted. No organization is under any obligation to provide rent or any type of help to an applicant. ESG is very limited and focused.
Applicants must provide identifying documents, such as proof of residency in Fulton or DeKalb County. In order to apply for an eviction prevention program, they also need proof of income, copies or pay or quit letters from a landlord and/or verification of homeless status for all household members.
For those that qualify for assistance, including proving the ability to get back on track with paying their housing costs on their own, the agencies in Atlanta will work with individuals to prevent them from becoming homeless. The resources offered range from grants for rent to credit counseling, budgeting, employment assistance, or a motel voucher for a night or two while the family moves into a more affordable home. The exact form of support provided from an eviction prevention program will vary.
As noted, the Atlanta resident needs to become self-sufficiency. Eviction help is for one time emergencies and agencies will not continue to assist the same tenant that continues to mismanage their finances. There is also no discrimination from the homeless prevention service, and the disabled, elderly, veterans, single parents, and others can all apply.
The other key homeless prevention service in Atlanta that is part of the HUD McKinney-Vento Act is rehousing. This is for a resident that is now homeless, which even includes someone living in an emergency shelter or transitional housing unit. It does not matter why they were evicted, ESG and HUD can help them find a new home to live in. This is done provided they can maintain future costs on their own.
Rehousing is for Fulton County residents that are searching for housing as they are literally homeless. While this search is underway, the applicant may be moved into a transitional housing center or given a voucher for a motel or hotel for a short stay. Case managers will also help the client rebuild their finances so as to prevent all future evictions.
One key requirement of rehousing is that the property will need to be below Fair Market Value rent for the Atlanta metropolitan region. To the apartment needs to be affordable. The rent needs to be payable by their source of income, whether from a pension, SSI, or a job.
Financial assistance amounts provided from Emergency Solutions Grant are dependent on the household budget, their income and the funding availability from this various eviction assistance resources. It is short term only, but there may be assistance in Fulton or Dekalb for some or all of the following expenses.
Money can cover moving costs, storage fees, a security deposit, and first months rent payment. Utility connection fees may be paid too. Households in the region receiving other government housing subsidies such as Section 8 HUD vouchers will not qualify for assistance with rent but may qualify for assistance with their security deposit. Any money is paid directly to the landlord or energy provider.
All of the eviction and rehousing programs will require that participating households sign up for intensive case management as well. All across Atlanta are budgeting workshops, job search firms, and more. The clients needs to take the initiative to improve their finances as to break the cycle of homelessness.
For more details on these services, the phone number for referrals is 404/614-1000. As noted, all resources are limited and come with restrictions.
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