Non-profits in Dallas County work to prevent homeless in the community using the support of the state of Texas Department of Housing of Housing and Community Affairs as well as HUD. The main programs used include legal aid to prevent evictions, cash grants for deposits or rent arrears, motel vouchers, and much more. Information on the services administered are below as well as referral information.
The resources in place go by many names, and one of them include the HPRP - Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program. Another program is known as Emergency Solution Grants (ESG), and of course there may be some low income tenants that qualify for free legal aid or representation. Each of these is focused on a certain situation, however they all work to stop evictions from happening across the Dallas Texas community.
When a family or individual is currently homeless, they too have options. This is where rapid-rehousing comes into place. There are agencies that focus on getting a currently homeless family into transitional housing and then eventually a new home. During that time-frame they may receive financial help from ESG grants to pay for the security deposit or move in costs. Once they have been placed into the new apartment, ongoing support as well as advice will be given to them.
Emergency Solution Grants – This is where most of the money for these eviction prevention programs come from. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grants are issued to both non-profits and charities in Dallas County Texas, who then allocate the funds to the people and specific programs that they see fit.
ESG is not restricted to only paying one type of expense. The money may be used to pay for rental arrears or security deposits. Some of the agencies in Dallas may provide motel vouchers to a family that has just been evicted (if the local shelters are full to capacity). Another criteria is that there may be some situations that are given priority as part of ESG, such as senior citizens or single mothers in the community.
Another use of this federally funded money is to help pay for some of the specialty services. One is supportive housing for the disabled as well as seniors, which will help those facing eviction or that need to move due to affordability issues. ESG can also provide housing for veterans in the Dallas area from SSVF.
When applying for assistance, there will be proof of income as well as residency needed. The program will also help non-English speakers as well as immigrants, if they meet the other qualifications in place. So there are no restrictions based on race, age, or religion. However the number of people able to be assisted is limited.
Dallas County legal aid can also help with housing or eviction challenges. There are firms based in the city of Dallas as well as county that are part of the Continuum of Care. Others partner as part of the programs run by the Department of Housing of Housing and Community Affairs. Now any legal aid will not deal with strictly financial matters, but is instead for evictions caused by issues such as unsafe housing, illegal notifications, and more.
Rehousing Programs – These are for residents that are currently homeless and now have the ability to maintain a home going forward. This means the household needs to have a source of income, meet certain credit score criteria, and be active members of case management. Other qualifications need to be met as well.
The Dallas rehousing program will be holistic in its approach. There will be support given to the homeless family for all steps of the process, ranging from locating a new, affordable property to rent to paying for some of the costs, such as a deposit. A family can move into an apartment, town-home, or single family property as well.
The process is ongoing as well. As the long term goal is to prevent a repetitive history of evictions, the rehousing process will offer information on job programs and even debt reduction services. Whatever it takes to keep the family stable, and help them pay their future rent on time, will be covered.
Homeless Prevention is organized by many different agencies partnering with the U.S. Department of Housing and Community Affairs. The organizations that are allocated funding can change from year to year, but in general, there are resources available. Any financial help for stopping evictions usually runs out early in the year, so if a tenant is struggling, they need to ask for help as soon as possible. If they do not qualify, then referrals may be provided for other solutions in Dallas. For more information, dial (214) 520-6590 or (214) 915-4600.
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