Using money provided by the state and federal government, Fairfield County tenants with an eviction or pay or quit notice can get help. Based on the qualifications of the individual seeking assistance, there may be targeted grants provided for paying some of their housing costs. Bridgeport Connecticut families and those from nearby cities can also enroll into support services, such as legal aid or credit counseling, in an effort to break the cycle of evictions.
There are a few different resources available in the county. They include the Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Program (EFPP) as well as the Fairfield County Rapid Rehousing Program, or RRP. There are multiple non-profits that administer this in the area, including TEAM Inc. as well as Lifebridge Community Services.
Eviction help is available countywide, including in Derby, Bridgeport, Stamford, and other cities in the county. After applying, if found qualified, the tenant or homeless person may enroll into housing relocation services, apply for grants for paying rental arrears or deposits, be given a motel voucher, or receive other stabilization services.
EFPP eviction assistance in Fairfield County – There are various criteria in place. The applicant will normally need to have a total household income of 60% below the county median. The monthly rent and energy bills need to be affordable, and the applicant also needs to be able to get back on track to provide for themselves in a month or so. Agencies from cities such as Norwalk and other regions may also put into place their own screening process.
There are a few types of assistance that may be provided. Usually, non-financial options are explored first. So mediation may be arranged with the landlord to try to see if the eviction notice can be changed to provide the tenant more time, or they will explore other solutions that work for all parties. Lawyers or paralegals from Fairfield County will also review the pay or quit notice to ensure it is legal.
When that does work, the applicant may be given a grant. The funding is limited, and all requests are reviewed on a case by case basis. The client may be referred to the rent back in Bridgeport, or they are given a government grant. This type of help is only for people with a notice to quit from their landlord.
If the eviction assistance is needed for unpaid utility bills, including excessive winter costs, then a grant can help with that need too. Some families in a hardship may be facing homelessness as their electricity or water is being shut off. So the Fairfield County EFPP program can support those cases too.
Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention also of course helps homeowners with a foreclosure notice from their bank. Small dollar amounts may assist with a mortgage payment. Or another commonly used way to help these situations is legal aid or restructuring the home loan. All of these programs, and more, will be assessed.
Homeless assistance from Rapid Rehousing – This is a program used by agencies in Fairfield County, such as TEAM, that can end homelessness. It won't really matter what caused it, whether eviction, a foreclosure, or some other reason, the objective is to quickly transition the client into permanent housing and providing ongoing advice and support.
When a new, low income apartment has been selected, RRP will require that at the very most the total housing costs (including rent and utilities) does not exceed roughly 60% of the applicant's income. So the new home needs to be affordable over the short and long term. Any Rehousing assistance in Fairfield County is one off, and this is not a government entitlement program.
For those individuals and families that were evicted and are now in emergency shelters or who were using a hotel voucher to pay for their housing, Rapid Rehousing will try to help stabilize them. The case management process will help them overcome any financial barriers they have. There is also classes, such as ESL arranged for people with limited English skills, enrollment into budging classes, and much more given.
RRP may offer some direct financial aid too from the money allocated to the eviction prevention services. A reactive approach to eviction prevention will provide grants to help the new tenant get back set up. So clients may be given interest free loans for a security deposit or help in setting up utilities or even telephone service. When qualified, other grants may be paid out too.
Some of the Fairfield County Connecticut agencies to contact include Alpha Community Services, TEAM Inc. at 203-736-5420, and Lifebridge at 203-368-5594.
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