The federal government HPRP, or homeless prevention and rapid rehousing program, is used to stop evictions from occurring in Hidalgo County. There is also assistance available to rehouse the currently homeless, and those solutions include motel vouchers or security deposit help among other resources.
Anyone in the region that is facing an eviction from their home or apartment, or individuals that are now homeless, can apply for help. Using the phone numbers below, referrals will be given to a resource that is available in the region. There are many non-profits (including community action agencies and the Advocacy Resource Center for Housing), charities such as City of Mission, and social service groups that are part of the Continuum of Care. Each agency is focused on stopping homelessness.
Financial aid for stopping evictions – When funding allows, some of the non-profits are given money from the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or the United Way. These funds are used to deal with the financial needs of renters or the homeless. Examples of what the money may be used for in Hidalgo County include rental arrears, water bills, security deposits, motel rooms, and more.
Any payments made by the non-profit will be closely assessed. They will try to help those tenants with an imminent eviction or that are just about to be forced to move out of their home. Also, the homeless prevention programs in Hidalgo County Texas will only pay a portion of what is due. This means that the person seeking help needs to be employed, or have some form of income. It can be from a job or maybe TANF or SSI that was approved by the City of Edinburg. But the tenant needs to provide stability.
Eviction assistance will also require full documentation from the applicant. In addition to above, this can include, but is not limited too, residency; doctors note of disability; proof that they are homeless or a copy of a pay or quit notice; income; age; and their household budget. Much more may also be needed.
Homeless Prevention can also include non-financial support in Hidalgo County. Many people who are seeking assistance will tend to be directed to these services offered by Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley as a starting point. This is also relied upon as a backup option since the funding from HUD and groups like the United Way is so limited.
There are various aspects to this form of eviction help. Each one will focus on a different scenario. In some cases, when possible, one of the Continuum of Care affiliated agencies may also offer cash grants as well to the tenant.
-Legal aid may be available to address issues over repairs, housing discrimination, and related matters. The lead organization is Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid (TRLA).
-Referrals can be given to long term support services, such as HUD section 8 vouchers.
-Landlord/tenant mediation can involve lawyers or professional negotiators.
-Relocation may be used to help the tenant move and free up the landlord's property.
Similar to when someone is given financial aid or a grant, the client will need to agree to case management. This will also need to show the ability to pay future rent and bills on their own, as this is always required in Haidlgo County.
Rehousing is also part of the HPRP homeless prevention program. This includes financial aid (for security deposits, motel rooms or moving costs) as well as case management. Anyone applying for rehousing will need to have some form of income as the low income housing given to them will be income based. They may also need to agree to volunteer to help clean and maintain the property and take on other chores.
If the applicant has a low credit score due to the eviction on their record, this can be addressed by the rehousing process. The client will be able to meet with a credit counselor to go over different approaches to rebuild their credit. Agencies such as the United Way as well as Advocacy Resource Center for Housing can arrange this service using partners such as those affiliated with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
Application process and next steps – To enroll into a homeless prevention program, ask for help before a rent payment is missed or before falling behind on paying energy bills. While some low to moderate income tenants may be given eviction help in an emergency, this is not as common. Hidalgo County and McAllen based organizations like to see the client be taken pro-active steps to resolve their crisis, and this often comes by seeking guidance early. For more information, dial (956) 631-4277 or (956) 702-4088. For legal aid from TRLA to stop an eviction, call (956) 447-4827.
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