Hillsborough County Florida residents can receive emergency financial assistance from a number of Neighborhood Service Centers. The locations are located across the county, including in the cities of West Tampa Bay, Ruskin, College Hill, Plant City and the University area. Receive help for rent, food, utilities, clothing, shelter, transportation, and much more.
A number of resources and services are offered at the Neighborhood Service Centers. Volunteers as well as highly trained case managers can meet with local residents to explore all available solutions to a crisis that someone may be faced with. Options can include public financial assistance or social services, or referrals to non-profit credit counseling agencies.
A wide variety of emergency financial assistance programs are provided. Services include groceries, case management, child care, housing, funds for cooling and electric bills, clothing and household items. Some centers can also help coordinate Assisted Living Programs or transportation for seniors and other homebound people.
Low-income residents can access the social services and government assistance in a community-based environment. The services have been a trademark of the Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Social Services. The Neighborhood Service Centers are located across Hillsborough County, and are placed throughout the region in order to help as many low income families and seniors as possible.
All centers have case managers on-site who will determine eligibility for the financial assistance programs as well as Hillsborough HealthCare services. They will review applications and advise clients on their solutions and any options that are available to them.
Rent assistance from Eviction Protection Program as well as money for security deposits can help people who are at risk of becoming homeless or it can also assist individuals and families who are currently homeless. Hillsborough County Florida government and public funds, including a program known as SHIP, can help people pay for decent, safe, and affordable rental housing. The goal is to help pay rent in an emergency so people maintain a home or apartment to live in. Dial (813) 272-5220
Foreclosure counseling – Learn about state of Florida and federal government foreclosure prevention programs. Counselors will meet with homeowners to provide solutions. Tampa Bay and the entire state of Florida have been hit hard by the housing crisis, and this service is in high demand. For more information on the Hillsborough Foreclosure Mitigation Program, call the Affordable Housing Office at 274-6600.
Utility bill assistance – Programs that are administered from the Hillsborough Florida service centers include the Elderly Home Energy Assistance Program (EHEAP) as well as the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Both can offer qualified individuals grants to pay utility and electric bills, and may be able to prevent disconnections. EHEAP offers home energy assistance to households that contain an individual aged 60+. LIHEAP does not have that same age restriction. However funds are prioritized for people who are considered most at risk.
Homeless Prevention Services – Low income residents can apply for other forms of rent and/or mortgage assistance to avoid eviction and homelessness. Programs that are administered at each of the five neighborhood service centers across Hillsborough County Florida can offer housing solutions. Case managers and counselors can determine eligibility for mortgage or rent payments, and all aid will always be payable directly to landlords, banks or mortgage companies.
This service is generally offered for the low income, families who are at risk of homeless because of inability to pay their housing costs or rental deposits, those who have an official lease and who showed the ability to pay their mortgage in the past, before their financial hardship.
To find the location of the various housing centers, or to apply for financial assistance, call the Affordable Housing Department at (813) 612-5397. While the main office is in Tampa Bay, they can refer individuals to local programs.
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