Continuum of Care affiliated agencies in Hillsborough County Florida may be allocated federal government grants in an effort to stop evictions in the area. Federal government funds from Emergency Solution Grants (ESG) are used to pay for homeless prevention programs as well as Supportive Services for income qualified tenants.
There are different organizations that may be able to help tenants. They include non-profit organizations, charities, local governments such as Tampa Bay social services and public housing agencies. All of these groups work together as part of the Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative (THHI) to both prevent future evictions in the region as well as help place the homeless into a new apartment.
Some residents may fall behind on their rent or utility bills from time to time. Whether they are struggling, or have an eviction notice from their landlord, then they can apply for homeless prevention. There will be proof of income, a copy of a lease, identification, and other supporting documentation needed.
The money available for this task in Tampa Bay Florida is the result of emergency solution grants. This federally funded program is used to help individuals and families at-risk of homelessness to maintain their existing home or, when that is not possible, transition to new permanent housing. There may also be funds for people threatened to be evicted from a mobile home in Hillsborough County.
Each agency that is part of the Continuum of Care will decide what to use the money for. While there are some general guidelines, HUD also provides some flexibility as well. Uses of the funds may be as follows.
Families with an eviction notice or disconnection notice from their electric or water company can receive financial help. This is one time only and the applicant needs to be able to sustain future housing costs on their own. All money is first come and served while it lasts.
Hillsborough County non-profits will often focus on one or two targeted audiences. There are agencies that focus on homeless prevention for women, such as single parents or domestic violence survivors. Others will support veterans with a pay or quit notice using SSVF funds. There may also be grants for the disabled, short term unemployed, and other struggling families.
The Continuum of Care may not just provide money for stopping an eviction. Agencies may decide to provide other types of support. One service that may be commonly available is legal aid. An attorney can help mediate a solution between a landlord and tenant. Whether an eviction notice is for unpaid rent or other issues, such as needed repairs to the home or a lease violation, the free legal assistance in Hillsborough County can be effective in resolving this.
The Hillsborough County CoC Program can also help pay for housing relocation and stabilization services. This is generally for a resident that was evicted in the past so is now considered to be homeless as per the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act, or HEARTH. The applicant needs to be well on the way to self-sufficiency before they can be rehoused.
The money from the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program can provide for direct support to the homeless. A Tamp Bay non-profit will often pro-actively offer a Street Outreach service, which pays for the costs of unsheltered persons or those living on the streets. Expenses paid range from emergency health or mental health care, case management, motel vouchers to get them off the street, and services for special needs populations.
The next part of rehousing is Emergency Shelter. The grants may be used the operation of facilities as well as to pay for the placement of Hillsborough County residents into them. A CoC organization may provide a single parent with child care, legal advice, employment assistance and job training, mental health and substance abuse treatment, or transportation.
Since the goal of the program is to prevent future evictions and homeless, support services are critical. Clients will be linked with low income housing or other necessary social services, and they will be provided ongoing support. This will break the cycle of poverty in Hillsborough County.
Finally, rapid rehousing may offer financial help. A case manager from the Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative will help the client locate a new apartment to live in, or they may be placed into public housing. This will have a lower monthly rent, so that lower cost will help prevent a future eviction is it is more affordable.
A legal review will take place of their lease agreement, and ESG funds may be used to pay for the initial costs involved. Money from THHI may pay for moving costs or storage fees, as well as the rent or utility connection deposits. So each agency has flexibility in how they use the government money, as well as it goes towards stopping a recurrence of homelessness.
For more information in Hillsborough County Florida, residents can dial 813-272-5900 or (813) 247-7233 for intake.
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