Assistance from the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program.
Almost two billion dollars in federal government stimulus funds were used to create The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program. The money will be used for several assistance programs, including the following. Funds will support families help with rent payments and give assistance paying security deposits and utility bills. There will also be eviction prevention services, free hotel and motel vouchers, credit counseling, and more.
The money is being provided to your local state housing authority related agencies. These state governments are then distributing the money to charities and non-profits at the city and county level so that the funds can be provided to those who need it most.
The goal of the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) is to provide financial assistance, counseling, and other services to prevent families and individuals from being evicted, losing their homes, and becoming homeless. Money will also be used to help those who are currently experiencing homelessness find both short term and permanent long term housing or apartments and stay in the new housing units.
Types of rental and housing assistance offered
- The financial assistance is limited to the following:
- payments for security deposits
- rental assistance that can be short-term (up to 3 months) or long term (up to 18 months)
- utility deposits and help for paying utility bills
- moving cost assistance to move into a new, more affordable home
- vouchers for motels or hotels
- Housing stabilization and relocation services offered include:
- free legal services, including legal advice and representation in court proceedings, administrative assistance, and other issues related to tenant and landlord matters. Most rental and housing issues are addressed, excluding mortgage legal advice
- counseling and case management
- housing search services and placement
- outreach and engagement
- credit repair and advice
The financial aid from the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) is meant to be immediate. For example, at least 60 percent of the stimulus funds need to be spent within the first two years and all the grant money must be spent within three years. So the resources available are very limited and it may run out.
As indicated above, the funds are being provided to state and local governments, charities, and other non-profit organizations across the country. All of these organizations across the spectrum will provide the rental funds, counseling, case management and outreach to people facing eviction and also currently homeless people. The goal is to provide a variety of programs and flexible financial assistance to enable households to stay in their homes and apartments, or help them find a home.
The grant money can be distributed to tenants or the homeless in multiple ways. It could be provided in the form of rental assistance, which will include back rent for months in which the household has been unable to pay, security deposits, utility deposits, and money for moving costs. The government and organizations managing the program have flexibility in how they distribute the grants.
Who can get rental assistance from Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Rehousing?
The funds are targeted towards two main populations and groups. They include:
- Families and individuals that currently have housing or live in an apartment, but who are facing eviction or who may be at risk of becoming homeless. The program will provide them with temporary rent or utility bill assistance to prevent the person or family from becoming homeless. Beneficiaries will also be required to enroll into a variety of case management and self-sufficiency programs. Or the financial aid from HPRP can help them move to a new location that they can better afford to pay over the long term.
- In addition, the money can help those individuals and families who are currently homeless. For example, people who are living in emergency or temporary shelters or maybe even on the street. The grants will provide them temporary assistance so they can find housing, move into it, and also pay the rent over the short and long term.
Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing applications
Various agencies at the local level administer the program and distribute the funds for paying rent and other costs. They can include the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, public housing authorities, and your local community action agency. Each agency that receives a grant as part of the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program will decide how to best use the funds they are allocated, so no two communities may provide the same form of help.
Probably the first place you should contact for information or to apply for the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program is your local community action agency. Click here to find contact information and more information.
Another major component of the service is of course Rapid Rehousing. HPRP funds can be used to provide this form of assistance as well. States may offer support in the form of money to pay for security deposits or moving costs. Whatever it takes to get the family into a new home may be provided. Read more security deposit assistance.
The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing program also take a pro-active approach to stopping evictions. The government will do what it can to keep low income renters in their home or apartment. Qualified applicants can apply for non-profit and government programs from HPRP that may help them with their rent or legal needs. Find information on how to get eviction help.