Information is available from a Hotline on several assistance programs that are run by the non-profit Greensboro Housing Coalition. The majority of what is available revolves around helping with housing needs. In addition to that, the agency will partner with the tenant or homeowner to both help them identify, and implement, longer term solutions around employment and proper budgeting.
Homelessness can be caused by many factors. Maybe a job loss leads to a missed rent or mortgage payment. Or some individuals are impacted by a medical emergency or maybe a divorce. Whatever the cause, the staff at the Housing Hotline will try to find a solution to those that qualify for their services.
The hotline will only direct callers to resources. The organizations does not offer financial support themselves.
An Emergency Home Repair service is available for owner-occupied dwellings that have a resident that meets the income thresholds in place. The property also needs to be in need of basic yet essential health and safety repairs.
First priority across Guilford County North Carolina is given to low-income seniors. Another focus will be on helping people living with a disability as some of the repairs made to the homes may be making appropriate modifications for handicap accessibility.
The staff that are part of the Housing Hotline service can also refer clients to sources of low cost financing for more major repairs. In addition, due to various community partnerships, there may be no interest loans available in the Greensboro community to pay for work on homes with no running water or waste systems or systems. Or there can be assistance for residences that are poorly functioning or not working at all for basic living standards.
If someone is applying for alternative financing, then housing counseling services are available to help homeowners with the process. This review also makes an assessment on their personal finances to ensure the work can be paid for in a timely manner as well as finding a qualified contractor to do the work on their home.
Assistance is for people looking to buy as well. For families in the low to moderate income range, there is a First Time Homebuyers Workshop available in the county to help them navigate through the process. After completing this session, qualified persons are entitled to down payment and closing cost assistance. The classes are held in Guilford County and offered in both English and Spanish. The workshop covers the following subjects:
-Preparing for the purchase - This explains how to make a household budget that keeps clients living within their financial means as well as save money.
-Shopping for a home in Greensboro North Carolina – This topics assists clients with determining which dwelling works best to meet the needs of their individual circumstances as in within their budget.
-Obtaining a mortgage – Learn from the Housing Hotline how to apply for a loan and staff explain the lending process.
-Life as a homeowner – Workshops from Greensboro Housing Coalition partners review how to maintain their predetermined budget and how to meet financial goals once a mortgage is in place.
Free foreclosure prevention is also offered by partners of the Greensboro Housing Coalition. There are non-profit HUD approved housing counseling agencies in the region. They offer assistance regardless of income, race, religion or origin. This advice is free of charge to the homeowner, if they meet the program terms.
The counseling will specifically focus on resolving or preventing mortgage delinquency. While most of it is on a one to one basis, there are also some other formats. Many areas regarding foreclosure prevention are discussed and include restructuring debt, seeking loan forbearance, establishing reinstatement plans, and managing household finances. There is also a focus on clients dealing with high priced predatory lending companies.
Topics like modifying a mortgage, foreclosure prevention, education and establishing mitigation strategies are covered by Housing Hotline partners. Those struggling homeowners who are currently facing a floss of their primary residence have access to one on one counseling that also directly negotiates with the lender on the client’s behalf. This will also involve a form of mediation.
The Housing Hotline has information on administrators of the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program in the counties of Guilford. This HUD resource was designed to provide very low-income families that have a source of income with safe and affordable apartments or a home to rent in the private market. The monthly rent will be paid for using a subsidized voucher or certificate. This service is directly funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
There is often a waiting list, and the enrollment period will rarely open. However, when it does, individuals and families are able to choose a home or apartment based on their own preferences provided it meets the requirements for safety outlined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. They may be able to select an apartment, condo, or town home.
Tenants that are struggling also can access counseling. This available to teach them how to find and manage their rental unit. Teaching subjects from the Greensboro Coalition include understanding how government assistance programs to pay for housing needs work, how to budget out rent payments, education on client and landlord rental rights and the details of an eviction process. This service will not help a person locate an apartment to live in, and clients are responsible for that on their own.
For Guilford County residents who are homeless, there is an emergency shelter and/or services that work with them to keep them safe. Once someone is off the street, and on the way to stability, then referrals are made by Housing Hotline staff. They partner with local community agencies that offer immediate assistance such as housing or short-term financial help.
When it comes to illegal evictions or unsafe housing, then Fair Housing counseling is offered through Greensboro Housing Coalition partners to help a tenant evaluate the need and legitimacy of a complaint. In turn, a referral is made to a partner agency, or even free legal aid. This is done to assist the tenant with completing the appropriate filing of an established complaint under federal or state fair housing laws.
Breaking the cycle of homelessness is also a core function. So to this end, the Workforce Training Office in Guilford County will teach eligible clients necessary job skills and training to help maintain steady employment. The key to paying rent or a mortgage on time is a decent paying job as well as proper financial/budgeting discipline.
These work skills include certified occupational and also soft skills which help removal barriers to finding employment. The training is much more involved and fuses state of the art technology with customized tactics which, in turn, meets the needs and demands of the business community.
Career training is added by Greensboro Housing Coalition in this program for high need areas which increases the odds of finding employment and increases the chances of a higher salary or earnings above the current minimum wage for potential employees.
Anyone from the region that wants more information can request it. It is up to the potential client to make the necessary calls to find out if funding is available for their home and to receive any referrals for additional help. The hotline only offers information and referrals, and it can be reached at (336) 691-9521.
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