The Hudson County Homelessness Prevention Program is administered by one organization in the region. The organization partners with the state, local churches, and housing agencies to prevent both evictions and foreclosures. Another service available is rapid rehousing, and this is for currently homeless individuals in Jersey City as well as Hudson County.
The financial aid comes in one of four different forms. Tenants may be given loans, applications to federal government grants, vouchers to pay for a motel or a portion of the rent, and lastly there is non-monetary support. This last form of eviction help includes everything from legal aid to credit repair, job training, and more.
Eviction prevention and rapid rehousing is available due to the team at the Hudson Bayonne Economic Opportunity Foundation. While this organization is committed to helping as many tenants as possible, they could not possibility do that without the use of the Emergency Solution Program (ESG), which is federally funded. The Foundation also relies on the contribution of many partner agencies in the Jersey City area, such as the United Way and Catholic Charities among others.
Financial aid for stopping evictions – When the tenant is qualified, both based on their income and other factors, the landlord will be issued money on the renter's behalf. Eviction assistance is also for one time usage only, and the Hudson County resident can't apply more than once per year.
In most cases, this type of homeless prevention will be in the form of a grant made payable to the landlord or apartment community manager. A check will be made out to them for a small portion of the amount of rent that is in arrears. The tenant will need to come up with the balance, or they can always apply for a loan for that amount.
Hudson County utility assistance for preventing homelessness – Many families, single mothers, seniors, and the disabled struggle to keep up with their monthly utility bills. The cost of electricity in Hudson County New Jersey as well as winter heating costs are very high. A landlord can send an eviction notice to a tenant if those bills go unpaid. Therefore the homeless prevention program will allow some usage of grants to pay for these costs.
Any financial help for utilities is also for addressing an emergency. Those renters that need long term support will be refereed to resource such as LIHEAP or NJ Shares, as these are some of the main programs for paying energy bills in the state. Those applications take time though, and often the government aid will not start in time to stop the eviction from occurring. So the Foundation may be able to assist in the meantime.
Rehousing and vouchers – When the eviction can't be prevented, or if the Jersey City resident is already homeless, then rehousing them is explored. This can include placing the family into a shelter or using a voucher to pay for a motel room for a night or two. There are properties available for veterans, the disabled, and housing for seniors as well.
Survivors of domestic violence in Hudson County can also be rehoused. They will get help in locating, and paying the security deposit on, a new, safe and affordable apartment. This is even available to those women who were not formally evicted by are trying to flee from an unsafe living condition. If short term housing is not available, the victim and/or their children will be moved into a shelter. Legal aid, such as a restraining order, will be made available as well at no cost to them.
Non-monetary eviction help – When the foundation is out of money, or if Emergency Solution Grants have not been allocated to Hudson County for the year in question, then the financial approach to take is what is known as case management. Low to moderate income tenants can meet with an attorney to see if they can fight the eviction. Or there are also dedicated HUD approved housing counselors that offer this service too.
This form of assistance can including everything from mediation to using a payment plan. Foreclosure counseling can also be use in these cases, if the mortgage payment is behind. Some landlords may also work with the authorities in Hudson County to provide the family a couple extra days to vacate, which then may just allow them to be rehoused.
As any resident with an eviction notice can see, there are many programs available. They help those families that are behind on their rent, or someone that is currently homeless. For more information, the Economic Opportunity Foundation can be reached at 201-437-7222.
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