Tenants or homeowners facing homelessness in Knox County Tennessee can call upon government and non-profit agencies for help. The organizations administer several programs in an effort to stop an eviction or address mortgage issues. While many of them rely on Housing and Urban Department (HUD) grants from the federal government, there may be other ways to get help as well, as noted below.
There are several agencies that can provide support, and referrals are given from the referral line below. These organizations, such as DSS, are also part of a coalition in Knoxville that was created to battle homelessness, and this is the Continuum of Care. Together they may offer money for paying rental arrears or other bills, provide case management, legal aid, no interest loans, or help a family move into a new affordable home.
Since the funding is limited, the agencies often need to make hard choices over how to allocate there money. Often the most at risk in Knoxville are given priority for any homeless prevention services. This means that support may be given to the elderly, families or single parents with children, veterans, and the disabled. Anyone can call to apply though.
While the agencies will need to make decisions on who can qualify for eviction and/or foreclosure assistance, even those so called vulnerable groups need to take steps to alleviate their hardship. A full assessment of the application will take place, along with the possibility of a personal interview.
After all, there is no point in say providing a cash grant to a single mom with a child to help them pay rent if they will just be facing eviction weeks or months down the road. So while priority may be allocated in Knox County Tennessee, that is far from the only factor.
Eviction prevention – With a large percentage of the low to moderate income population of Knox County renting a home, there are a large number of requests from tenants looking for rent arrears assistance. Many families living in poverty are also renters vs. homeowners. This is what just one component of the homeless prevention can do.
Often the best solution to stop an eviction is to set up a meeting with the landlord and tenant, and this is what mediation can do. The parties will see if an agreement can be entered into for any unpaid rent, and this may be a payment plan. If the cause of the eviction is another issue, such as illegal use of the property, unsafe living conditions, etc. then mediation can often solve that as well.
In some cases, a tenant may be given cash assistance. This is available as the result of federal grants, and some agencies in Knox County may have funds for this. This will only normally be provided after other steps have been taken by the applicant.
Knox County rehousing – This is of course a re-active approach to ending homelessness. However there are people that either are technically “homeless” as defined by the McKinney-Vento Act, or others can be rehoused if the home they live in is just to expensive based on their budget.
In these cases, the Knoxville programs may offer many forms of assistance. There may be government money to pay for security deposits on a new, government approved apartment. Or the money can be used for moving expenses or to pay for lease application fees. As long as the property is safe and affordable, clients can usually decide to live in any type of unit, including mobile homes, town-homes, condos, or of course regular apartments.
Homeless prevention for homeowners – There may be some resources available to Knox County residents that are struggling to pay their mortgage. Financial aid for this is very rare due to the cost involved, but there may be information on loan modification programs such as HARP and others. Another service that is often beneficial to homeowners is plain old negotiation as many lenders are willing to use payment plans.
For those people that have been foreclosed on, then the next step is rapid rehousing (as indicated above). This form of assistance is available for both tenants that were evicted or borrowers that lost their home to their bank. In either case, the agencies in Knoxville will try to help the family both find and move into a new home.
The monthly increase in rental payments being faced my may tenants in Knox County is causing hardship. Too many people are struggling with their rent as well as other living expenses. While the housing market for homeowners has improved, the rate of foreclosures can always be reduced as well. These various programs were created to address these needs and stop homelessness from occurring. For more information or help, call 866-588-4211.
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