Case management, financial help, counseling, and legal aid are just some of the tools available across Los Angeles County as part of the federal government funded homeless prevention and rapid rehousing program. There are several agencies that offer eviction help. The non-profits that can provide support, including the Housing Resource Center (LACHRC), and tenants or homeowners can be linked to the services from a referral line.
Landlords from across the area, local apartment community owners, and public housing providers are also key partners of this service. Non-profits require some participation from them as well to explore more innovate solutions to stopping an eviction, such as using a payment plan or maybe even a rent abatement.
It is important to note that if a tenant is too far behind on their monthly rent or energy bills, or if a homeowners is deep in the hole on their mortgage payments, then their options are limited. Many of those Los Angeles County families will unfortunately not be able to be assisted. Rather homeless prevention and rapid rehousing is more for those who request help early and that have historically lived within their means.
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grants allow some agencies across Los Angeles County the means to provide financial help. More information on the HUD process is available at Beyond Shelter Neighborhood Resource Center, the Downtown Drop-In Center, and Tri-Cities Mental Health among other locations.
Money may be available for paying a small amount of rental arrears, to pay some of a utility bill, or a security deposit as well. In order to apply, many conditions will need to be met. The terms and conditions of each administering agency in LA will vary as will the funding levels they have available, but in general aid is paid out first come-served.
A key criteria for any family or individual threatened by an eviction is to know their legal rights. They need to understand what a landlord can or can't do, and what is required from a tenant. Attorneys from law firms across Los Angeles (including the Eviction Defense Network) often volunteer as part of these homeless prevention criteria, and they can both answer questions or provide representation in any type of eviction court. Find more details on this service, and read more legal aid for evictions in Los Angeles County.
Some programs are focused on ending evictions from a select group of residents. There is the government funded Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) as well as HUD VASH, which is focused on veterans. Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) is for tenants with HIV/AIDs, and another example is section 8, which is often used by single mothers or the disabled. Each of these tend to be income based housing programs, in which homes are provided and the tenant needs to pay rent based on their income.
No matter what scenario someone falls under, the goal of DSS, the United Way, and the Continuum of Care in southern California is always to stop homelessness. That includes grants for paying housing costs to placing the long term homeless into motels or local shelters. There are even vouchers from HUD VASH or CalWORKs that can pay for a motel.
Of course not everyone will qualify for support, and the resources available in Los Angeles County as well as the larger community of cities such as El Segundo, South El Monte and other towns are very limited. However, they will try to always at least offer referrals.
Eviction help is also coordinated by the LACHRC - Los Angeles County Housing Resource Center. This non-profit operates a hotline (phone (213) 225-6581) that the homeless and tenants with a vacate notice can call. Staff will coordinate direct emergency services, try to place clients into a shelter, and offer other support.
Financial aid for paying a mortgage is very limited due to the cost of that type of program. Therefore either a loan modification or counseling is often used. Non-profit credit counseling agencies will also try to mediate some form of payment plan with the lender. As with someone renting their home, it is critical to seek professional help ASAP.
Los Angeles County homeowners can also take advantage of several different HUD supported programs such as HARP. These federal government backed solutions will aimed at stopping the foreclosure crisis in the area and nationwide. A big part of this is helping the borrower modify their home loan.
When someone is homeless, either for a day or 6 months, rapid rehousing in Los Angeles County can be used. It is often easier to help a family that was just recently evicted or that lost their home to a foreclosure. Rehousing the chronically homeless is usually more challenging.
Los Angeles based agencies use HUD sponsored grant programs to offer this service. They will help clients rebuild their credit, pay for motels for a very short term stay, or place them into emergency shelters. Other uses of the grants may be for utility or rental deposits and/or moving costs. The applicant will always needs to be stabilized before they can be placed into a new local apartment, as if they are not self-sufficiency, studies show the chances to be evicted again are very high.
For more information on how to prevent an eviction or some other homeless event from occurring, dial (800) 339-6993 for details.
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