When a family is threatened with an eviction, non-profits and government agencies in Pinellas County Florida will help them find the assistance they need. It combines emergency support for financial needs (including rental or utility bill arrears) along with case management services. This assistance, combined with rapid rehousing, is designed to stop evictions in the county, including the cities of Clearwater and St. Petersburg.
All of the assistance has the goal of stabilizing the housing needs of the client. After that objective has been met, the next step will lead the tenant back towards economic self sufficiency. This latter part is when the eviction help is combined with services such as credit counseling as well as employment. Or they can even be items given such as a bus pass so the participant can get to their job.
This homeless program is designed to assist working families with case management services, rental and utility bill support, along with referrals to employment, credit counseling and other community services as families work towards economic self sufficiency. That form of guidance is given as part of both eviction prevention as well as rehousing in the community.
Resources to stop an eviction will require the tenant to agree to a Service Plan, which takes a holistic approach to the barriers being faced. The apartment or home that they reside in also needs to meet the federal government HUD standard of being affordable, or what is known as rent reasonableness. While this can sometimes be difficult to find in cities such as Clearwater Florida, the fact is that no government grant will help with housing needs on an overpriced apartment.
When money is issued for rent or utility bills in order to prevent the eviction from occurring, the amount paid out by Human Services will vary. The government is under no obligation to assist anyone, and funds are provided at their discretion. Even if not qualified, there can be referrals given to other homeless prevention services. Or the Pinellas County family can be put into contact with someone to talk to about their hardships.
Sometimes a legal review of the vacate letter needs to be done. When the eviction is questionable in nature, or if there are questions on the tenant's obligations, then lawyers in St. Petersburg offer their advice. This will often be provided for free.
When someone is literally homeless, the Pinellas County rapid rehousing program may be available. This form of assistance is for families that do not live in a fixed residence. So they can be living in a motel that is paid for by a voucher/charity, they may reside in a shelter, or another location that is not meant for human habitation.
Income limits come into play, and other key criteria is resettlement will often require the applicant to be a single parent with custody of their minor children, an unmarried couple or non-profits can also help a married couple with children. Programs also assist for veterans, senior citizens, and other scenarios.
In order to be rehoused, the family (or key members of it) need to be self-sufficient. An income and more is required in order to pay future rental costs so an eviction just does not occur in the near future. Many Human Services agencies in Pinellas County Florida will require the participant to be working at least 25 hours per week and live in an affordable home. There can sometimes be exceptions made for those that are in school or job training, and they generally need to be employed at minimum 20 hours.
Financial aid for rehousing can cover a portion of the following costs. Payment of rent that may be due to the landlord in advance can be made. There may also be money for security deposits or utility connection fees, including electricity or phone costs. A legal review of the lease agreement may take part too. In some cases, this form of financial help is issued as a non-interest loan to the client, as they will need to have a source of income for rehousing.
Pinellas County agencies will require an individualized housing services plan to be created. Case managers may check up on the tenant in their property to ensure things are going smoothly. They will also discuss landlord/tenant responsibilities when it comes to maintaining the home, avoiding a future eviction, and more.
Everything will be documented as a goal. The participant will need to meet them, and that is their responsibility. If not, then and rental subsidies paid may end. Or the loan will need to be repaid. Also, when a tenant does not fully engage in the rehousing process, they will not be able to apply for eviction help in the future if they ever need it.
To apply for any homeless prevention service in Pinellas County, there is a Human Service office in St. Petersburg (dial (727) 582-7781) and also one in Clearwater (phone (727) 464-8400). People that are threatened with an eviction, or the homeless can stop in. Or dial 210-4211 for referrals to other programs.
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