A limited number of lower income families in San Mateo County can receive either eviction help and/or rehousing services. Non-profits and government agencies that are part of the Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance Program are committed to both stopping evictions from occurring and also placing people into permanent housing.
Using grants and support that is provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), these agencies that are part of the Continuum combine resources in an effort to support vulnerable families. Whether an applicant had a short term reduction in income, is a veteran or single mother, or even chronically homeless, the housing first programs in San Mateo County may assist.
The greater San Mateo County community will always try to stop an eviction from occurring in the first place. This will be the goal of any programs available, however unfortunately it is not always possible to do this. Using the tools below, tenants may be able to get assistance as follows.
Cash grants may be provided for paying rental arrears. Using Housing and Urban Development funds, as well as extra money raised from fundraisers organized by the United Way, clients may be able to receive financial help to keep them in their current home or apartment.
The money is used to pay some of what the landlord requires. Or if the tenant is facing eviction due to unpaid utility bills, then the HUD grant can assist with that expense as well. Whenever a tenant has been approved for a grant, only a small portion of the expense is paid by a San Mateo County agency. They will require the client to make a financial contribution as well, which shows their desire and ability to help themselves.
If the eviction is caused by other challenges, such as a legal issue or landlord/tenant dispute, then other solutions are explored in San Mateo County to prevent the eviction. Housing specialists from non-profits from across the region will meet with the individual in these cases. When it is decided that some other approach may be effective, such as general housing, budgeting workshops or even referrals to pro-bono law firms in the area, then this will be arranged.
All too often it may just be impossible to prevent the eviction. Maybe the tenant is just too far behind on their bills, or maybe the home is no longer affordable. This can often be the case as the cost of rent and overall living is very high in the region. It could be that a stretch of unemployment or someone living beyond their means has also caused problems, and when the homelessness is imminent, the rehousing is reviewed as the next step. More information on that process is below.
The county is partnering with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to shorten the time-frame that it takes to help a resident find and move into a new home. The goal is to keep the family out of a shelter (if at all possible) and rather place them into transitional housing, then eventually a permanent home. The Continuum of Care supports both the chronically homeless and those that were just evicted.
The rehousing process will move a homeless family into transitional housing for a period of time, and there are units in cities such as Daly City. During their stay their, they will gain the skills, income, and will have time to save money for future housing expenses. They will also work with counselors from various San Mateo County agencies in an effort to help them gain self-sufficiency, which will prevent future evictions.
The next step of the process is to provide the tenant financial help. This will only be given if the goals and targets of the transitional housing are met, such as around income targets. There may be government grants for paying security deposits or money to help the family move. Everything is offered with the goal to help the family move into a permanent house that is affordable. However this can be a challenge in the pricey northern California market, such as Redwood City.
For information on these services, or referrals, call 650-685-5880. Income eligible families will be referred to the proper resource for their needs.
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