Government grants as well as free legal aid can help stop evictions in Suffolk County. The programs, which rely on federal funding as well as several local non-profit organizations, coordinate their services to assist struggling tenants. If someone is living in poverty, or faced with a crisis, emergency eviction prevention programs may be available.
The homeless in Suffolk County New York, or those that have lost their home or apartment due to unpaid rent or a mortgage, can also apply for rehousing. Between these two housing programs that operate in the community, including towns such as Huntington, many groups to their best to rehouse families and either reduce (or end) the cycle of evictions in the area.
There are a few common challenges faced by families or individuals who rent their home. The biggest may be the high cost of housing in the area. Landlords across the area, including cities of Babylon and Huntington, continue to pass through increases that often exceed a tenants income. But this is not the only cause of evictions.
Many utility bills that households have, such as water or heating, also can be difficult to pay. Especially during the colder fall, winter, and spring months. If a family is threatened with an eviction for either one of these needs, then financial help may be provided for homeless prevention.
When seeking assistance, many of the agencies focus only on certain towns or cities in Suffolk County. As one example, Family Service League focuses its resources on the town of Islip only. Other non-profits also will assist tenants in a certain community. The emergency hot-line, which is noted below, can provide referrals as needed.
Grants, which come from the state of New York and/or HUD allow money to be provided to some low income tenants. The funds are used for eviction prevention reasons only, with priority on rental arrears. However some heating or water bill costs may be authorized to be paid in some cases.
Applicants also need to show the commitment in making it out of their situation as well. This means they will often need to pay some of their own money for the rent as well, and eviction programs do not serve as some form of entitlement. Clients will also need to agree to savings and employment goals (which are strictly enforced) in order to enroll. Also, if the situation is so dire and the grant may not be an effective use of limited resources, then the tenant may not qualify.
The pro-bono Suffolk County Legal Aid Society also coordinates support to tenants that have a vacate notice from their landlord. This form of assistance though will not deal with a straightforward issue on unpaid rent. Instead lawyers, which can be reached at (631) 853-5212, offer help for illegal evictions or utility disconnections. Most low income tenants and senior citizens (regardless of their income) can apply for free advice on a housing issue.
Short and long term rehousing – This services addresses a few different needs. There are the homeless that need accommodations, families that need to resettle into a less expensive home, or the recently evicted that need to be reestablished. The number of shelters in Suffolk County is limited as are the number of affordable apartments, so this does make the process more complicated.
The different ways to rehouse a family include shelters, motel vouchers, non-profit programs such as the Huntington Interfaith Homeless Initiative (HIHI), and of course transitional housing. When a resident is able to use one of these resources, if they meet the goal based plans that are put into place, then the final outcome may be moving into their own house or apartment.
The applicant's background is one of the key factors that will be assessed. If an individual is chronically homeless, then a shelter may be the best option. On the other hand, if a low income family was recently evicted, then they may just need some time to save some money and then they can quickly move on. Veterans in the region may be treated differently as well, as they can often get help from a program known as SSVF. Each situation in Suffolk County will be unique.
Suffolk County New York rehousing will also have a financial component to it. Based on money raised by the United Way or disbursed to the community from HUD, non-profits will try to help a client with those initial moving costs.
For more information on these, and other homeless prevention programs in Suffolk County, dial 1-888-774-7633. It is best to ask fore eviction help before a pay or quit notice is issued by the landlord, as what that date passes the number of resources available to address the emergency becomes much more limited.
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