There are several agencies located across Tarrant County that offer eviction help to families facing homelessness. The services provided by each of the organizations will vary greatly, as well as the funding levels. Many of them are part of the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition (TCHC), which is a leading organization that focuses on addressing a housing crisis in the community.
The assistance is available across the entire region, including the larger cities of Fort Worth as well as Arlington Texas. One key point to note is that when a tenant receives an eviction or pay or quit notice from their landlord, it may often be too late to stop the process. Residents should seek help for their rent and overall financial situation as soon as they begin to struggle, way before they are facing a crisis.
When it comes to financial help for stopping an eviction, it can be provided in many forms. There are charities as well as non-profits to try. The federal government even steps in to help as well. One of the main federal programs is the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Emergency Solutions Grants. There is flexibility in what those funds can be applied too.
One use of the money is for Rapid Re-Housing. This is offered to income qualified families that were already evicted but have addressed the cause of it. The applicant needs to prove their living situation, such as income, is now stable and they are self-sufficient. In these cases, ESG grants can help rehousing.
The funds can be be used for everything from moving costs to paying application fees to a landlord for a new apartment. Case managers from Fort Worth agencies can also provide advice on housing placement in Tarrant County. Rehousing grants can even be used to pay for an utility or security deposit or a portion of rent for a short period of time.
While not as common, some government funds can also be used to pay a portion of the costs of a motel room for a night or so. This is very limited and many agencies in Fort Worth and surrounding areas will not have the funds for it. When available, it will only be for a short term emergency situation.
General eviction or homeless prevention is also a use of ESG grants. This is a more pro-active approach and the goal is to keep a tenant in their home to begin with. In these cases, there may be financial help for paying a portion of back rent.
When applying for help to stop an eviction, there are many conditions that need to be met. It is also important to know that while assistance may be provided, there are no guarantees to receiving support. There tends to be more of a focus on assisting those Tarrant County residents that are facing a short term crisis and have not had a past history of evictions and living beyond their means.
Another cause of eviction in Tarrant County can be a legal issue. TCHC will always encourage tenants (as well as landlords) to know their rights. Whether it has to do with non-payment of rent, disturbances, disputes over security deposits, unauthorized occupants, or any other of a number of issues, having legal support can help. The Texas Young Lawyers Association and the State Bar of Texas both offer assistance for eviction matters on these types of evictions.
There are several conditions that will need to be met. These can change, and also vary by charity. But many of them are fairly consistent, and include some of the following. The applicant needs to be willing to participate in case management as well as meet income requirements. Any assistance from programs such as Emergency Solutions Grants are also provided as a last resort.
An interview will often take place, as many of the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition affiliated agencies require this. Tenants should bring proof of residents, ID for all household members, verification of immigration status, income for all household members, and copies of financial documents. Families facing homelessness should bring a copy of their lease, utility bills, household budget, and bank account information.
The Tarrant County Department of Human Services offers homeless prevention resources, and their number is 817-531-5620. Other agencies include CAP (phone 817-392-5790), Community Services Resources at 817-258-8100 or the City of Arlington (phone 817-276-6772) among many others.
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