There are several homeless as well as eviction prevention programs in Travis County Texas. They will support tenants that have a qualifying emergency. Additional assistance can be provided in the form of rehousing services for the currently homeless, and this is often times combined pro-actively with resources to stop the eviction in the first place.
There are several local agencies that are involved in these programs, including Austin based ECHO, a non-profit known as Front Steps, local pro-bono law firms, as well as the Salvation Army. Each one of these organizations will direct qualified low income families to eviction prevention programs for their needs. Or a tenant can learn how to apply for Emergency Solution Grants for paying rent or past due energy bills, access motel voucher programs, or even just placement into a local shelter.
There are several United States Department of housing and Development, or HUD, resources that were created to either help the homeless, or prevent this from occurring in the first place. The application process will vary for each one. Some take a pro-active approach to stopping an eviction, while others will place a family into a new, low income home.
Veterans in the Austin region, whether they are homeless or close to it, can seek help from either VASH - Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing or a similar program known as SSVH. It combines issuing the former member of the military with a voucher (to pay for a motel or future housing) as well as placing the veteran into income based housing. If the need is for immediate eviction help, then SSVF may provide emergency, one time rental assistance. It is normally required that participants pay 30 percent of their total adjusted gross income towards their housing expenses.
Proactive eviction assistance as well as rehousing may be paid for by the HUD funded Travis County Emergency Solution Grant program. Referrals from organizations such as ECHO can help low income tenants access the money they need for keeping a decent, safe place to live.
As part of this service, grants may assist with not only rent arrears, but also electric or water bills and maybe a deposit for connecting utility service. Some of the money may also be used for advocating on behalf of the client, or coordinate legal aid to review the pay or quit notice that was issued.
Any grant based aid is only provided based on the availability of funding from the federal government, and organizations will also generally only help stop the eviction one time only.
Housing Opportunities for Persons with HIV/AIDS, also known as HOPWA. HUD will provide cash grants to the city, states, and non-profits in the area. It can pay for everything from housing to medical, eviction defense or transportation needs of low-income persons or families with a member that is medically diagnosed.
If a resident has been evicted, or is forced to leave their rental unit due to hazardous living conditions, then rehousing may be the solution. This not only helps unsafe conditions such as a landlord refusing to make home repairs, but it can also support women fleeing an abusive situation and other scenarios.
Depending on the cause of the homeless situation and the timing of it, the first stop may be to issue a voucher to pay for a motel in the Austin area. This is generally only an option if all of the shelters are full. But a voucher program will be assessed to see if the person is qualified.
Many other scenarios may be covered by raid rehousing. In all instances, the applicant needs to be able to quickly regain stability in their lives. If the applicant needs help with this, then agencies such as ECHO can support them. Examples of this assistance is as follows.
The fact is there are many emergency resources available for preventing homeless in the Travis County area. For those residents that are facing an imminent eviction or that are currently homeless, they can dial 512-234-3630 for support.
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