Working with partner agencies across the state, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development is a key government organization for those facing homelessness. While the agency does not offer direct financial aid to residents, they advocate and work with local charities and non-profits to coordinate financial resources. They also coordinate services for currently homeless families or individuals.
There are dozens of social service agencies, non-profits, and government affiliated organizations that provide assistance. What may be available varies based on the town and county, but it can include free legal aid, emergency grants to pay back rent or a security deposit, and shelter or transitional housing. Most clients will also be able to participate in case management and get help in locating a new, low income apartment or permanent home to live in.
All of the housing resources listed below may be available in your county. Local non-profits that partner with Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, such as a community action agency or the Salvation Army, may have more information on them or that may even accept applications.
The Emergency Solution Grant, or ESG, is available in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). So it relies on an annual allotment of funds from the federal government, and budgeted amounts can change from year to year.
This is a key service for residents that are facing an eviction or that are on the verge of homelessness. There may be cash grants for individuals and families that are behind on their rent or even energy bills. Using EGS funds, non-profits will help at-risk families obtain and continue to pay the rent on appropriate permanent housing.
For those that are currently homeless, they may be able to get help in locating and paying for a new home. Numerous low income apartments are across the state. Grants may be for the moving costs as well as deposits or first month’s rent. This is also known as a form of rapid re-housing.
HPP – Homeless Prevention Program is available in Virginia. This is a state of Virginia funded resource for the prevention of evictions and the resulting homelessness. The program was designed to divert low income or struggling tenants from homelessness. Non-profits or charities across the state that participate in HPP may be able to receive limited rental assistance or loans. Legal representation is often part of this service as well. This is made available to households who are likely to otherwise become homeless.
There are several components to this Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development affiliated service. Eligible expenses addressed from HPP include emergency financial assistance, housing stabilization and relocation services, access to the statewide Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development Homeless Management Information System and more.
The Continuum of Care (CoC) in Virginia is run in partnership with HUD and the department. It was created to assist communities across Virginia and America address the problems of evictions and homelessness. Non-profits and other organizations across the state work together in a coordinated, comprehensive and strategic fashion to provide direct financial aid and rehousing to those that need it, including single parents.
The Department of Housing and Community Development works with these groups to organize and deliver housing assistance and related services. First and foremost, a pro-active approach is taken, and this may be funds to pay a portion of rent or other costs. For those that are too far behind, Continuum of Care will help them toward stable housing and maximum self-sufficiency.
Other services are part of CoC in Virginia. This will be intake, outreach and assessment to identify an individual’s or family’s housing needs. Based on the results of this, they will receive linkage and referrals to programs to pay security deposits or rent.
Another program is the Homeless Solutions Grant (HSG). This is a Virginia funded program to assist households experiencing homelessness to find a new home or apartment. It can help the currently homeless regain stability in as short of time as possible. It also wants to break the cycle.
Public housing authorities (PHA), local government and non-profits can use the Homeless Solutions Grant to pay for housing relocation, shelter operations, rapid re-housing, and stabilization. A local PHA can often also help with other needs, such as section 8 housing vouchers.
For those that qualify for HSG referenced above, their child care costs can also be paid as part of the Childcare for Homeless Children Program. Your provider will need to pay an active role in this and organize it on your behalf, if qualified.
State of Virginia Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS, or HOPWA, offers housing assistance and other support services for low-income qualified persons or families that are impacted with HIV or AIDS. As funding is available, it provides help with a mortgage payment or rental assistance, utility bill payments, security deposits, and more. There is also referrals to resource identification and medical care, if needed.
This is generally offered by nonprofits in the state. Many faith-based organizations also participate with Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development in the HOPWA program. All of the funding is generally offered through DHCD and/or Ryan White funding. Components of it may be TBRA tenant based rental assistance, social services and also short-term rental and utility assistance (STRMU).
For more information on some of these programs, call 1-800-230-6977. There can be information offered on assistance for homeless or Virginia families facing an eviction.
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