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Homeless prevention and rapid rehousing programs Essex County Massachusetts.

Homeless prevention and rapid rehousing programs in Essex County Massachusetts help tenants, homeowners, the homeless, and disadvantaged groups such as immigrants, minorities, and anyone facing discrimination. there may be funds to help pay housing costs (mortgage, rent, or utilities) to prevent homelessness. Or find money for rehousing, tenant/landlord mediation services and other support. The goal is to prevent homeless in trhe counties and cities such as Lawrence, Lynn, Salem and others.

Each year the federal government provides emergency grants (ESG) to organizations such as Lynn Housing Authority - Family Success Center as well as Greater Lawrence Community Action Council. These groups provide help in the form of cash, vouchers for motel or hotel rooms, shelters, rent or deposit help, mediation or even legal aid.

The way the service works in the Essex County region and cities such as Lynn, Salem and Lawrence MA is that the non-profits and charities below can receive funds from the federal government or the United Way each year. The money is allocated to a wide range of homeless prevention and/or rehousing programs. Or tenants or homeowners can get advice, such as legal aid around evictions or foreclosure. Anyone in need of assistance in Essex County needs to apply for support for eviction or mortgage help or rapid rehousing.

Types of homeless prevention

There are different programs available, including RAFT as well as ESG grants from the Family Success Center. The Greater Lawrence Community Action Council also offers support. They are all funded using federal money or donations that the United Way in Essex County MA or the state disburses.

Assistance can come in many forms. The help may be financial in nature. Or lawyers offer legal advice to the low income (homeowners and renters) and can try to mediate a solution with a landlord or bank (if a mortgage). Sometimes it is too late to save a tenant or homeowner, and in these instance rehousing is offered.

The United States Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds emergency solution grants (ESG) in Essex County Massachusetts. This is what pays for the homeless prevention and rapid rehousing programs. The government money needs to pay for some or all of the following services:

 

 

 

  • -Financial aid for housing costs – Mortgages; electric, heating, or water bills; rent.
  • -Homeless shelters for the homeless
  • -Transitional housing, or short term accommodation programs, which is a short term lodging used on the path to stability. There are many other national transitional housing programs near you.
  • -Job counseling, as employment and career skills are important to increasing income for housing stability.
  • -ESG grants can pay for debt help, budgeting, credit repair, and money management.
  • -Assistance rebuilding credit is part of rapid rehousing in Essex County, as landlords may not rent to an individual with bad credit.
  • -Moving costs can be paid by Family Success Center homeless prevention and rapid rehousing. This may be for storage, a security deposit, lease application fee, or background check that a landlord requires.
  • -Specialty housing programs., including HUD VASH or SSVF for veterans, senior citizen supportive housing, and financial aid for single mothers or teenagers.

ESG grants or RAFT in Massachusetts may pay for other services. The non-profit that administers the funds has some discretion. But in general, it needs to be something focused around housing families or individuals – keeping them safe as well as comfortable in a home or apartment.

Applying for homeless prevention Essex County Massachusetts

This is an emergency program as last resort. Applicants need to have a low income and/or be in poverty. They also need to be in arrears on their utility bills, rent, or mortgage. Or the applicant needs to have a foreclosure notice from their bank/mortgage service or an eviction notice from their landlord. Financial assistance is short term only for emergencies.

 

 

 

 

Another critical part of Essex County homeless prevention and rapid rehousing is the applicant’s willingness and ability to gain self-sufficiency. This means the applicant, in working with a non-profit, needs to address the root cause of their financial hardship. Whether it is employment, debt or credit issues, or some other root cause, tenants or homeowners need to address them.

As noted, it is a referral service. Emergency Solution Grants (ESG) are issued by local charities as well as non-profits. Anyone in needs to call them for help or to apply. For details or information, dial the Success Center at 781-581-8600 (address is 10 Church Street, Lynn Massachusetts) or call the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council at 305 Essex St, Lawrence, MA 01840, call (978) 681-4900.

 

By Jon McNamara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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