Hartford County County Homeless Prevention Program.

Homeless prevention is given to homeowners and tenants that are struggling due to exceptional circumstances. There are a few non-profits and government agencies in Hartford County Connecticut that provide support, ranging from financial help to educational workshops and counseling.

The assistance is very limited and also comes with restrictions. Here are some examples of this. There will not be grants available to help a tenant or homeowner that is living in a property they can't afford; applicants need to attend budgeting workshops; clients need a source of income; and only a small amount of money is available for paying rental arrears or a mortgage. Grants to pay a security deposit are even more limited.

The three main agencies in the Hartford County area that offer homeless prevention as well as rapid rehousing include the Salvation Army, local community action agencies as well as the Department of Housing. Each of them relies on both state of Connecticut as well as federal government funds to provide these services.

Details on homeless prevention and rehousing in Hartford County

The agencies will partner with individuals as well as families that are threatened with losing their home. This can be due to a disaster such as a fire or their building was condemned, or it can more likely include tenants that have a vacate notice from their landlord or that have a foreclosure notice. In some cases the homeless can get financial help (such as for paying a security deposit) if they move from transitional housing to a new apartment.

All applicants for a grant need to be faced with a one time, unexpected, documentable hardship. They also need to live in an affordable apartment or house in that the applicants total monthly mortgage or rent payment can't be more than 60% of their gross monthly income. So no money is given to a family that lives in a place they just can't afford to live in.

Most of the aid paid out will be in the form of a cash grant. Since the funds are limited, and the non-profits or Department of Housing insist on the applicant contributing to their housing, then any back rent payment will be capped at a maximum dollar amount. There may also be utility bill payment help or security deposits. In general, the maximum amount paid out is $300.





The Homeless Prevention program in Hartford County also mandates case management. Any grant provided to a recipient will require the person to attend a budgeting workshop and participate in other activities. During this session there will be lawyers as well as credit counselors that hold workshops on everything from saving money to paying down debts.

The attorneys from Hartford will also discuss landlord and tenant responsibilities as part of case management. This will ensure that the person that is renting their home now how to adhere to their lease and what their rights are regarding eviction notices, maintenance of the home, and noise disturbances.

Note, in some cases the homeless prevention (which includes evictions and foreclosures) may provide a loan for any back mortgage or rent payment. The reason this is done is it further ensures the client will gain financial skills as they need to repay the loan. The interest rate on this form of financing will be minimal.

Mediation is also strongly encouraged. The Department of Housing is a major provider of this tactic in Hartford County Connecticut. It is often in the landlords or banks best interest to work with the tenant and/or homeowner to find a solution. It can be costly to evict or foreclose on a family, so mediation may allow solutions such as payment plans, abatement, and much more.

Note that some of the agencies focus on certain parts of the County. As put one example, the Salvation Army of Southern New England (phone 860-543-8423) covers East or West Hartford as well as city proper. They also support individuals threatened by homelessness in Bloomfield, Newington, or the town of Windsor.

For additional information on these rapid rehousing and homeless prevention programs, dial 1-800-203-1234. As there are other agencies in the community that may be able to provide help, ranging from financial aid to counseling.



By Jon McNamara

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