Eviction and homeless prevention in Shelby County.

Tenants can sometime face a short term emergency. When this occurs, agencies across Memphis Tennessee can help stop an eviction. There is also government grants from ESG for currently homeless families that need to be rehoused. While the amount of support is limited, there are often hundreds of Shelby County residents that benefit from these services each year.

Eviction prevention programs have a goal of stabilizing the family. This will need to occur, and is accomplished through various strategies. A small part of this may include money for paying rent or motel vouchers for the homeless, but much more is focused on mediation, case management, and non-financial support. When there is any type of financial aid offered, it is the result of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds from Emergency Solution Grants.

There are several criteria that need to be met in order to enroll into the homeless assistance programs. They include the following.

-The Shelby County family needs to be at imminent risk of eviction, such as way behind on their rent or they have a pay or quit notice from their landlord.
-Support is only for low income families with an income below 30% of the average in the city of Memphis.
-The applicant needs to have a source of income, such as from a job, SSI, pension, or another source.
-If a resident is seeking rehousing, they must be in a shelter, transitional housing, or living in a place not meant for human habitation.
-Other criteria may need to be met as well as terms can change, as there are no guarantees to receive help from these eviction or rehousing programs.

Programs for stopping evictions in Memphis

As a form of eviction or homeless prevention, mediation and counseling is often the first solution explored. This can help solve conflicts with a landlord. Or if the person is renting from someone else, such as a family member, that can be arranged too.




If needed, lawyers from across Memphis will often volunteer their time to negotiate some type of payment terms. The goal is to provide the tenant time to either find a long term solution for stopping the eviction, or they can use that time to be rehoused. Extensions therefore have many benefits when it comes to preventing an eviction.

Often a landlord will agree to a payment plan or allow the tenant time to apply for other forms of financial help for their rent or energy bills. The homeless program in Shelby County will connect the family to some source of mediation.

When a tenant is qualified for financial aid, and if funding is available, the non-profits in Memphis that are part of the federal government funded Emergency Solution Grants program (ESG) may provide small dollar amounts of money for housing costs. If an eviction is caused by a missed rent payment, then funds may be issued for that. Grants from ESG can also help pay utility bill arrears (including water, heat, or electric), miscellaneous fees, and more.

Assistance in locating and paying for a new home

Rapid Re-housing in Shelby County is for those who meet the HUD guidelines of being homeless. Government funds can help people leave a shelter or transitional housing facility, and also get a person off the streets. The focus is on a speedy resolution whenever possible.

All applicants will need to enroll into a holistic case management process. This will help resolve the issue of why the tenant was evicted. It will be an honest assessment that tackles all issued that were faced. Not until this has been done will the process proceed.

Direct financial assistance is a big part of rehousing in the city of Memphis. Case managers will help the client locate an affordable apartment to live in. They will also help them find a motel voucher program to apply too in the meantime. Once a home has been located, government grants from ESG can be used to help pay for lease application fees as well as moving costs, such as a truck rental or storage fees. Rehousing can also help pay for a security deposit or first months rent.





In some cases, utility expenses are also paid for. This may include a standard deposit required by the utility company to set up service. There may be help in setting up a phone, or applications to Lifeline. A family is not stable until they have electricity, and that is why this is one.

As part of the ongoing support to prevent a pattern of evictions, the participant must meet with a case manager from the agency in Shelby County Tennessee. It will usually occur monthly and last for up to a year. This process will address employment needs, health or child care, and income. Whether it is a job or assistance in applying for government benefits, that will be arranged.

In all cases, a prevention plan is created. The client will work with a case management an determine goals and expectations. All risk of future homeless or evictions need to be addressed and minimized. This is done to help the Memphis family maintain their existing home. To find out more information or if qualified, dial (901) 260-4663.




By Jon McNamara

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