Caddo Parish homeless prevention and rapid rehousing
There are a few different homeless prevention programs available in the city of Shreveport as well as all of Caddo Parish. There are non-profits that partner with the statewide LHC to provide support to tenants, homeowners, and people seeking to buy a property. Whether it is a grant for paying a security deposit, free foreclosure counseling, or permanent housing for the homeless, support is available.
The assistance falls into a few main categories as indicated below. Some of them, such as Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) are financial in nature, meaning they provide rental arrears or security/utility deposit help where needed. Another option is Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA), and this can provide families in Caddo Parish with a subsidy. There are also government programs for stopping homeless of people with a mortgage, and those range from counseling to the LHC Preferred Conventional Program. Other options may also be available.
Caddo Parish Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) – The assistance comes in two different forms. One is to rehouse the homeless, including veterans, single mothers, and the elderly. The second will stop an eviction to begin with.
- Short to medium term rental assistance can be provided to the tenant using an ESG grant. Funds are limited and the applicant needs to go through a strict case management process.
- Anyone at risk of homelessness, such as an eviction or pay or quit notice from their landlord, can apply for an ESG grant. The funds can pay rental arrears, water costs, and other costs.
The program is part of the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009 (HEARTH). The funding is allocated to Caddo Parish once per year, and once the money runs out from agencies such as HOPE Connections, funds for eviction prevention from ESG are no longer available.
Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) – This is the main program used to help get a low to moderate into family into a new, affordable apartment or home in the Shreveport area. So this is another form of rehousing. There is financial aid to pay a security or utility deposit and the homeless prevention program will also help sustain the tenancy.
The federal government HUD agency pays for TBRA. Money is given to non-profit agencies such as Christian Services in the Parish, and those funds are then passed out to a small number of clients, such as single parents with an income and others. One of the keys to Tenant Based Rental Assistance is to keep the family housed over the mid to long term. It can even eventually help the individual buy a home in the Caddo Parish region. The assistance includes the following.
- One time cash assistance for deposits.
- The homeless can be given subsidies to help offset their rent and utilities, and if needed, legal aid can help them navigate any tenant – landlord issues.
The disabled in Caddo Parish that are facing homelessness can get help from Permanent Supportive Housing. It is focused on people with severe mental or physical disabilities, whether they are single or married and it can even help mothers with kids. The PSH program is intended to assist the disabled that are facing an eviction and reduce the overall number of homelessness. This means whether it is a grant that is needed, referrals to programs that administer single parent rental assistance programs, or other needs, assistance is available in Caddo Parish.
Homeless prevention is also available to homeowners. This will not include financial aid, but rather counseling as well as free legal aid. The foreclosure counseling is offered in Caddo Parish in partnership with NFMC as well as Housing and Urban Development approved counselors.
A homeowner that is too far behind on their mortgage, or that loses their home, can apply for rapid rehousing. They will be able to benefit from the same Emergency Solution Grants that are referenced above. The assistance provided will help them find a new home to move into, there will be assistance to rebuild their credit scores, and also cash aid for moving costs.
For information and referrals in the Caddo Parish area, dial 318.670.4591. More information outreach, and support can be provided as part of homeless prevention.