Volusia County eviction prevention assistance.
Eviction help is provided in Volusia County as per the terms and conditions of the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act. Using money from the federal government as part of the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program, tenants with a pay or quit notice can apply for financial help, short term housing, legal aid, and even motel vouchers.
The services are arranged by a non-profit organizations in the community, such as the Volusia County Coalition for the Homeless, charities such as the Halifax Urban Ministries as well as the Continuum of Care. All of these agencies will offer emergency assistance for rental or security deposit costs as well as advocate on behalf of the homeless. The programs fall into four main categories, including financial aid, case management, rehousing, and short term shelters.
Volusia County financial assistance can help both with preventing and eviction and rehousing the families. Federal ESG grants can be used for the following.
- If homelessness can be caused by unpaid utility bills, then funds can help with electric, air conditioning, or water bills, or the client can be referred to LIHEAP.
- Many evictions in Volusia County are the result of unpaid rent, so funds can pay for housing costs such as rental arrears.
- In some instances, a tenant is issued a no-interest loan for their bills.
- When the local shelters in Dayton Beach and other Volusia communities are full, the homeless may be given support in the form of a motel voucher.
In almost all cases, the applicant needs to be low to moderate income. Eviction assistance is generally only going to pay a portion of the expense due, and the tenant needs to pay some of the rent due using their income as well. The financial aid is temporary and comes with criteria in place.
Case management services can also be used to prevent homelessness. What a family living in poverty may seek is as follows.
- Law firms in communities such as New Smyrna or Daytona Beach will meet with a low income family to review the eviction notice for whether it is legal or not.
- The Continuum of Care affiliated agencies will offer job placement, credit counseling, and other resources.
- Advice is given to help people apply for SSI disability or section 8 HUD vouchers, if relevant.
- Landlord-tenant mediation will be used when needed.
The goal of the case management process will help the homeless become established in permanent housing, or provide low income families the self-sufficiency tools they need to break a pattern of evictions.
Volusia County shelters as well as transitional housing can be used be both the chronically homeless and recently evicted. This resources will not only give the individual (or family) a safe place to sleep, but they also start the process to recovery.
- Guests will be given food, clothing, hot meals, child tutoring and more, provided they meet the criteria in place.
- The staff at these temporary housing units also offer referrals and case management to families to help them prevent future evictions.
- Direct Services to the homeless in Volusia County can also range from access to showers, free internet access, and medical clinics. Partners such as Traveler’s Aid play a major role in this.
As noted, the capacity of the shelter system is limited. In addition, some centers will only support veterans or maybe single mothers with young children, so this further limits the availability. When possible, and if federal government funding allows for it, a free motel or hotel voucher may be given to the applicant.
Maybe the last part of eviction and homeless prevention in Volusia County is Rapid-Rehousing. Organizations that are part of the Volusia County Continuum of Care use a combination of government grants, funds, and even loans to get the struggling family into permanent housing.
- Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) is where most of the money comes from, and clients may receive funds for security or utility connection deposits, moving expenses, and storage.
- Residents facing a first time eviction will also be provided priority, but the chronically homeless can also apply.
- People living in emergency or transitional shelters can be prioritized for rehousing.
One of the main organizations that oversees this program is the Volusia County Coalition for the Homeless. They are focused on getting people into a stable living situation. The Coalition will also help resources focused on victims of domestic violence, as the organization wants to keep them safe and secure.
There are a few places to contact for help. Tenants in West Volusia can call (386-736-5955), and eviction help is available in Daytona Beach as well. That contact information is 386-254-4648. Another contact number in the region for homeless prevention is for those in New Smyrna Beach, and that number is 386-423-3375.