Solving Homelessness Together

At-Risk of Homelessness Program Policies

HS

 

 

Purpose

Enrollment

Documentation Required for Participation

Confidentiality

HMIS Participation

Assistance Provided

Assistance Not Provided

Eligibility Determination

Complaints

 

 

Purpose:

The housing stabilization program prevents homelessness for households who have experienced a loss of income but now have sufficient income to remain in housing if assistance is given to stop the pending eviction or utility disconnection.

 

Eligibility:

To qualify for the housing stabilization program, an individual must:

  • be a resident of Russell County, Alabama or a resident of one of the following Georgia counties: Chattahoochee, Harris, Marion, Muscogee, Stewart, Talbot, and Taylor;
  • have been served eviction or notice of intent to foreclose papers or have an utility disconnect notice;
  • have a loss of income;
  • have proof of re-established income;
  • and complete an intake.

Eligibility Determinination:

Eligibility is not determined during the interview process.  The applicant is responsible to call or come to the office to obtain the final determination.

Requirements:

Loss of Income

  • The applicant must be able to document proof of sudden loss of income within the past six months or decrease in income due to a health related inability to work, separation from a job, or other provable circumstance.
  • Lost or stolen cash will not count as a loss of income.  It is not the policy of this program to assist in the case of stolen cash even if a police report was made.
  • If an applicant receives monthly income from the government, or child support, etc., the applicant must show written proof from the issuer that payment was sent, and either lost in the mail or stolen, and the applicant must show written proof from the issuer that payment will be reissued.  It is not the policy of this program to assist if payment is stopped due to aging out of a program.
  • The applicant’s sudden loss of income cannot be due to family members or roommates leaving the residence.
  • When the applicant has a scheduled hourly job (in which hours change every week at the same job), the applicant must have 32 hours or more a week for three consecutive months prior to the loss of income in order to use the same employment as the reasonable ability to pay AND the loss of income.
  • In the case of employment with temporary agencies, the loss of income and the resumption of reasonable ability to pay cannot be with the same employer (the temporary agency) except in the case of medical and/or family leave.   The applicant must present a document from the temporary agency stating the length of the current job assignment and that the job assignment is guaranteed placement for a minimum of three additional months.
  • Cash jobs will not be considered.

         Re-established Income

  • The applicant must also be able to document that resumption of his/her ability to pay is reasonably expected.  Reasonable ability to pay can be demonstrated by the applicants re-established monthly gross income being twice as much as rent or mortgage.
  • Income / reasonable ability to pay must be established for the applicant or household member that has a legal obligation to the mortgage, lease or utility company.
  • Unemployment, SS, SSI and SSDI, VA, and employment will be considered for gross income.
  • Child support cannot be included in the monthly gross income figure.
  • Cash jobs will not be considered.

Eviction, Foreclosure, Utility Disconnection

  • Applicant has been served a dispossessory warrant or other court documents indicating that eviction is imminent.  Payments are limited to the initial money judgment sought by the landlord or the amount decreed through the court process.   Applicant must present ability to pay any other money demanded by the landlord for dismissal of the warrant to occur.
  • Applicant has received documents indicating that foreclosure proceedings are pending.  Applicant must be able to pay the following month’s payment.
  • Applicant’s utility provider has served a disconnect notice or termination of service notice. The service must be active.  (Utilities are limited to water, electric, and gas. The person named on the account must be a resident at the service address.)
  • The family has to move due to circumstances beyond their control.  Formal eviction has been filed.

Financial Assistance

Payments will be made by check to property owner or utility company.  In no circumstances will payment be issued to applicant.  Applicants will be contacted for follow up about their income and housing situation.

Enrollment:

Enrollment into the housing stabilization program is done by appointment or on a walk-in basis during office hours to eligible individuals.  Appointments have priority over walk-ins. Applicants are strongly encouraged to call to complete eligibility pre-screen, be advised of documentation to bring and learn the available times for enrollment. Call 706-571-3399

 

Documentation Required for Enrollment:

To enroll into the housing stabilization program, a number of documents are required:

  • Identification
  • A dispossessory warrant or other court documents indicating that eviction is imminent (for rental assistance);
  • Documents indicating that foreclosure proceedings are pending (for mortgage assistance);
  • Utility disconnect notice or termination of service notice (for utility assistance -the service must be active);
  • Proof of sudden loss of income within the past six months or decrease in income due to a health related inability to work, separation from a job, or other provable circumstance; and
  • Proof of re-established income.

Each occurrence must be verifiable in writing, and each applicant must be able to demonstrate that his or her inability to pay is sudden and that this assistance is necessary to prevent homelessness.

 

Assistance Provided:

  • Assistance can be granted one time per household.
  • ALL assistance is based on availability of funds.
  • Applicant agrees to participate in 3 month and 6 month follow up to determine effectiveness of assistance.

 

Assistance Not Provied:

Specific requests that will not be funded include but are not limited to the following:

  • Applicants residing in housing authority property or section 8 /HAPP housing are not eligible for this program.
  • No payment shall be made for rent and mortgage if eviction or foreclosure will still occur, or if client is unable to pay the next month’s payment when due.
  • No payment shall be made for utility bills in a person’s name not residing at the service address.
  • No payment shall be made for a utility if the service is currently disconnected.
  • No payment shall be made for deposits or bills accumulated due to illegal use of service.
  • Cash jobs will not be considered.

Payments of late fees, warrant fees, and service or reconnect fees are not always eligible and will be decided on an individual basis.  This section is not exhaustive but is meant to address the most common occurrences associated with eviction and termination of utility service.