NRCA’s Homeless and Housing Programs consist of four service lines designed to assist households who are literally homeless or in jeopardy of becoming homeless. There are many circumstances that can lead to homelessness including: physical and mental illness, disability, unemployment, underemployment, lack of affordable housing
and re-entry for ex-offenders. The increasing cost of housing in the NRV (New River Valley) and the limited subsidized housing options with long wait lists only exacerbate the problem. Rapid Re-housing assists individuals and households who are literally homeless. The HUD (Housing and Urban Development) definition of literally homeless is “those individuals whose primary nighttime residence requires them to live in conditions that are not meant for human habitation.” For example, individuals sleeping in an automobile, under a bridge, in a tent or staying in a shelter are considered homeless. The rapid re-housing program can assist households with locating and securing housing, financial assistance can include rental and utility deposits, housing application fees, and temporary rental or utility support. Homeless Prevention assists individuals and households at imminent risk of losing their primary nighttime residence within 14 days or less. Households meeting eligibility requirements may receive temporary rental assistance including limited arrears and utility payments. Housing Counseling helps to develop a road map to safe, affordable, and permanent housing. Housing Counseling can include homeless assistance, rental topics, mortgage deficiency and default counseling, pre-purchase, and post-purchase counseling. Counselors work with households in developing a budget, discussing tenants’ rights and responsibilities, fair-housing, financial literacy, improving credit, and navigating the pre-purchase of a home. Other options include rental workshops and home maintenance and repair. Anyone 18 or older is eligible for free housing counseling. The Homeless and Housing Programs provided $97,904 in assistance to 126 households in the Rapid Rehousing program utilizing one state and one federal grant, along with three local Community Development Block grants (CDBG) from the City of Radford and the Towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg. The Homeless Prevention program provided $86,789 in assistance to 72 households. The Homeless Prevention programs utilizes one state grant and three local CDBG grants to ensure individuals and families avoid homelessness and remain in their current residence.
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