Hocking Athens Perry Community Action has been approved by commissioners in all three of its counties to begin accepting applications for emergency housing assistance funds.
The funds are from the Community Housing Impact and Preservation Program, which is ordinarily used to provide funding to local governments for improvements to affordable housing or providing additional affordable housing for low and moderate-income households. CHIP funds are distributed in one competitive funding round. Re-bidding for the funds is not allowed, but HAPCAP, which administers the funds for Hocking, Athens and Perry Counties, was recently approved to use the funds for expanded housing needs due to the pandemic.
“When the coronavirus started impacting our region, the Ohio Development Services Agency made the county aware that if it was so interested in amending its current grant, which is originally provided to perform home rehabilitation and home repair activities,” said Glenn Crippen, director of housing and community development at HAPCAP, during an April Athens County Commissioner meeting, adding that “if the county wanted to amend that program to include emergency housing assistance, it could.”
Because of this, HAPCAP will begin accepting applications for Emergency Housing Assistance (EHA) on May 20, 2020. Assistance can provide up to three months of emergency rent or mortgage assistance for households who are:
- Experiencing reduced income directly related to the coronavirus and,
- Have a documented past due rent or mortgage payment and,
- Who also meet income eligibility requirements
Those requirements are based on the total income of a household. Other aspects of the CHIP program, home repair and rehabilitation efforts, will be decreased to allow for the housing assistance.
CHIP funding comes through the Community Development Block Grant program, as well as the Ohio Housing Trust Fund. Eligible households using CHIP funding must meet the criteria of being 80 percent below the area median income. Eligible households for Trust Fund monies would only need to meet a criteria of 50 percent below the median income.
Any un-used or un-obligated funding left in the grant would be redirected to housing assistance, about $6,100 of trust fund money and $105,800 of CDBG funds, according to Crippen.
“We are eager to provide this relief to our community,” Crippen said in a press release. “Housing has been a concern since the beginning of this crisis. This assistance will provide a vital service to the community. The county commissioners have been instrumental in helping us get this program started and we sincerely appreciate their cooperation.”
Applying for the emergency housing assistance does not guarantee assistance and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. This assistance is not available to businesses and cannot be used for utility assistance. Household income limits are:
- 1 occupant — $39,500
- 2 occupants — $45,150
- 3 — $50,800
- 4 — $56,400
- 5 — $60,950
- 6 — $65,450
- 7 — $69,950
- 8 — $74,450
Applications can be obtained by calling the housing office at 1.866.992.8858; emailing firstname.lastname@example.org; picking up an application at the housing office, located at 50 Saint Charles Street Nelsonville, Ohio 45764; or by printing off an application from the website, www.hapcap.org.
Completed applications will be received by HAPCAP through several methods, but cannot be completed in a face-to-face interaction. Options include scanning and emailing application document to email@example.com; dropping off application hard copies and accompanying information at the drop box location at the Housing office in Nelsonville; photographing of application materials and supporting documentation, so long as the photos and materials are legible and complete, and can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org as well.
Other methods to submit the application include faxing completed applications to 740-753-2600 or mailing applications to HAPCAP, 50 St. Charles Street Nelsonville, Ohio 45764.
All applications will be verified for accuracy by HAPCAP staff. This assistance is available throughout Hocking, Athens and Perry counties and will be available until funds are depleted.