Do I Qualify For Rental Assistance In Tennessee

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How to Claim Rental Assistance In Tennessee Today

Living in Tennessee can be sweet—until life comes at you with a curveball. When you're suddenly unable to pay for your housing expenses, it won't matter to you that CNBC named Tennessee one of America's top ten cheapest states to live in for 2021. All that matters is finding a quick solution to your temporary rental crisis.

Luckily, the state of Tennessee has programs in place that can provide residents with emergency funds for rent and other unseen expenses. When you've been hit with unexpected job loss, health problems, or other difficulties you may qualify for rental assistance. If you live in the "Volunteer State" but don't know where to look, DoNotPay can help you find these resources!

Do I Qualify for Short-Term Rental Assistance?

Qualification for most rental housing assistance programs is based on a variety of factors. If you are an individual currently unable to cover your rent payments, security deposit, utilities, or other essential housing expenses, you may be eligible for emergency help. Just be prepared to provide proof or documentation of your difficulty.

Those who are most qualified will usually fall into one of the following categories:

  • Individuals or families below a certain income threshold
  • Those who are facing impending eviction
  • Senior citizens or disabled people at risk of homelessness
  • Applicants dealing with an unexpected loss of employment
  • Families or single mothers with very young children

Life can be extremely difficult when you're facing significant financial hardships. When you're ready to seek support, DoNotPay can help you secure the relief you need when your rent is in trouble.

Where Do I Start Looking for Rental Assistance in Tennessee?

Tennessee has several options when it comes to emergency rental assistance programs (ERAP), although some may be specific to certain counties or municipalities. As you begin your search for help, keep it broad by starting with the one of three major government-based programs designed to help any qualified Tennessee resident, regardless of location. First, is the COVID-19 Rent Relief program that supports renters struggling as a result of the pandemic.

And here are the other two government-based programs that you can check:

Name of ProgramType of AidPhone NumberEmail / Contact Link
Section 8 Housing Choice VoucherThe program is offered by the THDA (Tennessee Housing Development Agency) 615-815-2200 none
Families FirstTennessee's version of TANF (Temporary Assistance To Needy Families) 1-866-311-4287

Contact Link

Where Else Can I Find Rent Relief in Tennessee?

National and local charities can be an excellent resource for those struggling with a housing crisis. Research which organizations in your town offer relief from rent programs, as availability will vary greatly by location. Remember that demand for help is high, so don't be afraid to ask for referrals to other programs. Here are just a few examples of the many charities that offer rental assistance for those in need in Tennessee:

  • Low-income applicants may qualify for assistance through the Community Service Block Grant Program (CSBG) These emergency funds are made available through the federal government and state of Tennessee Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
  • Catholic charities in Knoxville, Nashville, and Memphis offer a number of emergency housing services. Religious non-profits like this use the services of a social worker to guide you through the process.
  • Lutheran Social Services, now known as Inspiritus, is another leading religious charity that operates ministries nationwide, including in Tennessee. Their benefits for low-income households facing temporary financial crisis helps save families from evictions.
  • National charities like the Salvation Army and United Way serve approximately 10,000 families facing crisis situations every year. It's a great way for qualifying Tennesseans near Nashville to get Short-Term Financial Assistance with Housing And Utilities.

How Do I Apply for Rental Assistance in Tennessee on My Own?

When you're struggling financially, searching for help on your own can be an intimidating process. Half the battle is finding a program with available funds, although once you do the application process is relatively straightforward. Here's where you can start if you're doing it on your own:

How to Apply for Tennessee Section 8 Voucher

Section 8 Voucher availability is based on an open wait list, accessible through the THDA websites and advertisements. When there are no openings, you may have to pre-apply for a position on the wait list for your selected county. Remember that it could take several weeks or even months to reach the top of the wait list, depending on available funding.

Here's how you can start the Tennessee Section 8 application on your own:

  1. Find your local Public Housing Agency (PHA) which works in conjunction with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
  2. Contact your chosen PHA by phone, fax, or email. THDA does not issue or accept paper applications, and their primary form of communication will be via email.
  3. The application process requires you to provide the following documentation:
  • A valid government issued ID
  • Your rent or lease agreement
  • Paystub or proof of income
  • Utilities statement, if applicable

Once your application is submitted, it may take 30 days for processing.

How to Apply for Tennessee’s Family First Program:

Families First is a workforce development program designed to help struggling families gain self-sufficiency through employment. Its services include temporary cash assistance, transportation, and childcare among other educational supports. Eligible participants must agree to adhere to a Personal Responsibility Plan (PRP) and to cooperate with child support services.

Here’s How to Apply Online for Tennessee’s TANF Services:

  1. You can access the Families First application online through Tennessee's Department of Human Services website or by following this link:
  2. If you haven't already, create a DHS Account.
  3. Once you have logged in, follow the link to "Family Assistance Online Application"
  4. Make your way through the online application process. Be sure to provide all mandatory information marked with a red asterisk.
  5. You can save and return to your application as often as you need. It will not be active until you officially hit the submit button at the end.

Here’s Where to Write a Letter to Request Tennessee’s TANF Services:

If you want to apply for the Families First program in Tennessee, but don't have regular access to the internet you can write a letter instead. Send your inquiry to the following address:

  • Tennessee Department of Human Services Office of General Counsel, Compliance Officer James K. Polk Building 505 Deaderick Street, 14th floor Nashville, TN 37243

How Does Donotpay Help Me Get Rental Assistance in Tennessee?

Not everyone can handle the ins and outs of an application process with ease. If you're easily overwhelmed, suffer from anxiety, or just need an easier way to apply for help, DoNotPay could be the answer. By providing us with your basic information, we can compose a letter on your behalf which explains your situation and requests . Here's how it works:

  1. Search for Rental Assistance on DoNotPay.

  2. Put together a list of your income, debts, expenses, and assets. If you need help accessing information like your credit report, DoNotPay can help you get your report.

  3. Let DoNotPay collect your basic information and compose a letter to your local housing authority requesting rental assistance.

  4. Lastly, DoNotPay will send your letter to your local housing authority.

Can DoNotPay Get Me Rental Assistance in Other States Besides Tennessee?

Yes! DoNotPay's Rental Assistance product can interface with a huge amount of PHAs in the United States, from Tennessee to Texas to Vermont. We've got your back no matter where you live.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

The services offered by DoNotPay go way beyond just rental assistance! Consider us when you need a helping hand for nearly anything, from handling bill payments to getting a clean credit report. Here are just a few more examples of how DoNotPay can make your life easier:

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