Beth-El Center and TEAM Inc. Partner to Provide New Housing Assistance Program for COVID-Impacted Households

Beth-El Center is partnering with TEAM Inc., a nonprofit human services agency in the Valley, to provide housing services and financial aid to individuals who've experienced hardship as a result of the COVID pandemic.

Supported by funding through TEAM from a Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) via the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, this short-term housing assistance program will provide up to fifteen households who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic with housing assistance, financial aid and case management services."

"This program helps folks who are experiencing hardship as a result of COVID to find housing and it provides financial aid to help them make their rental payments," says Ruth Menard, Beth-El Center Director of Programs and Facilities. "Beth-El Center's staff will work with tenants for six months to make sure they're utilizing necessary resources that will help them maintain the housing. The goal is for tenants to achieve self-sufficiency, sustain a healthy relationship with their landlords and to continue to stay housed long term."

TEAM Inc., who has an ongoing contract with CSBG, received additional funding for this emergency relief effort. TEAM chose Beth-El Center as their partner to execute the program and provide the housing assistance, case management services and administer the rental financial aid.

According to Jillian Ruisi, TEAM Director of Support Services, "Through the aid provided in this program, we're able to help tenants with their security deposit plus first and last month's rental payments. The program also provides landlords and property owners with a tenant liaison and support from an established community partner."

Tenant Eligibility Requirements:
• All eligible applicants must be 18 years of age or older, and
• Household must be experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of homelessness (two weeks from homelessness)
• Demonstrate income at or below 200% Federal Poverty Level (FPL), and
• Must be a Connecticut Resident and reside in Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Derby, Milford, Orange, Oxford, Seymour, Shelton and Woodbridge, CT.

***Qualified immigrants and non-qualified immigrants may be eligible for Emergency funds through the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), if they meet all the other eligibility requirements. Applicants must demonstrate through self-report experiencing negative hardship due to COVID-19.
The following are examples of negative impacts by COVID-19, but not limited to: job loss, furlough or layoff; reduction in hours of work or pay; store, restaurant or office closure; the need to miss work to care for a home-bound, school age child or elderly person; or impacts due to the ability to self-quarantine or self-isolate.

Landlord Partners

The most important partners in this effort will be landlords in this service area and who want to join our efforts to stabilize our communities and heal from COVID-19. Landlords who are interested in partnering in this program will benefit by working with tenants who have secured housing funds including monthly rent, security deposits and utility assistance. Landlord partners will also receive mediation of tenant/landlord matters if needed. There are lots of benefits for our landlord partners to take advantage of and they can do so by contacting Beth-El Center.

Find our more information about this program by calling Beth-El Center Housing Case Manager Alisa Wilson at 203.876.0747.

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