Housing, Homeless and Rental Assistance

 

HOUSING

Housing Authority of Tulare County

The Housing Authority of Tulare County provides rental assistance to very low and moderate-income families, seniors and the handicapped throughout the county. The Housing Authority offers many different programs, including the conventional public housing program, the housing choice voucher program, the farm labor program for families with farm labor income, senior housing programs, and other housing programs. All programs are handicap accessible. Reasonable accommodations may be requested from our staff, and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

The Housing Authority of Tulare County has a variety of offices located throughout the County. Although offices are closed to the public due to the statewide Shelter at Home order; Housing Authority staff will continue to work and be available to answer any questions or concerns you may have via phone, mail, fax or e-mail. Visit the Housing Authority website for information on how to contact an office near you.

 

HOMELESS

The Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency and the Tulare County Task Force on Homelessness is working collaboratively with regional partners to provide support and assistance to our homeless populations during the COVID-19 pandemic and measures to prevent spread of COVID-19 within our homeless communities. Listed below are a variety of resources available to those experiencing homelessness or in need of services to prevent homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tulare County COVID-19 Operations Center has mobilized a Homeless Liaison Team. For questions and more information regarding these programs, contact the Homeless Liaison team by email at: HLTCovid19@tularehhsa.org or by phone at: (559) 624-7296.

The Kings Tulare Homeless Alliance has been working closely with Tulare County to implement measures that help keep our unhoused neighbors safe during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Kings & Tulare Counties Placement Protocol for People Experiencing Homelessness during COVID-19

Any person experiencing homelessness with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should contact their primary care physician or call the Family HealthCare Network COVID-19 Hotline at (559) 741-8444.

We know that the spread of COVID-19 can be particularly dangerous for those experiencing homelessness. Individuals without stable housing not only face greater difficulty taking preventative actions, but they are often in poorer health.  Listed below is a summary of activities underway to assist people experiencing homelessness during this crisis.

Steps to stop spread of COVID-19 in the homeless community:

  • Sanitation stations including portable restrooms and hand washing stations have been distributed or are planning to be distributed to various hotspots within the bi-county region.  Approximately 20 facilities will be placed to assist people living on the streets follow CDC recommended hygiene practices.
  • Supplies such as hand sanitizer, KN95 masks, disposable masks, and antibacterial soaps are being provided to emergency shelters and outreach programs.  Supplies to support grab-n-go meals are being provided to soup kitchens.
  • Health assessments are being administered to identify people who are homeless aged 65 or older and those with underlying health conditions that make them at high risk for serious illness if they were to contract COVID-19. 
  • Supporting the street medicine team with N95 masks and outreach items such as hygiene kits, buckets, soap, and other requested items.

Placement for homeless individuals needing quarantine or isolation:

One of our top priorities since the COVID-19 outbreak has been to identify sites to isolate homeless individuals who have tested positive for the virus and quarantine individuals who are well but have been identified as being extremely vulnerable to the virus.  This model aims to keep these individuals out of shelters and encampments and lower the risk of exposure to other members of the homeless population to slow the virus’ spread.

Isolation and quarantine units have been prioritized for individuals experiencing homelessness who meet the following criteria:

  • Persons who have tested positive for COVID-19
  • Those who may be “persons under investigation” for COVID-19
  • Vulnerable persons (see enclosed flow chart)

The process to place a vulnerable person into a quarantine room is as follows:

  • A COVID-19 health assessment is administered and input into the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) database.  Assessments may be administered by any partner agency with access to HMIS who has been trained on the COVID-19 intake.
  • Results of the individual’s COVID-19 health assessment will determine whether or not they will be prioritized for placement in a quarantine room.  Prioritization will be given to people who are 65 years of age or older and people who are medically vulnerable according to the CDC.
  • Based on the individual’s location on the priority list, s/he will be referred to receive a quarantine room by either the Alliance or the county.  Unfortunately, we don’t expect to have a sufficient number of rooms to place all persons that are medically vulnerable.  We will begin by prioritizing those age 65 or older followed by those with multiple medical vulnerabilities. 
  • Transportation will be provided for the individual to and from their quarantine room.  Services such as meals, laundry, medical, and case management will also be provided. 
  • Persons not referred for quarantine placement should shelter in place in accordance to CDC guidelines.

 

Kings Tulare Homeless Alliance

The Kings Tulare Homeless Alliance has been closely monitoring COVID-19.  Alliance staff is taking all necessary steps to limit the possibility of spreading the virus and perpetuating the pandemic for the health and safety of staff, clients, and the homeless community at large.

For resources and information on what the Kings Tulare Homeless Alliance has available during the COVID-19 pandemic visit the Kings Tulare Homeless Alliance website.

For general assistance, please call 559-690-1540 or email info@kthomelessalliance.org.  For Alliance staff contact information, please visit the Kings Tulare Homeless Alliance website.

 

RENTAL AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

California Eviction Moratorium

California issued a statewide moratorium on residential evictions for renters who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19 related economic hardships. The moratorium went into effect on March 27 and is valid through May 31, 2020.

If COVID-19 has impacted your ability to pay all or part of your rent, you should:

  • Explain your financial situation to your landlord and relay how much you are able to pay
  • Save all financial documents
  • Pay as much of your rent as you can
  • If your landlord is attempting to evict you for not paying rent and you took all of the above steps, contact a local legal aid provider.

For more information visit the Office of Governor Newsom.

 

Financial Relief in California

The State of California is working to soften the financial impact of COVID-19 on residents who are struggling to pay their mortgage and bills. Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, US Bank, Wells Fargo, and nearly 200 state-chartered banks, credit unions, and servicers have committed to providing relief for consumers and homeowners in California.

For more information on financial institutions providing relief, the statewide 90-day grace period for mortgage payments, and other financial relief programs visit the California COVID-19 Response website.