moving were staggering. They needed help finding
affordable housing, paying application fees and security deposits, and moving
The local HUD staff quickly realized that
timing was critical and that the incomes of the residents would leave many
unable to negotiate the maze of relocation on their own. Aware of the difficulties
of relocation and the obstacles posed by having no Federal relocation funds
to rely on, the team turned to HUD partners and the community for assistance.
Calling on the local housing authority, private landlords, community organizations,
churches, charities, rental management agents, and government agencies,
these key organizations participated in a briefing on the relocation problem
and formed a community resource group to assist the Lane Garden residents.
The resource group sought out the individuals
and organizations that needed to be involved in the process. They also worked
together: landlords identified all available rental units and were asked
to waive application fees for Lane Garden tenants; charities provided financial
assistance for very needy residents; church congregations organized to provide
transportation so residents could look for new places to live; and social
service agencies streamlined their operations and procedures to allow residents
to move before the deadline. The team also appealed to the nonprofit owner
and the proposed new owner of the property for funds to assist residents
with their moves.
The resource group helped residents tackle
the hurdles associated with moving on a case-by-case basis. Holding office
hours on site and maintaining consistent availability provided residents
with easier access to help and information. The constant communication between
residents and staff enabled the resource group to address individual problems
as they arose.
Progress reports by the resource group kept
issues of immediate importance in the forefront and shared the knowledge
needed to find solutions to problems of relocation. Having diverse parties
involved promoted cooperation. For example, having the new landlords regularly
attend meetings and work with the housing authority staff, who inspect potential
units and are responsible for issuing vouchers, kept each side informed
of the necessary processes and encouraged them to work together.
Acting together, HUD and its community partners
issued vouchers, found suitable housing, and physically moved 186 families
on schedule. Based on costs paid to relocation contractors for similar services,
the service would have cost approximately $465,000 to perform had the community
not stepped in to make it happen.
Contact: H. Louise Searles, Phone: (615) 736-5786
Tracking Number: 2328
Winning Category: Geographic and Program (Community Builder)