Anoka County Rivercity Housing Collaborative, Anoka County, MN

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Best Practice | August 11, 2006

Anoka County Rivercity Housing Collaborative is administered by the local Division of Human Service. The Collaborative keeps funds in a “resource pool” which is drawn down by grantees as needed, maximizing resources and ensuring a collaborative versus competitive relationship among grantees to achieve program goals. They have also developed a tenant education curriculum they are planning on introducing statewide.

Target Population:

• Families, single adults and youth who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Eligibility:

• Required to explore eligibility for Emergency Assistance funds administered by the Division of Human Services—majority of families served have already received EA funds and are experiencing a subsequent housing crisis.

Services:

Administered by the local Division of Human Services, subcontractors include a legal advocacy organization, emergency assistance providers and transitional housing providers. Funds are kept in a “resource pool” and can be pulled down by sub-contractors as needed—eliminating competition for funds within the county. Services provided include:

• Legal advice and intervention in eviction proceedings.
• Short-term housing subsidies.
• One time rent/mortgage assistance.
• Transitional housing assistance to youth and families that may have substantial barriers to accessing housing including minor parents with children, a head of household with a mental illness and victims of domestic violence.
• Pilot of an education campaign to promote successful tenancy in collaboration with the University of Minnesota Extension services and other partners.
• Assistance to secure permanent housing.
• Developing culturally sensitive response to large immigrant/refugee population entering county.
• Provide “bridging the gap” assistance to those with pending benefit applications to help maintain housing until receipt of benefits.

Resource Development:

• Maximizes use of existing resources
• Approximately 90% of families working with the Division of Human Services’ Housing Advocate receive Emergency Assistance that is used in conjunction with FHPAP dollars.
• Leverages funds and collaborates with services funded through the continuum of care process.

Source of Funding:

• Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program (FHPAP) that includes TANF block grant and state general revenue funds

Objective/Service Utilization/Outcome Data:

In first year of the biennium 304 new households served:

• 33 families received legal assistance to prevent eviction
• 79% of those assisted maintained housing
• 14 families received mortgage assistance to prevent mortgage foreclosure
• Additional 42 families denied assistance due to size of arrears and family’s inability to sustain housing after assistance due to loss of income.
• 44 received one-time rent or mortgage assistance.
• 7 families received on-going housing subsidy.
• 105 families were served in transitional housing.
• 20 families received short-term transitional housing.
• 48 families with one parent with mental illness and history of repeated housing crises served in specialized transitional housing.
• 91 families served by Income Maintenance Department to explore eligibility for public assistance and work with other providers to plan to address housing crisis.
• 40% secured permanent housing
• 30% were able to sustain existing housing
• 13% reside with relatives
• 6% entered transitional housing
• 11% did not maintain contact or were unsuccessful

For More Information Contact:

Judy Johnson
Housing Supervisor
Income Maintenance Department
Human Services Division
County of Anoka
Government Center
2100 3rd Avenue
Anoka, MN 55303-5047
(763) 422-6950
judy.johnson@co.anoka.mn.us