TVCCA eliminates two housing programs after state budget cuts

CAFCA | June 14, 2016 |

The Thames Valley Council for Community Action announced Thursday that it will eliminate two housing and homeless prevention programs as of June 30 because of state budget cuts.

TVCCA announced it will cease operating the Eviction/Foreclosure Prevention Program and the Security Deposit Guarantee Program after receiving notification from the state Department of Housing that the funding for the programs will not be renewed.

TVCCA received $225,000 annually for the combined programs, TVCCA Director of Marketing and Development Megan Brown said.

“Agencies across state government are having to make tough choices in order to preserve core services on a reduced budget,” Evonne Klein, Department of Housing commissioner wrote in a letter to the agency announcing the cuts. “Unfortunately, the Department (of Housing) was not immune to these cuts.”

Each year, TVCCA and its partner, Windham Regional Community Council (WRCC), helped around 100 families and individuals remain in their homes through the Eviction/Foreclosure Prevention Program’s mediation and paid roughly $100,000 to landlords through a rent bank, TVCCA said in a news release on the cuts.

Another 160 families and individuals were able to secure a rental unit through the Security Deposit Guarantee.

“We are saddened that the state budget cut these programs that have a significant positive impact on the community,” Deborah Monahan, TVCCA executive director said in the news release.

“They provided housing to people, revenue to local landlords who paid property taxes to the cities and towns, and stability for not only the tenant but the whole neighborhood," she said. "It is a shame to see them lost in this current state budget struggle.”

TVCCA has operated the Eviction/Foreclosure Prevention Program in eastern Connecticut for the last 25 years.

The agency began partnering with WRCC in Willimantic three years ago to provide the service to Windham County.

The Eviction/Foreclosure Prevention Program used mediation to prevent the eviction of tenants.

A trained mediator would meet with tenants and landlords to try to resolve issues, including back rent that could lead to eviction.

In addition to mediation services, the program included a state-funded rent bank to erase past due rent on a limited basis.

The program also offered assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure with one-time assistance designed to help those who fell behind on their rent or mortgage, but had the resources to maintain their housing going forward.

TVCCA began operating the Security Deposit Guarantee Program in 2014. Prior to that, the state Department of Social Services oversaw the program.

The Security Deposit Guarantee Program provided a voucher to landlords for up to two months’ rent.

TVCCA has notified staff that the programs will be ending and will notify clients and the community that they will no longer be available.

Families and individuals needing help are encouraged to contact TVCCA at (860) 889-1365 or WRCC at (860) 423-4534 to see if other programs might be able to assist them.