06/14/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/14/2021 11:38
The Metropolitan Action Commission (MAC) reports that more than 2,000 applicants still have missing or incomplete documents. These documents are needed to complete their HOPE Applications in compliance with U.S. Department of the Treasury requirements which funds the agency's emergency rental assistance program. The agency's HOPE program helps residents catch up on past due rental payments up to 12 months in arrears.
With the moratorium on evictions ending on June 30, 2021, MAC will increase the number of individuals reaching out to customers including changing its customer support of more than 2,000 applicants with incomplete or missing documents.
Metro Action has placed more than 11,000 calls and emails since the program began in March to help customers apply, answer questions and request missing document. At the end of May the agency adjusted its policy based on forward payments of rent due to concerns of customers previously receiving HOPE assistance who are still struggling to pay rent which might result in evictions once the moratorium ends. In addition to paying past due rent, the extreme shortage of affordable housing in Nashville which is exacerbated by the 2020 tornado and the recent flooding, individuals receiving assistance through the HOPE program, because they are considered at risk for housing stability, those customers may also receive three months forward in rent payments.
On Monday, the agency will shift a portion of its call center to a reverse call center to make outbound calls to customers regarding missing documentation. In addition to continuing to alert customers, additional team members will now remain on the phone to ensure customers are uploading the correct documentation. Consequently there will be a limit to inbound callers speaking directly to customer support but will instead be called back.
In-person support continues to be available at the agency's main office to receive help with uploading documents to bring their applications to completion. Office hours will also be increased over the next few weeks including Saturdays to assist customers.
Metro Action has partnered with large and small property landlords since early May to update them on their tenants and will continue its outreach to smaller property owners/managers this week. 'The property managers have been very helpful in reinforcing our support of applicants with getting their applications complete by encouraging their tenants to come to the on-site property office to turn in required documents,' said Karen Walker, Metro Action Director of Transformation and Innovation.
The agency has also hosted on-site upload opportunities within the communities in the evening and weekends to provide application completion support.
'Both customers and landlords have been frustrated by the speed at which payments have been made, however those landlords who have been actively involved in helping to get needed documents have seen great success,' said Cynthia Croom, MAC Executive Director.
'Assistance over the next few weeks is critical in getting individuals paid.'
If customers have not heard from Metro Action, it could be an indication their contact information needs to be updated in the agency's system. Applicants who have applied, but want to be sure Metro Action has their most current contact information or need to update their information in our system can e-mail the agency at [email protected]. Applicants should include their application number, name, and updated contact information. Documents should not be sent to this e-mail. Landlords should contact the MAC Landlord liaison for assistance at 615-862-8860, ext. 70169.
In-person support is available at Metro Action's main location (800 2nd Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37201). To access the online portal visit hope.nashville.gov.
For more information about the HOPE program and overall progress of applications in the system, visit the agency's HOPE application dashboard at www.nashville.gov/mac. The dashboard will be posted by 2pm today.