City of Nashville, TN

12/07/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/07/2021 12:38

Nashville’s Emergency Rental Assistance to Close Temporarily to New Applicants December 7, 2021

Beginning Tuesday, December 14, the Metropolitan Action Commission emergency rental assistance online portal will be closed to new applicants to more expeditiously process existing applications and to support tenant and landlords in finishing incomplete applications. The portal will reopen for new applicants on Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

The MAC HOPE program, which helps renters impacted by COVID to catch up on past due payments, has assisted approximately 4,000 households over the past nine months. This has resulted in approximately $35 million in payments to landlord and property owners in Davidson County.

"Closing the portal to new applicants will allow our team to process applications on hand and clear up the system which addresses community concerns over long waits for approval. We will also remove the duplicate applications and either fund or close applications. This will also allow us to better assess the additional funding needed to support applicants who still need to apply," said Dr. Cynthia Croom, Metro Action Executive Director.

Metro Action will continue to accept outstanding documents needed to complete current applications from renters and landlords during this time. The agency will also continue providing bulk payments to Metropolitan Housing and Development Authority (MDHA), which handles resident HOPE funded applications through its internal processes.

The portal closure is in coordination with the docket schedule of the city's housing diversionary court, The L.E.G.A.C.Y. Housing Resource Diversionary Court (HRDC), which is led by General Sessions Court Judge Rachel L. Bell, Division VIII (8).

"The last HRDC docket for 2021 will be Tuesday, December 14 and will resume on Tuesday, January 25, 2022. Urgent court matters will be handled through the civil court clerk's office during this time period," said Presiding Judge Rachel L. Bell, LEGACY HRDC.

As with Metro Action, the HRDC will work to clear up any cases that are still open during this time. Of the $35 million spent for HOPE applicants, $6.7 million were court involved cases managed through the HRDC court to settle debt for unpaid rent which represents 793 individuals.

Metro Action will still administer its regular rental assistance program for one-time, single month assistance. However if applicants are behind multiple months they are encouraged to apply to the HOPE program when it resumes on January 18.

Nashville and Davidson County is still one of the top providers of the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) funding in the state and throughout the country, which has made the city eligible to receive reallocated funds from the state of Tennessee and the US Department of Treasury. Metro Action has received over $43 million in ERA funding, with an additional $24 million expected to arrive by the end of December.

Metro Action and Nashville's Housing Diversionary Court partnership has been nationally recognized as a unique partnership in navigating court involved applicants, mediation, and resolution/settlements.