With many people still out of work or in financial distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative wants to make sure that our members are informed of the programs available to assist families in this time of need.
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance program aids low-income families/individuals, elderly or handicapped people with energy needs. Assistance may be provided for electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, kerosene, wood and coal. Payment is made directly to the energy or fuel supplier. Low-income residents in Bledsoe, Grundy, Marion, Sequatchie and Rhea counties can apply through the Southeast Tennessee Human Resource Agency (SETHRA). For more information, call SETHRA at 423- 949-2191. Applications for the coming year are now being accepted. Apply soon.
COVID-19 Rent Relief Program
The COVID-19 Rent Relief program was developed in an effort to support renters who are or have been struggling to pay rent, utilities or other home energy costs due to loss of wages/income because of the pandemic. Funding will be available to households for payment of delinquent (past due) expenses. In addition, eligible future rent might also be covered for eligible households.
The Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) is administering the COVID-19 Rent Relief Program, which provides up to 12 months in past-due rent and utilities, or if the loss is recent, up to 12 months in future rent and utilities. The program serves the neediest families in Tennessee — income restrictions are in place.
Either residents or landlords can start the process, but both must participate. In addition, the landlord must agree to accept payment from THDA. Payments will go directly to the landlord or utility owner.
While utilities are covered, only past-due electricity, gas, water, sewer and trash collection are eligible expenses under this program. A tenant can receive up to 12 months in past-due utility assistance without needing rent assistance. Future utility payments are not covered, only those past due. Internet and cable television costs are also not covered.
Late fees on past-due rental or utility expenses as well as attorney’s fees or court fees from eviction proceedings that a landlord has charged you are eligible for assistance under the program.
The application process must be initiated through the online application portal (thda.org) or by calling the THDA Rent Relief call center at 844-500-1112 and speaking with a program representative. The call center hours are from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central Time Monday through Saturday.
Because funding is limited, THDA encourages all interested applicants to apply as soon as possible.