The Knox Housing Assistance Program is a joint City of Knoxville/Knox County initiative aiding renters adversely affected during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is open to income-qualified city and county renters where one or more individuals in the home have experienced one of the following adverse financial impacts at some point since March 13, 2020.
For rental assistance, applications are requested of both the tenant and the landlord. Once a tenant applies, an email will automatically be sent to the tenant’s landlord requesting they submit the landlord information – this email will include a code to enter to link applications together. Tenants should also contact their landlord directly to let them know they’ve applied. Landlords may apply before the tenant and in that case the tenant will receive an email with a code.
Applications for utility assistance only do not require the landlord to submit an application.
Rent and utility assistance are both available through the program. As a tenant you may apply for rent and utility assistance within the same application or you may apply for either type of assistance individually. As a landlord, you may apply for multiple tenants through a single application.
To receive payment through the emergency rental assistance program, a landlord must agree to and sign the following attestation as part of the application process:
“I agree not to evict the tenant for nonpayment of rent during the months for which I am receiving emergency rental assistance funding and for an additional 30 days past the dates covered by this assistance payment.”
Landlords are not required to participate in the program for a tenant to be eligible for assistance. After a tenant applies, an email is sent to the landlord requesting they complete a landlord application. If no landlord application is submitted, Case Managers will make two additional attempts to contact the landlord, and if unsuccessful, a direct rental assistance payment will be made to the tenant.
Homeowners are not eligible to apply under this program. If you are a homeowner and need assistance, please call 211 for a list of agencies that may be able to help.
Renter households are eligible to receive assistance for up to 18 months of rent and utility assistance. Based on the availability of funding, households at risk of continued housing instability may be eligible for future rent payments (paid in three-month increments).
Applications will be accepted until all funds have been reserved. Priority application processing is provided for households at or below 50% of the adjusted median income for Knox County or where one or more household members have been unemployed for the 90 days prior to the date of their application.
The application portal walks you step by step through the process of applying. Guides for tenants and landlords are also available below to assist.
All branches of the Knox County Library System have computers and scanners available for you to use, and library personnel can answer basic questions about the application process. If you are comfortable using a computer, have an email address, and are familiar with other kinds of online systems, the Library will have everything you need to apply.
If you need someone to walk with you through the whole process, click on the “Additional Assistance” tab for a list of agencies that can help.
You can check the status of your application at any time by logging into your Neighborly account – click here for link.
Applications submitted with all required documentation will take approximately 60 days to process. However, applications with missing documents require follow-up from Case Managers and take more time to process for approval. Payments cannot be authorized until all required documentation is received.
Every application is assigned to a Case Manager who will review the documentation submitted and either recommend approval or request additional information, if needed. If applicants fail to respond after three attempts at contact, the application will be closed, and an email will be sent to the applicant. Closed cases may be reopened at any time if an applicant provides the requested documentation.
We have several partner agencies with trained personnel to walk you through every step of the application process. You can make an appointment for in-person assistance by calling any of the agencies listed below.
Knoxville Area Urban League - 865-524-5511
Knoxville Leadership Foundation/Compassion Coalition - 865-251-1591
Volunteer Ministry Center - 865-673-0235
HomeSource East Tennessee - 865-637-1679
Centro Hispano - 865-606-9202
First, make sure your landlord knows that you have applied for assistance through this program. If you have a scheduled court date, it is very important that you are present for the proceedings. Court personnel are working with tenants facing eviction, but you must be present on your appointed court date to avoid a default judgment.
If you have additional questions, please call 211 or email email@example.com. If you have already submitted an application, please provide us your Case ID Number when calling or emailing.