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Knox Housing Assistance Program

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Program Overview

What Is the Knox Housing Assistance Program?

The Knox Housing Assistance Program is a joint City of Knoxville/Knox County initiative aiding renters adversely affected by 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.

  1. Qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in income
  2. Incurred significant costs negatively impacting the financial stability of the household
  3. Experienced other financial hardship negatively impacting the financial stability of the household

Who Can Apply?

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 application. Tenants should also contact their landlord directly to let them know they’ve applied and request they submit the landlord application. The system generated email is not required for the landlord to submit an application, and landlords may even apply before the tenant. The application portal automatically matches the tenant and landlord applications, and it is very important that both the tenant and landlord include the tenant’s address when applying.

Applications for utility assistance only do not require the landlord to submit an application.

What Expenses Are Covered Under the Program?

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.

What is required of landlords?

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 this tenant for nonpayment of rent during the months for which I am receiving rental assistance funding and for 30 days longer than the period covered by this 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.

What if I’m a homeowner?

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.

Is There a Limit on the Amount of Assistance I Can Receive?

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).

Is There a Deadline to Apply?

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.

Eligibility and Documentation

Am I Eligible for the Program?

The easiest way to determine your eligibility for the Knox Housing Assistance Program, is by clicking on the application link and answering the seven questions asked in the Eligibility Questionnaire.

If your household income is equal to or less than the amount listed in the 80% AMI column next to your household size, you are eligible to apply. If your income is equal to or less than the amount listed in the 50% AMI column next to your household size, your household is eligible to apply and your application will be prioritized for processing (households where one or more members has been unemployed for the previous 90 days will also be prioritized).

Household Size50% AMI
Priority Applicants
80% AMI
Eligible Applicants
1 Person$25,550$40,900
2 Person$29,200$46,750
3 Person$32,850$52,600
4 Person$36,500$58,400
5 Person$39,450$63,100
6 Person$42,350$67,750
7 Person$45,300$72,450
8 Person$48,200$77,100

What Documentation Do I Need?

For Tenants:
  1. Valid government issued photo ID
  2. Income documentation
  3. If applying based on unemployment status, documentation verifying unemployment
  4. Copy of latest past due utility bill, if applicable
  5. Copy of notice of past due rent
  6. 6. Copy of lease (if landlord refuses to participate in program)
For Landlords:
  1. Current rent or lease agreement signed by both the tenant and landlord
  2. Copy of latest notice of past due rent or rent ledger
  3. Copy of W-9 (click here for blank form)

Application Information

How does the online application work?

The application portal walks you step by step through the process of applying. You can see screenshots of the application and read tips and tricks by clicking on the links below:

TENANTS - click here

LANDLORDS – click here

I don’t have a way to upload my documents. What do I do?

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.

How can I check the status of my application?

You can check the status of your application at any time by logging in to your account at this link. To learn more about what you step of the process each status represents, click here.

How Long Will It Take to Approve or Deny My Application?

Applications submitted with all required documentation will take approximately 30-45 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.

The CDC has issued an Eviction Protection Declaration through July 30, 2021. Click here for more information). If you are facing eviction, it is very important that you attend court on your appointed day. There are staff members working with court personnel to assist renters and if you are present, you may be able to avoid eviction.

Additional Assistance

I need someone to help me submit my application. Where can I go?

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

I am being evicted. What should I do?

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.

For more information on the CDC Eviction Protection Declaration in effect through July 30, 2021, click here.

I have a question that is not answered here on the website. What do I do?

If you have additional questions, please call 211 or email knoxhousingassistance@knoxcounty.org. If you have already submitted an application, please provide us your Case ID Number when calling or emailing.

Knox Housing Assistance Partner Agencies