What is the Bridges Rental Assistance Program?
The Bridges Rental Assistance Program provides housing assistance for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, with low income and a serious mental illness while they wait for a Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8). Bridges funding provides temporary rental assistance payments directly to landlords on behalf of qualified participants.
Who is Eligible?
The family must provide any information needed by the Public Housing Authority to confirm eligibility and determine the level of the family’s assistance. To be eligible for the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) program, the applicant family must:
Qualify as a family as defined by HUD and the PHA.
Have income at or below HUD-specified income limits.
Qualify on the basis of citizenship or the eligible immigrant status of family members.
Provide social security number information for household members as required.
Consent to the PHA’s collection and use of family information as provided for in PHA-provided consent forms.
Families who are eligible for the Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Program may also be eligible for Bridges. All applicants must complete the Bridges application and a Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) application if they are not currently on the HCV (Section 8) waiting list. Qualified applicants will be placed on a waiting list not to exceed 25 families. When they reach the top of the waiting list, they are invited to attend a briefing meeting prior to receiving a Certificate. Once they receive a Certificate, applicants look for suitable housing in Carlton County that meets program requirements. Bridges financial assistance varies according to household income, expenses, and family size. Bridges funds are paid directly to the landlords on behalf of qualified participants.
How do I apply?
The Bridges Rental Assistance Program is for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, with low income and a serious mental illness. People who meet these criteria are encouraged to contact Jackie Meyer at the Human Development Center at 218-491-4293. Jackie works with applicants to complete their application form and gather the documentation necessary to submit with their application. For more information on the Bridges Rental Assistance or Section 8/Housing Choice Voucher Programs, please contact Trisha, Section 8/HCV Coordinator at (218) 879-3353.
You must also bring the following documents for each household member when you apply for Bridges:
- Social Security Card
- State or Tribal issued photo ID or
- Birth Certificate
If you don’t have these documents and are not sure how to get them please ask us. We can direct you to the places that can help you get this information.
Waiting List Preference Points
Giving preference to specific groups of families enables a Housing Authority to direct their limited housing resources to the families with the greatest housing needs. Since the demand for housing assistance often exceeds the limited resources available to the local Housing Authority, long waiting periods are common.
Preference points allow applicants to move up the waiting list faster. We provide additional preference points for the residents of Carlton County, Veterans, victims of domestic violence under the Violence Against Women Act, floods/fire significance. To receive the points, applicants must verify their address, provide a DD214 form if they are a Veteran, and work with Family Pathways if they are a victim (male or female) of domestic violence.
The Cloquet/Carlton Housing Authority provides the following preference points:
|Persons residing in an institution or other segregated setting who will be homeless upon discharge||115|
|Persons experiencing homelessness for one year or more, or multiple times in the last 3 years.||110|
|Persons experiencing or at imminent risk of homelessness||105|
|Resident of Carlton County||75|
|Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)||25|
|Date and Time of Application||0|
You will be contacted by mail regarding the Bridges program. It is important that you provide us with your mailing address:
- Physical home address
- Case Manager’s contact address or
- General Delivery post office box
We may also contact you by phone, email, or text if we need additional information, and you have these services.
Background Check Information
Bridges does not require a criminal history or credit/rental history. However, the Cloquet HRA will complete a criminal history check to make sure the applicant qualifies for the HCV (Section 8) Program. Contact your case manager or the Cloquet HRA with any questions.
Bridges applicants and participants must attend in-person appointments for:
- Initial eligibility (intake)
- Annual Recertification
Individuals interested in the Bridges program should contact Jackie at the Human Development Center – 218-879-4559 or 218-491-4293 for assistance in completing the Bridges application.
Human Development Center
40 11th St.
Cloquet, MN 55720
Phone: (218) 879-4559
Cell: (218) 491-4293
Fax: (218) 879-0282