20 Oct MDHA’s Precautions Against COVID-19 and Important Information (Updated Regularly)
During these unprecedented times, the top priority for the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA) is the health and safety of our residents and staff. We will continue all MDHA operations while taking prudent measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. In July, MDHA announced it would continue with its current operations until roughly two weeks after Davidson County enters Phase Four of the Roadmap for Reopening Nashville. Below details what efforts are currently underway.
- All MDHA Departments have closed their doors to public and walk-in resident access, unless prior approval is granted. All MDHA business will be conducted electronically. In-person appointments for business that cannot be conducted electronically will be granted on a case-by-case exception basis.
- All MDHA common areas are closed and signs have been posted to discourage gatherings.
- All meetings with groups larger than 10 people are being held via conference call, when possible.
- Some staff, as appropriate, have begun working from home while maintaining an active line of communication with their departments via phone and email.
- MDHA began mandatory free monthly employee COVID-19 testing in July. Employees were also tested on May 13.
Resident Information Regarding Loss of Income
If you are an MDHA resident or program participant who has had a loss of income due to the tornadoes or COVID-19, please do the following immediately:
- Subsidized residents at MDHA properties should report any loss of income to property management staff;
- Section 8 participants should fill out the Interim Change Form 2020, which can be found here;
- Workforce and market-rate residents should report a loss of income to the management/leasing office so that we may provide a payment arrangement without penalty.
See below for information Specific to MDHA’s Rental Assistance Department (Section 8)
- Click here for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) latest waivers (July 2020) in response to COVID-19.
- Click here for the HUD waivers (April 2020) in response to COVID-19.
- Click here for the Rental Assistance Department’s March 23 update.
See Below for Information Specific to MDHA Properties
- Another round of free voluntary COVID-19 testing is being offered at several MDHA properties, including three elderly and four elderly and disabled properties throughout the months of August, September and October.
- A second round of free voluntary COVID-19 testing is being offered at MDHA’s three elderly and four elderly and disabled properties throughout the months of June, July and August.
- MDHA partnered with the state to offer free voluntary testing to MDHA’s 14 family properties on May 14 and 15. This was a great opportunity for individuals and families who wanted to be tested but were unable to get to a testing site due to a lack of transportation. Fliers were delivered to residents to make them aware of testing dates and times.
- Free voluntary COVID-19 testing was first offered at MDHA’s three elderly and four elderly and disabled properties throughout the months of April and May. The testing was possible thanks to Council Lady Sharon Hurt and many other partners including former Councilman Jerry Maynard and The Maynard Group, Dr. Alicia Hall of Advanced Care Centers, Capstone Diagnostics, Meharry Medical College, Metro General Hospital and MDHA staff. Fliers were delivered to residents to make them aware of testing dates and times.
- Fliers have been posted in public areas educating staff and residents on best practices for universal precautions and infection control, such as covering their coughs and washing their hands regularly, to limit the spread of COVID-19.
- All property management offices are closed to the public and to walk-in resident access unless prior approval is granted by the property manager. All property business operations continue with resident rent business being conducted electronically. In-person appointments may be scheduled at the discretion of the property manager only after all electronic means have proved unsuccessful.
- Residents of MDHA properties now have new options to pay rent. You may now pay your rent online or at any MDHA authorized CheckFreePay payment center. Details on how to utilize these new options were sent via mail to all MDHA residents during the week of April 13, 2020. Please note; Tenant Identification Codes are required in order to utilize these new services, which is why they were sent via mail and are not listed here.
- Maintenance will continue at all properties. All exterior maintenance will proceed without change. MDHA staff will respond to all calls considered an emergency and will prioritize tenant work requests as to need. Tenant called work requests will be responded to after confirmation from the head of household that no one in the residence is suffering from symptoms of COVID-19. Routine work orders will be handled on a case-by-case basis with the goal to minimize in-person contact.
- In an effort to protect our older residents and neighbors, we are following expert recommendations and started “Help Us Prevent the Spread of COVID-19” campaign at our tower properties in March. To promote this campaign and prevent COVID-19 from entering our elderly and disabled tower properties, visitors will only be allowed in the towers as approved by the property manager, and only for essential, required supportive services. This will continue until further notice. To view the flier sent to tower residents, click here. To view the letter sent to tower residents, click here.
- All upcoming resident events have been postponed until further notice.
- All MDHA community spaces at the properties are closed until further notice.
- Since the virus can live on surfaces such as basketballs and playground equipment, all basketball courts and playgrounds on MDHA properties are off-limits until further notice.
- Recertification activities continue but are being conducted electronically via telephone, electronic document transfer and use of drop boxes. Only after all electronic means have proved unsuccessful, in-person interviews may be scheduled as an exception.
- Residents of MDHA communities experiencing loss of income directly attributable to COVID-19 should contact their property manager immediately. Tenants receiving subsidy will receive a rent adjustment. MDHA will discuss a payment arrangement for all other tenants. In general, we will plan to extend payment arrangements twice the length of time the resident is out of work.
- Click here to view the letter sent to all residents on March 13, 2020.
Meetings/Public Hearings/Request for Public Comments/Request for Applications
MDHA’s upcoming meetings and public hearings will take place electronically out of a necessity to protect the health, safety and welfare of Tennesseans in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Please click here to watch MDHA’s Oct. 8, 2020 Joint Finance and Development Committee Meeting.
- Please click here to watch MDHA’s Oct. 13, 2020 Joint Finance and Development Committee Meeting.
- Please click here to watch MDHA’s Oct. 13, 2020 Board Meeting.
Other MDHA Efforts
- MDHA staff members have been communicating and coordinating with the Metro Public Health Department (MPHD) and Office of Emergency Management (OEM) regularly.
- MDHA staff members have also been working with MPHD and community health providers to assist individuals experiencing homelessness with the COVID-19 response. To learn more about these efforts, visit www.homelessnashville.com.
State and Local Government Efforts
- The COVID-19 Metro Community Assessment Centers started operating 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. beginning Oct. 5. This is in response to feedback about convenience of getting testing and for the change in time of our sunrise and sunset, according to Mayor Cooper’s office.
- On Oct. 1, Davidson County entered Phase Three of the Roadmap for Reopening Nashville as announced by Mayor John Cooper per the guidance of the Metro Coronavirus Task Force. For the latest from Mayor Cooper and Metro’s coordinated response, visit asafenashville.org.
- On Sept. 29, Gov. Bill Lee announced that the State of Emergency in Tennessee will continue through October with adjustments made to previous executive orders. Click here to read more. For additional information from the Office of the Governor, visit tn.gov/governor.html.
- Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) announced on Sept. 17 that high school district football games will start on Sept. 25, while girls soccer games will begin Sept. 23. Golf is underway, and volleyball and cross country are gearing up. The sporting events will be available for viewing by fans via livestreaming. For the latest back-to-school updates from MNPS, visit mnps.org/backtoschool.
- Tennessee Titans President and CEO Burke Nihill announce on Sept. 17 that fans will be allowed to return to Nissan Stadium at 10 percent capacity beginning with the team’s Oct. 4 contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers. After that, the attendance will gradually increase for games in October with the goal of reaching a fixed capacity for the remaining games in November and December. Click here to read the announcement from the Tennessee Titans. Nashville Soccer Club will also be allowed to permit 10 percent fan capacity at Nissan Stadium starting in October.
- On Aug. 25, Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) announced that classes will remain virtual for most students until Oct. 12, and the district will seek to phase-in students returning to the classroom after the fall break if conditions allow. Decisions and announcements about when it will be safe to start phasing students back in will be made prior to the start of fall break. Families will continue to have the option to remain all virtual through the end of the year. Click here to read the back-to-school update given on Aug. 25.
- Metro Nashville Public Schools announced on July 9 that the 2020-21 year will begin on Aug. 4, 2020, with every student in a virtual learning environment through at least Labor Day. Click here for more information.
- On June 28, the Metro Public Health Department issued Order 8, which requires cloth face coverings or masks to be worn in public within Davidson County to slow the spread of COVID-19. The order went into effect at 12:01 a.m. June 29. As of 12:01 a.m. July 3, violations of the order are subject to penalties. Click here to read Order 8.
- The Metro Public Health Department has created a Davidson County COVID-19 Dashboard displaying data that has been collected about the virus and its impact in Davidson County. Click here for data on cases, demographics, trends, testing and more.
- Have questions about COVID-19? The Metro Public Health Department has a Coronavirus Hotline to answer any questions you may have. It’s open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week at 615-862-7777. The Tennessee Department of Health Tennessee Coronavirus Public Information Line can also be reached at 833-556-2476 from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily.
Food Assistance, Financial Assistance and Other Resources
- If you are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis, the United Way of Greater Nashville COVID-19 Response Fund is designed to help you connect with the assistance you need. For a list of nonprofits and partners that are helping with financial assistance, food assistance, mental health and more click here. Make sure to check back often, as the list is updated regularly as more community resources become available.
- If you or someone you know is in need of food, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee’s FIND FOOD tool is a valuable resource for finding a food distribution site close to you. To find a food bank near you, click here. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org with any additional questions.
- Metro Nashville Public Schools is providing breakfast and lunch to anyone under the age of 18 every weekday while schools are closed. Meals will be available for pickup between 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Children must be present to collect the meals. For a list of pick-up locations, visit mnps.org/covid19.
- COVID Help Nashville connects individuals with a volunteer who is able to run errands for those who are worried or unable to leave their homes. The volunteer will pick up groceries or medications and drop them off with no contact. The delivery is free but those utilizing the service are responsible for payment of their groceries or other items. To receive assistance, please email COVIDHelpNashville@gmail.com or call 615-447-8260.
- If you need to file for unemployment, visit jobs4tn.gov and click on Unemployment Benefits, then File a Claim.
- Persons in crisis should call the Metro Mobile Crisis line at 615-726-0125, or the Metro Crisis Center at 615-244-7444, or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). If the crisis is life threatening, dial 911.