09 Apr 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.
- Click here to view MDHA’s continuity plan to address the Agency’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 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
- MDHA is partnering with several health providers to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to residents of MDHA properties, as well as MDHA staff. If you need assistance in scheduling an appointment, please contact Paige Hopkins at 615-569-5631.
- 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 2020.
- 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 2020.
- MDHA partnered with the state to offer free voluntary testing to MDHA’s 14 family properties on May 14 and 15, 2020. 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 2020. 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.
- MDHA’s Finance and Audit Committee will virtually meet at 9:30 a.m. April 13, 2021. The meeting will be streamed live and can be viewed on MDHA’s website, www.Nashville-MDHA.org. Look for a link under the Latest News section.
- MDHA will virtually host its monthly Board of Commissioners meeting at 11:30 a.m. April 13, 2021. The meeting will be streamed live and can be viewed on MDHA’s website at nashville-mdha.org. Look for a link on the home page under the Latest News section. Anyone interested in making a public comment during the virtual meeting should email MDHA Director of Communications Jamie Berry at email@example.com before 4 p.m. April 12, 2021, for dial-in information. Please make sure to include your name and phone number in your email.
- MDHA’s joint meeting of the Board of Directors of MDHA Housing Trust Corporation, Shareholders and Board of Directors of MDHA Boscobel I, Inc., MDHA CP II, Inc., and MDHA Boscobel III, Inc. will virtually meet at noon April 13, 2021. The meeting will be streamed live and can be viewed on MDHA’s website, www.Nashville-MDHA.org. Look for a link on the home page under the Latest News section.
- Please click here to watch MDHA’s March 9, 2021, Housing and Community Resources Committee meeting and the Joint Finance and Development Committee meeting. Please click here to watch MDHA’s March 9, 2021, Board meeting.
- Please click here to watch MDHA’s March 4, 2021, Joint Finance and Development Committee 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
- On April 19, 2021, the Metro Nashville Public Health Department (MPHD) began accepting the first 500 walk-ins per day to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the Music City Center, in addition to previously scheduled appointments. To make an appointment, visit COVID19.Nashville.gov and click on the big yellow box at the top of the page or call 615-862-7777.
- MPHD is offering second doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to all Davidson County residents at the Music City Center, regardless of where they received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. No appointment is needed, as long as it has been at least 21 days after their first dose. Residents will need to have their CDC vaccination card with them to be administered the second dose.
- In line with the recommendations of the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), MPHD has paused the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC and the FDA are investigating instances of a rare type of blood clot that surfaced in six people who have taken the vaccine. Until that investigation is finished, MPHD will only be administering the Pfizer vaccine at its clinics and vaccination events, including the drive-thru vaccination site at 2491 Murfreesboro Pike.
- Because more than 30% of Nashville residents have received the COVID-19 vaccine, Mayor John Cooper announced capacity increases that went into effect Friday, April 16. Restaurants and bars may operate with 225 patrons per floor when seated and socially distanced and remain open until 3 a.m. Outdoor arenas with controlled access may operate at 40% capacity, and indoor arenas with controlled access may operate at 33% capacity. With approval from the Metro Public Health Department (MPHD), indoor events may have up to 3,000 attendees, while higher-risk events may have up to 225 attendees. Indoor gathering sizes may increase to 15 people, and the outdoor gathering size limit remains at 25 people. For the latest updates from Mayor Cooper and Metro’s coordinated response, visit COVID19.Nashville.gov.
- On Feb. 26, to protect the health, safety and welfare of Tennesseans in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, Gov. Bill Lee issued Executive Order No. 78, which extends Executive Order No. 71 until April 28 to allow remote meetings of a government body that are open and accessible to the public. Click here to read more.
- Director of Metro Nashville Public Schools Dr. Adrienne Battle announced Feb. 1, a phase-in schedule for students returning to school buildings for those whose families opted for in-person instruction once the COVID-19 risk score consistently remained below seven. Beginning Thursday, Feb. 4, students who have special needs who attend Genesis Academy and High Roads School of Nashville, which are contracted special-day schools, will return for in-person learning. Then, contingent upon Nashville’s continued success in containing the spread of the virus, students in pre-k to fourth grade and students who have exceptional needs will return on Tuesday, Feb. 9, with the phasing in of additional students in the weeks that follow. Students whose families chose to remain virtual for this school year will continue to do so. Click here for more information and the full proposed phase-in schedule. Updates to the MNPS response to COVID-19 can be found at mnps.org/covid19.
- 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
- The Metropolitan Action Commission of Nashville and Davidson County’s Housing, Opportunity, Partnership and Employment (HOPE) program is now accepting applications from renters impacted by COVID-19 who need assistance catching up on past-due payments that are up to 12 months late at hope.nashville.gov. Those who have questions or need assistance applying may call 615-862-7368 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday to speak with a representative.
- 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 offers no-cost breakfast and lunch to all children 18 and under based on federal guidelines. School breakfast and lunch for virtual learners are now available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, though children will have meals for the whole week provided to them. Meals can be picked up at schools between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Free food boxes are also available for families to pickup at several schools. Click here for times and locations.
- 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.
- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is issuing the third round of Economic Income Payments. These payments will be distributed automatically with no action required for most people. However, some seniors and others who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the stimulus payment. If you do NOT file taxes and need to submit your information, please visit here. Check Get My Payment for the status of your third Economic Impact Payment.
- 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.