If you have received an eviction notice and it can't be stopped, it's time to start making other plans.

Find Temporary Housing
Can you stay with a friend or relative for a short time? If you can, work out an agreement about how long you will stay and whether you will pay any rent during your stay. If you can't afford to pay rent, you might volunteer to cook meals, clean or do some minor repairs around the home. It's best to work out these details before you move in.

If there isn't a friend or relative who can put you up for a while, talk with the staff at your local Community Action Agency. As soon as possible, let the staff know the date you must leave your home. In general, the more time you give your CAA staff members before the eviction date, the more help they can provide.

Local CAA staff may be able to find space for you in temporary housing. Many religious and nonprofit groups have limited numbers of homes, apartments, rooms or other space available for people in need.

Know Your Rights
Even though you're in the process of being evicted, you still have rights as a tenant. Eviction is a legal process, and there are rules that landlords must follow. For example, a landlord generally is required to give you some notice before evicting you. Ask local CAA staff about the rules in your state. Also, many states have tenant organizations that will provide the local rules for evictions.

If you feel your landlord has failed to live up to any signed agreements and you are being evicted unfairly, discuss the matter with your case worker, a tenant group or a legal aid society.

If you have no legal grounds to fight the eviction, leave the property by the date that appears on the notice. If you don't, you could end up in court and face additional fees.

When you move out, take all of your belongings with you. Anything left behind will be considered abandoned, and the landlord will likely sell your belongings to cover unpaid rent. The best way to protect your property is to take it with you.

Taking the Next Step
If you've lost your home or you're having to squeeze every penny to keep your housing, remember it's only temporary. You will get through this. Keep your spirits up and continue working. Eventually, you'll find ways to stabilize your life.

As much as possible, surround yourself with people who have a positive attitude about life. Negative people bring us all down. When we're already down, the negativity seems to suck away our energy.

Positive people, on the other hand, make us feel like we, too, can direct our lives. The staff at your local Community Action Agency probably know of some individuals who have gone through and overcome similar problems. Talking with these people can help you maintain a positive outlook and you may pick up a few new ideas along the way.

Your Housing Options: If Eviction Cannot Be Stopped

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