Frequently Asked Questions about Housing


Q: A landlord told me that he would not rent to people with mental health issues. What do I do?
A: It is a violation of your civil rights. You have the right to file a complaint by either calling the Housing Discrimination Hotline: 1-800-669-9777 or filing online at

Q: Can I have a pet at a Group Home?
A: It depends on the level of treatment that a facility has. If it is an assisted living facility, you might be allowed to have pets there. However, if it is a facility that has a more restrictive atmosphere, you may not be able to have pets. You should check with the facility's manager to make sure that pets are allowed before bringing one inside the facility.

Q: How can I get rental assistance for my apartment?
A: Housing Choice Vouchers. Contact the THDA (or Local Public Housing Authority in urban areas) in your region. If you do not know where the office in your area is, then click here for the THDA website. There will be a list of THDA offices in your area. Contact the THDA office and they will send you a pre-application. Fill out the pre-application and return it to the THDA office. If you qualify, you will probably be put on a waiting list. The other way to get this rental assistance is to ask your Case Manager for help through this process.

Q: How many other people live in the Group Home?
A: Many Group Homes have 4 to 12 beds. Most of them have independent rooms for each person. Contact the Group Home manager if you would like to know additional information about the number of people staying in a particular Group Home.

Q: I am thinking about buying a home. What can I do to get ready?
A: Start a savings account. Get a copy of your credit report. Contact the credit agency to go over anything you feel is wrong on your report. Begin keeping receipts of everything, including rent, pay stubs, checking and saving account statements. Be responsible with your bills. Pay them and pay them on time. Try to pay down any credit cards. Stay for at least two years in one job. You can also contact a Homebuying Counselor. Please call Sharon Walker with United Housing, Inc. at 901-272-1122. Click here for United Housing, Inc.'s website.

Q: In a Group Home, how many meals a day will I have?
A: A Group Home is required by law to offer you three meals a day. They may not take these meals away for any reason. Some Group Homes allow snacks, but this is not required. Contact the Group Home manager if you have questions about snack privileges.

Q: We are trying to locate permanent housing for a 57-year-old man. He has a history of violence and is now a patient of Charter Lakeside.
A: Organizations have their own criteria for entering one of their facilities. First, look through the different housing types under Housing Options. Once you have located the proper type of housing that is required, click on Search by location. Simply put the city and the distance from the city that you would like to search. This should bring up a list of possible places for him with phone numbers and addresses.

Q: What are some things I can do to keep a place to stay?
A: Some things you can do are create a WRAP®, follow your individualized treatment plan (if you don’t have one, seek help creating one), pay your bills (on time if at all possible), at the first sign of crisis (especially mental, emotional, and financial), seek help immediately, and don’t run out of (or stop taking) your medication if that is what helps you maintain a stable recovery.

Q: What can I do if I become homeless?
A: Some things you can do are to tell your case manager (if you have one), locate an assistance program or community services agency near you, apply for Public Housing and/or Section 8 Housing, make sure your ID is current and available, and make an emergency pack. Click here for additional info.

Q: What is case management?
A: Case Management services are special services designed to assist a client with activities for stable life choices. Some services are medication monitoring, linkage and referral to other community agencies, assistance with locating educational or support groups, coordinating with crisis services, help in finding suitable housing, and facilitating solutions for medical problems, just to name a few. Payment for services can be cash, private insurance, Medicare, and TennCare.

Q: What is TennCare?
A: TennCare is healthcare for Tennesseans who are eligible for Medicaid. For more information  on TennCare, click here.

Q: Will I be able to leave the Group Home whenever I want?
A: The rules of a particular establishment dictate the hours that a person may leave or return to the home. In most cases people are free to come and go as they like. However, the level of care could affect the restrictions on curfews and rules. Speak with the Group Home manager about the rules of a facility before moving in.

Q: Will I be able to smoke in a Group Home?
A: Most Group Homes have a designated area for smoking (usually outside). However, each Group Home has its own set of rules that should be explained to you before you move in.