Florida Emergency Rental Assistance Programs

Florida ERAP Treasury Programs:

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERA) provides funds to renters in Manatee County and its municipalities who are delinquent on rent and in need of rental payment assistance due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds will be provided as a grant for rent and landlord-paid utilities for approved applicants. Eligible renters may receive grant funds up to 12 months of assistance, if needed, through November 2021, whichever is less. Funds will be paid directly to the landlord.

Miami plans to launch a new relief program that would provide a year’s worth of rent and utilities for struggling tenants who live inside city limits. On Thursday, the commission voted to dedicate about 90% of the city’s $14 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to emergency rental assistance that will provide up to $24,000 for eligible households. About $12.7 million will go toward rent and utility payments. Applications are not open yet. The city is expected to launch the program soon. About $1.1 million will pay for administration of the program. Three local nonprofits will receive $100,000 each to help people stay in their homes: Sunshine For All; Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida; and Legal Services of Greater Miami.

Lee County will pay up to six months of past due rent and utilities and three months of prospective payments for qualified households, plus ongoing payment of future rent as permitted. However, rental assistance cannot exceed a total of 12 months for each qualified household. The total months include past due, current due, and prospective payments.

 

Florida CARES+ Programs:

Governor Ron DeSantis announced $250 million in CARES Act funding for rental and mortgage assistance for Florida families that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Administered by Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC), $120 million will be provided in short-term rental assistance for COVID-19 impacted households residing at multifamily rental properties in FHFC’s portfolio. FHFC will reimburse participating properties to subsidize eligible households’ rents for each impacted month.

Governor DeSantis along with the Florida Housing Finance Corporation has announced the distribution of $5 million to local governments through the State Housing Initiatives Partnership program. The funding will serve to assist individuals and families in Florida impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with the housing assistance and resources.

The City has approved Rental Assistance and Foreclosure Prevention Programs that can assist residents with housing payments for the period beginning March 1 through December 4, 2020. The maximum assistance is $10,000 per household. To be eligible for assistance, applicants must reside within Boca Raton city limits and have a household income that does not exceed 120% of area median income (AMI) based on household size.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program provides financial assistance and housing stability services, including rent, rental arrears, utilities and home energy costs, utilities and home energy costs arrears, and other expenses related to housing incurred due, directly or indirectly, to the novel coronavirus disease. Assistance is restricted to households whose income is at or below 80% of area median income ($55,350 for a family of four).

To assist Brevard’s individuals and families impacted by COVID-19, United Way of Brevard, the Community Foundation for Brevard, and the Space Coast Health Foundation are providing information and resources to those in need. Each organization donated $50,000 in matching funds to the Brevard COVID-19 Response Fund.

On May 5, 2020, the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners approved up to $4.4 million for a Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program, Utility and Security Deposit Program, and a Food Stability Program. This assistance is in the form of a grant that will be paid directly to the mortgage lender, landlord, or apartment rental company and not the individual and will be available to income eligible residents on a first-come, first-served basis while funds are still available.

This rental assistance program is made possible by the Broward County Commission, with funding from the federal CARES act. The CARES Act enables local governments to allocate emergency funding to residents who face pressing financial needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city of Clearwater is seeking to assist residents hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic if they are behind on their rent, mortgage or utility payments. The Rent, Mortgage and Utility Assistance Program is open to Clearwater applicants for up to $5,000 in unpaid rent, mortgage or utility bills dated March 1, 2020 or later.

Full-time Collier County residents behind on certain basic living payments due to the economic challenges presented by COVID-19 may qualify for one-time emergency assistance through the county’s CollierCARES Individual Assistance program. Applications for childcare, electricity, mortgage, and rent assistance opened on Monday, August 17, and close on Monday, August 31, at noon. For this short-term program, residents may receive one-time payments up to $11,250 per household. The limit for housing and utility assistance is $10,000 per household. Childcare assistance has a separate maximum award of $1,250.

The CRF (Coronavirus Relief Funds) Program provides mortgage assistance and rental assistance to eligible Coral Springs residents who have experienced loss of income, reduction in hours, or unemployment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic only.  Assistance will only be provided for mortgages and rents due beginning April 1, 2020 through the month of December, if granted. Assistance will be paid directly to the mortgage company or landlord and assistance is limited to nine (9) months, up to a maximum award of $10,000.

Coral Springs is offering rental and utilities assistance to residents hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis. Up to $10,000 in assistance will be given on a “first-come, first-ready, and first-approved” basis to those who have suffered a loss of income, reduction in hours, or unemployment as a direct result of the pandemic, according to a city news release.

Daytona Beach has made $619,500 fund available for rent assistance. Low- and moderate-income renters can apply to receive up to $3,000 for two months of rental payments. Maximum assistance will be capped at $1,500 per month and $3,000 total per household.

The purpose of this program is to provide emergency assistance to families impacted by COVID-19. Forms of assistance include mortgage, rent and utility payments. Assistance will only be provided for mortgage, rents and utilities from April 1, 2020 and onward. Applicants must have a verifiable and documented income hardship. Assistance will be provided for up to 9 months and will not exceed $15,000.

In an effort to assist Flagler residents who have experienced a loss of income as a result of COVID-19, Flagler Cares has developed a Rent, Mortgage and Utility Assistance Program. Applications for assistance are processed on a first-ready, first-served basis. Eligible applicants may receive one month of rent, mortgage and/or utility assistance. 

R3 Utility and Housing Assistance is available for residents who have had an involuntary reduction of wages or who are involuntarily newly unemployed due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The funding aims to prevent recipients from experiencing further financial hardship or additional consequences to living conditions by assisting them with a lump sum payment directly to eligible residents to be used for rent and mortgage payments and financial assistance for past-due utility (electric) bills.

Originally, the county’s rental-and mortgage-assistance program was being funded by the CARES Act, money allocated through the state to help counties create financial-assistance programs for residents, businesses and organizations affected by COVID-19.  Since Indian River is now using $12.7 million in CARES money for public-health and public-safety salaries, unrestricted money from the county budget  — not subject to a Dec. 30 spending deadline — can be  spent into next year, County Administrator Jason Brown said.

  • Rental Assistance/Eviction Prevention Program: City of Kissimmee

The City of Kissimmee has modified its eviction prevention program to assist low-income residents who have been impacted by coronavirus. City leaders said the program was set to begin Tuesday. The modified program offers a maximum amount of $1,200 for housing assistance or one month of rent, whichever is less.

The City of Kissimmee will reopen the application process for rental and mortgage assistance on November 30, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. to assist qualifying households who have been affected by COVID-19 and are now unemployed or underemployed.

Lakeland commissioners voted unanimously Monday afternoon to approve a $930,310 Emergency Rent Relief Program for city residents who have experienced a loss of income.

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, United Way of Marion County received over $1.5 million in CARES Act funds from Marion County to support individuals/families who have been impacted by COVID-19. Specifically for residents of Marion County, the Coronavirus Relief Funds provide rent, mortgage and utility assistance to help support those community members who have been financially impacted by COVID-19. To be eligible to receive assistance, residents must be directly impacted by a loss or reduction of income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and will be required to meet with a United Way case manager to determine eligibility.

United We Care: Martin County’s COVID-19 Relief Fund is a partnership between the Martin County Board of County Commissioners and United Way of Martin County that will provide one-time assistance to support eligible Martin County residents who have suffered a reduction or loss of employment income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is designed to assist with: rent or mortgage and utility bills.

City of Melbourne residents who have experienced a verifiable loss of income due to COVID-19 may be eligible for temporary assistance of up to three months of rent, mortgage, and/or public utilities payment through the city’s Emergency Rental, Mortgage, and Public Utilities Assistance Program as part of the CARES Act.  Melbourne will dedicate $233,590 to this program.  The maximum monthly assistance is $1,600, and payments will be made directly to the creditor.  

Miami City Commission approved the use of $549,111 in federal and state funds to help renters pay their landlords. Due to demand, the city has pledged an addition $336,000 to rental assistance.

The City of Miami Beach has received Coronavirus Relief Funds from the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC) to provide emergency rent, mortgage, and maintenance/HOA fees assistance to households adversely impacted by COVID-19. Miami Beach households earning up to 120% Area Median Income ($58,440 for a household of one) can apply online via the City’s website for help with rental assistance, mortgage payments, and housing re-entry.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) provides a one-time benefit to assist with one month’s rent to Miami-Dade County low and moderate income households experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city of  Miami Gardens is offering rental assistance to residents who have experienced financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic

The Nassau County Commission has approved another round of CARES Act relief funds for rental and mortgage payments for residents who have been financially affected by the pandemic. Any activities — reduced hours or income, termination or layoff from employment — that occurred between March 1, 2020, and December 30, 2020, due to COVID-19 are eligible.

The City of North Miami will assist individuals with a one-time payment up to $1,000 for households occupying rental units outside of the NMCRA boundaries that have suffered loss of income or reduced wages directly connected to COVID-19 pandemic.

The City of North Miami through HUD received supplemental Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-CV) funding, and authorization from HUD to use portion of the HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) funds to prevent, prepare for and respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The City of North Miami is offering rent assistance in the form of a grant with no repayment requirement for 2 months, up to $3,000 to all North Miami residents experiencing hardship and loss of income due to COVID-19.

Orange County Government will invest $72.9 million into social services and community needs for residents. Approximately $36.5 million have been allocated for the Individual and Family Assistance Program. The program will provide a one-time payment of $1,000 per household for residents affected by COVID-19. Funds for this program will assist residents to bridge financial gaps for rent, mortgage, medical or an eligible utility expense.  After the initial round closed on June 22, applications were opened for a second round on July 13 and closed again after 18 minutes.

In an effort to help curb evictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners created the Orange County COVID-19 Eviction Diversion Program. The $13.3 million program is funded by the Federal CARES Act monies. The income-based program assists Orange County’s most vulnerable tenants who are in imminent danger of eviction due to COVID-19 and provides the property owner with an alternative to eviction. The Program provides up to $4,000 in past due rent that is paid directly to the landlord. The tenant or landlord can initiate the application process; however, both must agree to participate and meet eligibility requirements.

JFS Orlando CARES is a new financial assistance program that will provide $500,000 in emergency rental assistance to those severely impacted by COVID-19. The program is open to qualifying Unincorporated Orange County residents, and it may provide up to two months of rental assistance. Funds will be distributed on a first come, first-served basis.

The Orange County government has made the COVID-19 Crisis Assistance Program available to provide one-time rental assistance for Orange County residents who qualify. The program leverages a pre-existing general assistance program but uses COVID-19-specific criteria for eligibility. The program will provide assistance with one month’s rent, so residents will be able to use their limited funds on other necessities.

The Heart of Florida United Way established a fund to support Central Florida residents whose financial stability is being impacted by the pandemic. The focus of the fund is to support the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) population in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties experiencing hardship due to decreased hours or unpaid leave. The ALICE Fund provides rent, mortgage and utility assistance to help prevent eviction and homelessness.

The city of Orlando hopes to help about 300 families behind on their rent due to the pandemic through a grant program funded by federal coronavirus relief dollars. Orlando City Council voted on plans to use $1.5 million of Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act funds to provide rental assistance. The city will partner with United Way to implement the funds. The program reopened in December with additional funding.

ROUND 2: The next round of housing assistance will tap into $13.2 million of CARES Act funding and will be open to ALL Osceola residents, INCLUDING the cities of Kissimmee and St. Cloud. The initial round of phase 2 assistance closed on August 10, after 1 week of accepting applications. Another round was opened on October 5.

ROUND 1: Applications for Monday’s round of rental assistance and mortgage foreclosure prevention will be open for three days using CDBG Grant funding only available to residents of unincorporated Osceola County impacted by the Coronavirus.

The Eviction Diversion program launched October 5. Funded by Federal CARES Act money, the program is designed to help Osceola County tenants who are in imminent danger of being evicted.  It helps prevent the property owner from initiating the eviction process, which will keep the eviction from appearing on the tenant’s permanent record. Landlords and tenants with pending court action will receive letters from the County. To be considered eligible for the program, applications must be completed by both the tenant and the landlord. Payments will be sent directly to the landlord by Human Services.

The city of Palm Bay announced Tuesday that it would provide residents with rental and utility assistance under the Eviction Prevention/Rental and Utility Assistance Program. The program is designed to assist residents who have become delinquent on rent and/or utility payments due to the impacts of COVID-19.

Residents and households facing hardship due to COVID-19 can apply for rent and utility payment assistance by completing the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) application. The last day to submit an application for funding assistance is Friday, August 28, 2020.

The CARES ACT – Coronavirus Relief Fund Rent and Utilities Assistance Program provides one-time rental and utility assistance to eligible Palm Beach County residents who have experienced loss of income, reduction in hours, or unemployment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic only.  Assistance will only be provided for past due rents and/or utilities due from March 1, 2020 to December 30, 2020.

Pasco County Community Development is partnering with multiple local agencies that are assisting in providing Community CARES funds to people experiencing economic hardship due to COVID-19.  All partner agencies, listed below, are offering to help pay bills directly for anyone living in Pasco County who meets the Community CARES Program guidelines.

If you lost a job or significant income due to impacts from the pandemic, you may qualify for financial assistance up to $5,000 per household to pay for rent, mortgage or utility payments during the period starting March 1, 2020.

Polk County residents have until Friday to apply for up to $2,000 per household in assistance for COVID-19-related losses.
The Polk County Commission on Monday agreed to set the cutoff for grant applications after Todd Bond, the county’s budget manager, said the program was close to spending the $35 million allocated for the household grants.

The Polk County Board of County Commissioners accepted nearly $2 million in additional CARES Act Funds. These funds were made available to Polk residents to pay delinquent rent and mortgage payments due to layoffs and furloughs caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Port St. Lucie renters here experiencing an economic hardship because of COVID-19 can apply to the city for help paying their monthly bills. The City Council Monday approved the COVID-19 Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance grant program to pay past-due rent or mortgage payments from April 1.

This Grant Program is offered on a first completed, first-served basis to provide temporary mortgage or rental assistance to eligible applicants whose household has been economically affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The assistance is limited to the actual missed or currently due mortgage or rent payments due after April 1, 2020, and may not exceed $1,500.00 per month.

To assist Volusia and Flagler county residents and families who are impacted by COVID-19, United Way of Volusia and Flagler Counties launched the COVID-19 Relief Fund to aid in recovery efforts. The organization said it is working with local partner agencies to distribute emergency funds to those in need.

Volusia County will accept applications from households that have been financially impacted by COVID-19. Rental assistance may be provided to eligible households for up to three months. Assistance will be provided on a first-ready, first-served basis and a limited number of applications will be accepted based on funding availability.

 

 

These resources are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Landlords and Tenants are encouraged to seek specific legal advice for any of the issues as found in this blog.

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