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Counties in Central Florida discuss ways to help renters impacted by COVID-19

Orange County said it will close its COVID-19 Rental Assistance Hotline

ORLANDO, Fla. – As a new month approaches, many financially impacted by the coronavirus crisis are trying to find ways to pay their rent.

Orange County said on Tuesday that it will close its COVID-19 Rental Assistance Hotline and online application submissions at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

Officials said Mayor Jerry Demings started the program on March 20, with the goal of using $1.8 million in taxpayer funds. The goal is to help 1,500 with one-time $1,200 payments. Orange County said 20,000 applications have already been received.

[RELATED: Orange County to close COVID-19 rental assistance hotline and online application]

The City of Kissimmee announced it would begin accepting applications for a similar program on Tuesday. The city’s goal is to also provide one-time $1,200 rental payments. Residents must meet the city’s criteria, which includes proof of financial hardship due to the coronavirus emergency.

Osceola County said it will meet on Wednesday to discuss county-wide efforts for rental assistance.

Seminole County said it has waived the two-year waiting period to be considered for its rental assistance program for people affected by the virus. Seminole County also said it is actively reviewing existing funds to see if more money could be available. The county also said it is waiting for updates from HUD to see what money might be available through the federal stimulus package.

For homeowners, Lake County officials advise people to call their lenders, since many top financial institutions are offering delayed payments.

Volusia County officials also remind small business owners of the assistance they might qualify for under the historic stimulus package as well.

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