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Volusia County sets aside $8 million to help residents with food, rent amid pandemic

Money comes from federal CARES Act

Janeth is handed a bag of donated food from a Methodist church, Tuesday, April 21, 2020, in Washington. She was pleased that the bag contained a bit of chicken and rice to cook. When she went home she cooked the chicken immediately. Most food giveaways have been of fresh produce, which they are grateful for, but doesn't keep them full for long. The couple finds most food banks by word of mouth, or driving and looking for lines of people. Language barriers, unfamiliarity with the charity network, and a lack of access to technology can keep some immigrants from accessing food aid. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Janeth is handed a bag of donated food from a Methodist church, Tuesday, April 21, 2020, in Washington. She was pleased that the bag contained a bit of chicken and rice to cook. When she went home she cooked the chicken immediately. Most food giveaways have been of fresh produce, which they are grateful for, but doesn't keep them full for long. The couple finds most food banks by word of mouth, or driving and looking for lines of people. Language barriers, unfamiliarity with the charity network, and a lack of access to technology can keep some immigrants from accessing food aid. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Volusia County residents will receive $8 million in combined food and rent assistance in the coming months thanks to money the county received from the federal CARES Act.

On Tuesday, the Volusia County Council voted to earmark $5 million for rent and mortgage assistance and $3 million for food assistance to help those who have lost their income as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Volusia County residents have suffered serious financial injury as a result of the COVID-19 crisis,” a memorandum presented at the council meeting read. “Many of our residents are in need of financial assistance to maintain basic necessities such as shelter.”

Residents must meet certain requirements in order to qualify for rent and mortgage assistance:

  • They must have been up to date on housing payments as of March 13.
  • Their primary residence must be in Volusia County. This includes residents in Deltona and Daytona Beach.
  • They must meet certain income requirements. For example, for a family of up to four people, the household income must not exceed $77,880.
  • They haven’t already received rent or mortgage relief from their city.

Residents can call the Volusia County Department of Community Services at 386-736-5955 to apply. You can also click here to read more about the rent program and here for more information about the mortgage program.

If approved, they’ll receive grants of up to $1,500 per month for a maximum of three months, paid directly to their landlord or mortgage holder.

As for the food relief, the county plans to contract with Food Brings Hope, The Neighborhood Center of West Volusia, United Way of Volusia-Flagler Counties and Halifax Urban Ministries to purchase and distribute meals.

Another $2.9 million from the CARES Act money will go toward establishing a grant program to help nonprofits, although the exact details of that plan aren’t expected until next week.

Also on Tuesday, council members voted to expand the small business assistance grant program. Previously, a business with 25 employees of fewer or the equivalent number of part-time employees could receive a one-time grant payment of $3,000.

Now, businesses with 26 to 60 employees or the equivalent number of part-time workers can receive a grant of up to $5,000 to help with expenses.

Business owners can apply by clicking here.


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