Orlando rental assistance program accepting applications

Applications can be submitted at Orlando.gov/assistance

ORLANDO, Fla. – More help is coming to Orlando renters.

The city is reopening its rental assistance program to help families who are struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic.

Ray Larsen with Heart of Florida United Way said they are partnering with the city to help residents pay their rent.

“I want to be clear about that. It’s for rent assistance, not for mortgage or utility assistance,” Larsen said.

Since September, this program has provided nearly $700,000to more than 220 households. Orlando City Council is considering adding more funds to the program.

City leaders are meeting on Monday to consider raising the amount of money available to families. Larsen said they will vote on allocating a total of $2.3 million of federal CARES Act funds for rental assistance.

City council is also expected to vote on increasing the financial aid from $10,000 to $12,500 per family. The city said the program is also extending and now covering rent payments from March 1st through December 31st.

“We’re finding more and more households it’s not that they’re one month’s rent behind, but they’re often time multiple months behind,” Larsen said. “So this is an incredible support to the citizens in the City of Orlando.”

Larsen hopes Orlando renters will take advantage of this opportunity.

“The pandemic has gone on a long time and I know that people are making a lot of hard decisions and I hope they’ll take advantage, if they’re eligible, for this program,” he said.

To qualify, renters must live within city limits, have experienced a pandemic-related hardship and have paid February rent.

Residents will need to supply the following documents as part of their application: Certification rent payments have not already been covered by federal benefits or other charitable donations, proof of a financial hardship due to COVID-19, a copy of a lease agreement, a W-9 form completed by the tenant’s landlord and copies of drivers’ license or government-issued identification for each adult household member claiming a COVID-19 hardship.

Residents who are interested in applying can click here to complete the pre-screening process to determine eligibility. United Way will email instructions and a link to complete the application to eligible residents following the pre-screening process.

About the Author:

Amanda Castro, a proud UCF alum, joined the News 6 team in November 2015 and was promoted to weekend morning anchor in April 2016. Go Knights!