ORLANDO, Fla. – The portal for Orlando’s emergency rental assistance program opened Tuesday for those facing financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Applicants started submitting information at 8 a.m. for financial assistance, which is being funded with $8.6 million in COVID-19 relief funds from the U.S. Department of Treasury. Around 300 people applied for help the first day the portal opened.
According to the city, qualifying households have to be experiencing or experienced financial hardship due to the virus, have one or more residents at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability and have a household income at or below 80% of the area median income, which for a family of four is $61,050.
“We know that a lot of people that lost jobs were living week to week already and so they probably weren’t able to pay the rent but there was a mortarium on evictions so I suspect there are quite a few people there that haven’t paid rent in a quite a long time,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said.
The program will also give priority to households at or below 50% of the area median income, which is $38,150 for a family of four, or have someone residing in the home who has been unemployed for 90 days.
Applicants will have to provide proof of occupancy in the rental residence, which could be a copy of the lease, rent receipts or other documents that have prove they live there.
On top of those requirements, the city is also requiring that rental residences be in the Orlando city limits. Click here to verify if you fall within those limits.
“We think we have enough money to serve everyone who needs to be served we hope to get that money out in a couple of months,” Dyer said.
Applicants can also apply for assistance on past due rent and current rent with the monthly bill amount not exceeding $4,000.
These payments will be paid directly to the landlord.
For more information on the program, click here. If residents have any issues submitting their application they can contact the City of Orlando Emergency Rental Assistance program directly at 855-227-5304 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.