ORLANDO, Fla. – The Biden administration announced it will be extending the ban on evictions for another month due to the coronavirus pandemic with a new deadline of July 31 and local leaders say they have funding to help renters in need.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention said this will likely be the last time the moratorium on evictions it’s extended.
On Wednesday outside of Orlando City Hall, Central Florida for Florida Rising, a nonprofit organization, held a news conference with the goal of letting people know funds are still available through the city’s rental assistance program.
Orlando City Commissioner Bakari Burns said millions of dollars are still available as only a fraction of the federal funds allocated to the city has been used.
Nationwide, state leaders set aside at least $2.6 billion from the CARES Act’s Coronavirus Relief Fund to prop up struggling renters, but a year later more than $425 million of that — or 16% — hadn’t made it into the pockets of tenants or their landlords, according to an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and The Associated Press.
Orlando set aside more than $8.6 million for rental assistance and is nowhere near close to using all of the funds. Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings recently announced the county would receive $39 million in eviction prevention funds.
Burns said in his district, District 6, only about $18,000 in funds have been used and citywide, about $200,000 of the over $8 million has been used.
Shakhea Hinton, the Regional Director of Central Florida for Florida Rising, is concerned about what will happen when the eviction ban expires.
“What are folks going to do? I don’t think Orlando or the Orange County residents are ready, or really prepared, to see what a mass evictions would look like for the thousands of families that reside here,” Hinton said.
Hinton said they plan to host an event to help walk people through the process of applying for the program.
Burns’ office said the city has until the end of September to spend 65% of the money allocated, and then until the end of next year to spend the rest of it.
To learn more about applying for rental assistance in Orlando and Orange County, click or tap here.