Orange County teams up with nonprofits to spread word about emergency rental assistance program

County leaders hold webinar days before ban on evictions expires

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County leaders are working with nonprofits to help educate the community about its emergency rental assistance program days before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s ban on evictions expires.

The moratorium on evictions put in place in response to the pandemic expires at the end of the month after it was extended in June.

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Orange County leaders want to help residents who are struggling to make ends meet. Dianne Arnold, the county’s citizens resources and outreach manager, held a webinar on Wednesday to discuss the emergency rental assistance program.

“Our goal is to reach every person in Orange County who had a COVID impact and needs assistance due to that with their rent,” Arnold said.

Nearly 100 nonprofit agencies attended the virtual webinar. Arnold took them step-by-step through the rental assistance application process.

Arnold said the organizations play a key role in connecting with people who may need help.

“If it’s getting the word out, making a computer available, if its’ answering a question, anything. We just want to provide as much information and make sure we’ve done every effort we can to reach everyone and make sure anyone who needs assistance and qualifies knows about the program,” she said.

The county received $33 million of federal funds to assist eligible residents. So far, nearly one thousand applicants have been approved. The funds can cover payments up to 12 months or $20,000 of past-due rent.

Participants learned who qualifies and how to apply for rental assistance. They also got to ask questions, including how long it takes to get approval.

“It not only depends on how many applications we receive and how quickly my staff review it, it depends on how quickly the tenant responds with the requested information, how quickly the landlord responds,” Arnold said.

The county is hoping this will get results for residents in need.

“Our goal is to try to reach out to as many people as we possibly can,” Arnold said.

Click here for more information on the emergency rental assistance program.

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!