ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando residents now have a new financial lifeline after the city’s rental assistance program ran out of funds.
Orange County is stepping in to supply funds for those in need.
It’s a push to try and keep more families in their homes. As of Dec. 8, all Orlando residents can temporarily apply to Orange County’s Emergency Assistance Portal.
“We want to do everything we can to make sure that no one winds up without a place to live or even an eviction on their records,” said Dianne Arnold from Orange County’s Citizens Resource and Outreach Division. “We are just trying to stand in the gap at this time and provide that assistance.”
The City of Orlando said it has exhausted its federal emergency rental assistance funds for now after assisting more than 1600 families. They plan to get more funding by mid-January.
To qualify for assistance, you must live in Orlando or throughout Orange County, be behind on rent or facing eviction, have a loss of income due to COVID-19 and you also must not exceed 80% of the area median income. The county says it will prioritize residents who are already facing eviction.
“Some people may think they need an eviction notice to apply for the program and that’s not true. They’re just late on their rent, 3 days late on their rent, 2 days late in their rent,” said Arnold.
Since March when the Orange County program launched, of the $33.4 million of federal funds the county received, Orange County has approved nearly $14.6 million to keep more than 2,600 families in their homes.
If approved, the county will pay a max of up to $30,000 to landlords who must agree not to evict their tenants.
Residents can apply to the program by clicking here.