Orlando to open new rental assistance portal Feb. 1. Here’s how to apply

The city will pay up to 18 months back rent if approved

ORLANDO, Fla. – The city of Orlando has been awarded new federal funding and is working with a company called KPMG to administer its second round of emergency rental assistance.

The new portal opens on Feb. 1.

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Orange County will stop taking applications for Orlando residents at midnight on Jan. 19, after stepping in to help when the city exhausted its federal funds last year. The city said it helped more than 1,600 families in its first round of funding.

Orlando resident Christian White said he’s happy to hear that the city has been awarded $6.8 million in federal funding to help people with similar stories like him.

“It was pretty tough. I was unemployed for about a month,” said White. “I feel like every month I have to decide to go without something and I have to put off stuff in order to make rent just because I do need stable housing.”

He’s currently not facing eviction but he said he’s like many people struggling to make ends meet and can barely afford his monthly rent, especially after being laid off during the pandemic.

As of Feb. 1, Orlando city residents can begin applying for the city’s second round of emergency rental assistance funding.

To qualify, you must live in the city limits of Orlando, you must have been impacted by COVID-19 financially. You also must be behind on rent or facing eviction because of late rent payments.

In addition, your household income must not exceed 80% of the area median income. So, a family for four for example can’t make more than $61,000.

“Some may end up homeless if they didn’t have the assistance,” said Oren Henry, director of Housing & Community Development for the city of Orlando. “This preserves affordable housing in the community by keeping it stable.”

If you’re approved, the city said it will pay up to 18 months of back rent to landlords who must agree not to evict their tenants.

Read more and apply on the city of Orlando website on or after Feb. 1.

About the Author:

Jerry Askin is an Atlanta native who came to News 6 in March 2018 with an extensive background in breaking news.