Thanks to a $25 million federal funding package, Broward County will begin offering rental assistance for those impacted by COVID-19, the county announced Wednesday.
With shutdowns and COVID-19 leading to businesses cutting back, countless Broward County residents have been unable to pay their rent since March. With the funding provided by the federal CARES Act, those who are unemployed or underemployed because of the pandemic will be able to apply for rental assistance for the months of April, May, June, July and August.
“Our residents are hurting,” Broward County Mayor Dale Holness said in a statement. “This $25 million rental assistance program can provide much needed financial assistance to many, many families who need our help, and help protect landlords and small businesses who need to collect rents to pay mortgages and other expenses related to property ownership.”
Applications will be accepted Aug. 31 to Sept. 6 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. In order to apply, applicants must be Broward County residents and unemployed or underemployed due to the pandemic and therefore unable to pay their rent. The funds will pay for 75% of the amount due for the first and second month of owed rent, and then 60% of the third, fourth and fifth months of owed rent.
The applicants’ landlord must agree to participate in the program, as the money will be paid directly to them.
Those not eligible for the funds include people who are not Broward County residents, those whose loss of income was not a result of COVID-19, or if the household had the funds to pay rent but chose not to.
The application will require the following documentation:
- Copy of a valid government-issued ID
- Rental lease agreement or tenant verification form, completed by the landlord
- Late, past due or eviction notices
- Proof of unemployment or loss of income
The applications, which will be reviewed by the county’s Family Success Division, must be done in one sitting. County officials encourage applicants to have all their documents ready before they begin the application.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a moratorium on evictions in the state of Florida at the beginning of the pandemic and has continued to extend it through Sept. 1. This has protected Florida residents who were out of work or making less money than normal from being evicted. However, in the governor’s latest extension, the verbiage was changed to be vaguer and many have interpreted it to mean that landlords are now able to file eviction notices, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
The Broward County rental assistance program is a part of the federal CARES Act, or Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which had bipartisan support and signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27, 2020. It created a more than $2 trillion economic relief package for Americans during the COVID-19 crisis.
For more information on the CARES Act Rental Assistance Program, call 954-831-2380 or visit broward.org/cares.