ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Orange County announced on Tuesday that they will soon launch a $20 million program to help renters and landlords struggling because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
They said that the funds are from the Federal CARES ACT money they received. $5.7 million of that is from the Florida Housing CARES Act -- Coronavirus Relief Funds.
The program, called the 'COVID-19 Eviction Diversion Program,' will reportedly help the most vulnerable tenants who are in immediate danger of eviction due to COVID-19. Up to $4,000 in past due rent will be provided.
“COVID-19 adds a lot of stress to our lives. One thing I don’t want our Orange County residents – especially the very low and low income – is to worry about being evicted from their homes,” Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings said. “This new assistance program will help our residents stay afloat during this unprecedented time.”
Applications for the COVID-19 Eviction Diversion Program will be accepted starting August 25th on the Orange County website. The tenant or landlord can initiate the application process but both must agree to participate, county officials said.
The following criteria reportedly must be met to apply:
- Orange County resident
- Property is the tenant’s primary residence
- Lease is in the tenant’s name and is responsible for paying a portion or the full amount
- One or more members of the household experienced a documented, involuntary loss of income that occurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency
- Date of job loss, reduction in employment hours or pay occurred between March 13, 2020 and September 1, 2020
- Must have received an eviction notice, letter from their landlord to participate in the program or referral from the court
- At least two months behind in rent and the arrears were accrued between April 1, 2020 and August 11, 2020
- No other person in the household has applied for or will apply for the Orange County COVID-19 Eviction Diversion Program
- Required to certify their household income prior to and after April 1, 2020
- Eligibility is income-based with a focus on very low and low income
- Demonstrates ability to pay rent after arrears are paid by Orange County
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