Orlando opens application portal for emergency rental assistance

Orlando residents trying to apply for emergency rental assistance ran into some trouble on Tuesday.

The City of Orlando was supposed to open its application portal on May 18 at 8 a.m. for those financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in an email to FOX 35 News, the city said they accidentally had an incorrect link posted on their website, preventing residents from being able to apply.

About 40 minutes after the scheduled opening, the city updated the link. You can apply HERE. 

To be eligible, applicants must meet the following criteria: 

  • Have experienced financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 outbreak; and
  • Include one or more individuals at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and    
  • Have a household income at or below 80% of the area median income (which for a family of four is $61,050);    
  • With priority given to households at or below 50% of the area median income (which for a family of four is $38,150) or that have a household member who has been unemployed for 90 days.   
  • Applicants will need to submit proof of occupancy in the rental residence – this can include a copy of a lease, rental agreement, rent receipts, evidence of regular rental payments, or any other documents that show proof of occupancy.   

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The City of Orlando’s program also has the following additional eligibility requirements and program guidelines including:  

  • Applicants’ rental residence must be located within the Orlando city limits. Applicants can verify their address HERE
  • Applicants can apply for past due rent and current month rent (up to 12 months) with monthly rent not exceeding $4,000 per month.
  • Rental assistance payments will be made directly to the landlord.
  • Assistance with utility payments will not be provided unless the utilities are billed as part of the lease.

Orlando was awarded 8.6 million dollars in COVID-19 relief funds from the U.S. Department of Treasury for emergency rental assistance. The Orlando City Commission approved an agreement with company KPMG to administer the program and will pay the company $755,000 for their services, with more than $7.8 million available for emergency rental assistance.