Renters could get up to $12,000 for rent left unpaid during the pandemic

The federal government just announced that it is lifting its moratorium on evictions this Saturday, which could leave a lot of people without a roof over their heads unless they pay their back rent pretty quickly.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re renting a house or apartment, if you haven’t been paying your landlord, there’s help available to get back into the green. These programs could help renters in arrears may be able to get big money fast.

A number of Tampa Bay counties have money from the federal government to help out those who stopped paying rent because of COVID-19.

Polk County, in particular, has millions of dollars in COVID relief money up for grabs, but you have to act quickly.

Polk housing officials suspect that a lot of people have put off applying because they are not computer savvy.

"However, we do have a call center that is available from 9 - 2 p.m. to walk individuals through any technical challenges they may be facing," said Cedric Cox with Polk County Housing and Neighborhood Development.

Even though the feds are lifting the moratorium this weekend, Polk is extending the period of time when you can apply for rental assistance until August 13.

Polk County may pay up to $12,000 in back rent.

The county originally got $20 million. It still has $16 million left. If the money is now used to pay back rent, it is going right back to Washington, D.C.

Below are links to rental help information in Bay Area counties:









If your county is not listed above, visit or