City offering financial rental assistance payments in new portal

The city of Orlando is offering a new round of rental assistance to residents experiencing financial hardship.

The city opened its Emergency Rental Assistance portal this morning at 8 a.m. for households that have been financially impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a press release from the city’s public information office, any resident of Orlando may apply for assistance by visiting the city of Orlando’s Emergency Rental Assistance portal. A household is eligible for access to the $6.8 million in relief funds from the U.S. Department of Treasury only if it satisfies the following criteria by:

  • Including one or more individuals within the household who has qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship during or due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Including one or more individuals within the household who demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability;
  • Having a household income at or below 80% of the area median income ($61,050 for a family of four), with priority given to households at or below 50% of the area median income ($38,150 for a family of four) or that have a household member who has been unemployed for 90 days; and
  • Submitting 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. The City of Orlando’s program will have additional eligibility requirements and program guidelines including: Rental assistance is provided for past-due rent and up to three months of prospective rent payments. The total amount of assistance, including any assistance received under the first phase of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, may not exceed 18 months. Rental assistance payments will be made directly to the landlord. The applicant’s monthly rental rate may be no more than $4,000 per month. Assistance with utility payments will not be provided unless the utilities are billed as part of the lease. Housing Stability Services will be available through counseling to prevent evictions, or to assist tenants in finding new housing and when necessary, pay fees, deposits, and rent for the new unit. For more information on eligibility requirements and/or to begin the application process, Orlando residents should visit orlando.gov/assistance.

According to the city, rental assistance will only be provided for past-due rent and up to three months of prospective rent payments. The total amount of assistance, including any assistance received under the first phase of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, may not exceed 18 months.

Rental assistance payments will be made directly to the landlord and the monthly rental rate may not be more than $4,000 per month. Assistance with utility payments will not be provided unless the utilities are billed as part of the lease.

Housing Stability Services will be available through counseling to prevent evictions, or to assist tenants in finding new housing and when necessary, pay fees, deposits, and rent for the new unit, according to the city.

For more information on eligibility requirements, or to begin the application process, visit the city of Orlando’s Emergency Rental Assistance portal.

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