Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer Announces Proposed Plans to Launch COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program

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More than $ 1.5 million will be distributed to residents in partnership with Heart Florida United Way

ORLANDO, FL.- Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced the Orlando Township’s proposed plans to launch a rental assistance program to help Orlando residents financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program will use more than $ 1.5 million awarded to the municipality through the Florida state government in funds from the Coronavirus Relief, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES), specifically allocated to provide rental assistance by the 30th. December 2020.

Through the program, the municipality will provide up to $ 10,000 to residents in rental assistance per household and will cover unpaid rent payments between March 1, 2020 through October 31, 2020. It is anticipated that an estimated 300 households will benefit from the funds available from the program.

“Government collaboration at all levels will be needed to help our residents recover from the economic impacts of this global pandemic,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “We continue to use federal and state resources to establish new programs that help our residents financially impacted by COVID-19, and I am grateful that this assistance will ease the fear and anxiety of eviction in some Orlando families.”

To facilitate the distribution of funds to Orlando residents, the municipality will partner with Heart of Florida United Way to administer the program through its ALICE Fund. City employees will assist United Way with administration and oversight of the program.

“This program will offer much-needed relief to some of Orlando’s families struggling to stay in their homes,” said Jeff Hayward, president and CEO of Heart of Florida United Way. “The demand for housing assistance is unprecedented as As a result of the economic consequences of COVID-19, we are honored to work together with the City of Orlando to provide support during this challenging time in our community. “

The eligibility requirements are:
• Residents must be at least one month late in paying rent between March 1, 2020 to October 31, 2020
• Applicants must demonstrate financial hardship due to COVID-19
• Applicant must be a resident of the city of Orlando
• Applicants must have a household income that does not exceed 120% of the Orange County median income ($ 87,240 for a family of four)

Applicants must submit the following documents as part of their application to be eligible:

• Identification that proves Orlando residency, such as driver’s license
• Copy of rental agreement
• Self-certification of income
• Evidence of financial hardship from COVID-19
• Owner’s Form W-9
The proposed agreement with United Way to implement the rental assistance program will be presented to the Orlando City Council for approval at the Council meeting on Tuesday, September 8, 2020.

Once approved, the portal to apply for this program will be available on the United Way website on Wednesday, September 9 at 8 a.m. This first step in the application process will involve an eligibility assessment and qualified applicants will receive applications beginning September 23, 2020.

Funds will be offered on a first come, first serve basis. We encourage residents interested in applying for the Rental Assistance Program to begin gathering all the documents necessary to apply as soon as possible.

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