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Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer Announces Reopening of COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program

Program Reopens to Help City of Orlando Residents Affected by COVID-19 Catch Up on Missed Rent Payments as of March 1, 2020.

ORLANDO, FL.- Today Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced the reopening of the COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program in partnership with the Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW), which provides city residents Orlando affected by COVID-19 funds to cover rent payments not made since March 1, 2020. The pre-qualification and application process has been reopened at orlando.gov/assistance.

To date, the municipality has helped more than 220 families and provided nearly $ 700,000 in financial support to those affected by COVID-19 to help them stay current on their rent payments. The funds are still available and we encourage residents who need to catch up on their rent payments to complete the pre-qualification and application process at orlando.gov/assistance.

“The City of Orlando will continue to do everything possible to use state and federal funds to assist our residents facing unexpected and difficult economic circumstances as a result of this global pandemic,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “We are grateful that this program can alleviate the pressure and stress that families have about their unpaid rent payments, especially while we are in the middle of the holiday season.”

The program receives approximately $ 1.5 million from the Florida State Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) provided by the federal Coronavirus Relief, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). On Monday, December 7 at the City Council meeting, the municipality will consider accepting $ 949,500 in additional funds from CRF to support residents in need through this program.

The City Council meeting on Monday, December 7 will also consider amending the original schedule as follows:

• Increasing the maximum assistance from $ 10,000 to $ 12,500
• Covering rent payments not made from March 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020, where previously the program covered rent payments until October 31, 2020
• Limiting the maximum rental amount to $ 2,500 per month.

An added benefit for eligible residents is that the process has been simplified with a short application form and less documentation required. Other eligibility requirements include:
• Live within the jurisdiction of the City of Orlando
• Experiencing hardship from COVID-19, such as unpaid leave, layoff, or reduced hours at work
• Rent payment paid in February 2020
• Have a current or monthly lease for the rental of a residence or partial residence (this may include the rental of a room)

Residents will need to submit the following documents as part of their application:

• Certification of rental payments that have not been covered by federal benefits or other charitable donations
• Certification of a financial hardship due to COVID-19
• Copy of the lease agreement
• Form W-9 completed by landlord (property owner)
• Copy or copies of the driver’s license or government-issued ID for each adult household member claiming a COVID-19 hardship

Residents interested in applying should visit orlando.gov/assistance to complete the pre-selection process to determine their eligibility. HFUW will send an email with instructions and a link to complete the application for eligible residents, followed by a pre-screening process. While residents await their pre-screening response from HFUW, they are encouraged to gather all necessary documents to apply.

Funds are limited and applications will be processed in the order they are received on the date the completed application is received.

These CRF funds will be used to provide housing assistance and must be disbursed by December 30, 2020. For this reason, the pre-selection process will remain open until December 15, 2020 or until all funds are spent. Any application that is not fully completed and approved by December 18, 2020 will not be considered.

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