Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer Announces Proposed Plans to Launch COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program
More than $1.5 Million to be Distributed to Residents in Partnership with Heart of Florida United Way
September 1, 2020 – ORLANDO, FL – Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced the City of Orlando’s proposed plans to launch a rental assistance program to help Orlando residents impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program will utilize more than $1.5 million the city received through the State of Florida in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds specifically allocated to be used towards providing rental assistance by December 30, 2020.
Through the program the city will provide grants to residents of up to $10,000 in rental assistance per household and cover rent payments not made between March 1, 2020, through October 31, 2020. An estimated 300 households are anticipated to be assisted by the funding available in this program.
“It will take the partnership of government at all levels to help our residents recover from the financial impacts of this global pandemic,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “We continue to leverage federal and state resources to establish new programs to assist our residents who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and I’m grateful this assistance will alleviate the fear and anxiety of eviction for some Orlando families.”
To facilitate the distribution of funding to Orlando residents, the City will partner with Heart of Florida United Way to administer the program through their ALICE Fund. City employees will assist United Way with the administration and oversight of the program.
“This program will offer much-needed relief to some of Orlando’s families who are struggling to stay in their homes,” said Jeff Hayward, President & CEO of Heart of Florida United Way. “The demand for housing assistance is unprecedented as a result of the economic consequences of COVID-19. We are honored to work alongside the City of Orlando to help provide support during this challenging time for our community.”
Eligibility requirements will include:
• Residents must be at least one month past due on rent payments between March 1, 2020 – October 31, 2020
• Applicants must have proof of financial hardship due to COVID-19
• Applicant must be a City of Orlando resident
• Applicants must have a household income not exceeding 120% of Orange County’s Average Median Income ($87,240 for a family of four)
Applicants will need to supply the following documents as part of their application to be eligible:
• City of Orlando proof of ID; such as a driver’s license
• Copy of lease
• Self-certification of income
• Proof of COVID-19 financial hardship
• W-9 from landlord
The proposed agreement with United Way to implement the rental assistance program will go to the Orlando City Council for approval at the Tuesday, September 8, 2020 City Council meeting.
Once approved, the Requests for Applications portal for this program will be live on the United Way website on Wednesday, September 9 at 8 a.m. This first step in the application process will involve an eligibility screening and qualified requesters will be provided applications starting September 23, 2020.
Funding will be provided on a first-come and first ready basis. Residents who are interested in applying for the Rental Assistance Program are encouraged to begin gathering all required documents needed to apply as soon as possible.