Orange County to end rental assistance program Wednesday after receiving more than 20,000 applications

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Officials in Orange County announced they will end the county’s rental assistance program after an “overwhelming response” from more than 20,000 applications.

The county launched the rental assistance program March 20 to help about 1,500 families. It was designed as a one-time benefit for one month’s rent assistance for Orange County residents only with specific qualifications, officials said.

The program and the hotline set up to answer questions will both end at 5 p.m. on April 1.

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So far the staff has scheduled meetings with about 500 applicants.

There may be some hope for relief for residents in the future as the county commission will discuss the program’s 1.8 million dollar budget and what can be done to increase it at the meeting next Tuesday.

“We ask for residents’ patience as we process their applications and appointments,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings. “We have increased our staff and our facilities to accommodate the demand. We will bring the program’s additional funding needs to our Orange County Board of County Commissioners at an upcoming board meeting.”

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Steve Barrett

Steve Barrett, WFTV.com

Reporter Steve Barrett returned to WFTV in mid-2017 after 18 months in the Twin Cities, where he worked as Vice President of Communications for an Artificial Intelligence software firm aligned with IBM.

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.

Christopher Boyce, WFTV.com

Christopher Boyce joined WFTV in January of 2019.