Evictions in Orange, Osceola counties increase after moratorium lifted

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — It’s been nearly four weeks since the eviction moratorium was lifted, and now the number of people at risk of getting evicted from their homes keeps going up.

This comes as tens of millions of federal dollars available to help those people still remain untouched.

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Between Orange and Osceola counties, there are nearly $30 million up for grabs for people in need.

READ: Thousands of Central Floridians evicted since Florida eviction moratorium expired

Two weeks into September, Orange County has already opened 221 new eviction cases, making the total for 2021 now more than 5,600, even though its CARES Act-funded emergency rental assistance program still has about $24 million available.

“We know that it’s damaging to everyone in many ways, so if you need assistance, the portal is open all the time. You can apply at any time; please apply,” said Dianne Arnold, Orange County citizen resource manager.

She said on a weekly basis, they usually see anywhere from 250 to 300 people applying for help; but recently, that’s “trended up by 40 or 50.”

READ: Supreme Court allows evictions to resume during pandemic

In Osceola County, the eviction diversion program is helping 327 people avoid eviction.

Out of $6 million budgeted for the program, they still have $3 million left.

READ: Central Florida evictions grind to halt, lawyer says landlords are struggling

To apply for rental assistance in Orange County, click here.

In Osceola County, the applications for Eviction Diversion and Rental Assistance are available online at housing.osceola.org. Anyone with questions about the program can call 407-742-8440 or email evictionassist@osceola.org.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.