Orlando to reopen portal for emergency rental assistance program

ORLANDO, Fla. — Orlando residents financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic will have another a chance to apply for rental assistance.

The city will reopen its application portal on Feb. 1.

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On Jan. 10, the Orlando City Council approved the agreement with KPMG to administer the program to provide financial support to city of Orlando households to get current on unpaid rent.

Per the Treasury Department’s requirements to be eligible, a household must:

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  • Include one or more individuals within the household who has qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship during or due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Include one or more individuals within the household who demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability;
  • Have a household income at or below 80% of the area median income ($61,050 for a family of four), with priority given to households at or below 50% of the area median income ($38,150 for a family of four) or that have a household member who has been unemployed for 90 days; and
  • Submit proof of occupancy in the rental residence - this can include a copy of a lease, rental agreement, rent receipts, evidence of regular rental payments, or any other documents that show proof of occupancy.

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The city of Orlando’s program will have additional eligibility requirements and program guidelines including:

  • Rental assistance is provided for past-due rent and up to three months of prospective rent payments. The total amount of assistance, including any assistance received under the first phase of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, may not exceed 18 months.
  • Rental assistance payments will be made directly to the landlord.
  • The applicant’s monthly rental rate may be no more than $4,000 per month.
  • Assistance with utility payments will not be provided unless the utilities are billed as part of the lease.

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Residents interested in the program can visit orlando.gov/assistance to sign up to receive email updates on the program and to apply once the portal opens on Feb. 1.

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Karen Parks

Karen Parks, WFTV.com

Karen Parks is a reporter at WFTV.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.