Seminole County Emergency Rental Assistance Program closed due to lack of funds

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — Seminole County has closed its Emergency Rental Assistance Program as the need has exceeded the available funds.

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County officials say they recently saw an influx of people looking for rental assistance and they simply have more applicants than money left.

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They still have $2.5 million to be distributed on a first-come first-serve basis, but stopped accepting new applications as of 5 p.m. Wednesday.

“We will work through as many as we can to get the assistance out to the community,” Seminole County Community Assistance Manager Carrie Longsworth said.

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The county has given out $19 million in grants to 3,100 people with income-restricted households since March of 2021 when the program began, but that money is running out.

“We are coming into a point where we don’t have enough funds to assist everyone that’s applying,” Longsworth said. “We’ve seen a significant increase of applications coming in because people are still needing the assistance that they originally got from the state.”

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Longsworth says applicants who weren’t able to submit the required documents by 5 p.m. Wednesday will still be given time to get what they need, but assistance can’t be guaranteed because the funding is limited.

Seminole County does have its own rental and utility assistance program that’s still available. However, it’s not as extensive with regard to the amount of assistance a person can receive. The applicant’s loss of income must also have happened within the previous six months.

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Jeff Levkulich

Jeff Levkulich, WFTV.com

Jeff Levkulich joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in June 2015.