Some renters report having issues getting help from federally funded rental assistance program

ORLANDO, Fla. — More renters said they have had trouble getting help from Our Florida, a federally funded program that helps people in need pay their rent and utility bills.


Earlier this month, Alisha Hamilton, of Orlando, said she was evicted after the program didn’t make the payments it promised.

“As of Oct. 5, they were supposed to pay my new rent,” she said. “And here I am in March, and I still have not paid my rent.”

Since that story first aired, several others have reached out to Channel 9, saying they either received late payments or none at all, even after being approved.

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A landlord, who asked to not be identified, said his tenant is out of work after having experienced several strokes.

“They say he was approved, and every time they say ‘Well, it’s pending and it’s on its way. You’ll get it soon,’” the landlord said.

Our Florida said it has approved relief for more than 205,000 households.

The agency said Monday that it has increased its staff from 700 to 1,200 since January and is continuing to process applications and increase efficiencies.

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Some applicants told Channel 9 on Monday that they have had difficulty getting answers over the phone when encountering issues.

“Instead of me telling him he’s got to go, I just keep bearing with him,’” the unidentified landlord said. “We’ll see if it will come through or not.”

Others told Channel 9 that even with appointments, they’ve had to wait several hours to get called, and some walk-ins had to wait all day without ever being called.

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Some said the workers have been very nice and helpful but seem overwhelmed by the great need.

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Jason Kelly

Jason Kelly, WFTV.com

Jason Kelly joined WFTV in 2014.

Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.