Orange County evictions spike, millions of dollars in assistance still available

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association says more than 600 evictions were filed in Orange County this month alone.

By comparison, about 850 were evicted in the five months between March 1st and July 31st, but that number shot up to more than 600 just in August, then nearly another 800 more in September.

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Orange County officials say they still have millions of dollars in funding to help keep people in their homes.

Through the county’s eviction diversion program, tenants can apply with their landlords if they’re two months behind on rent because of a loss of income due to COVID-19, and are in imminent danger of being kicked out.

Property manager Chris Bright says he emailed his tenants immediately.

“Win win for the win for the property managers, and obviously the tenants. It takes away hardships of owing money,” Bright said.

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Orange County officials say the program has helped 770 families since launching in august, to the tune of about $2.4 million, and they still have about $12.6 million left.

The state’s moratorium on evictions expired September 30. There’s a federal moratorium but the society says it’s basically useless.