Seminole County opens center to help residents with millions in rental assistance

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — In Seminole County, 6,500 residents received assistance between the Cares Act and Emergency Rental Assistance.

On Monday, a new portal opened up to help homeowners with their mortgages due to COVID-19.

Seminole County said residents are eligible to receive up to $1.6 million in federal funds.

If the county doesn’t give out the money, it will expire and return to the federal government.

Margo Stuckey Crenan from Lake Mary is one of the 45,00 residents in Seminole County who may qualify for government assistance.

Crenan has been out of work since March of last year due to the pandemic.

“I know with unemployment right now being a lot lower than it was, I don’t have enough to make rent,” Crenan said.

With $1.6 million available for mortgage assistance and $4 million still remaining in rental assistance for low-income households, Seminole County opened the mortgage and rental assistance office in Lake Mary to help residents in need.

“We want to give those who are technologically challenged, whether they don’t have access to a computer or they just don’t know how to work a computer, the opportunity to have real professionals help guide them through the process,” said Seminole County Chair Lee Constantine.

Because it’s federal money, there are very specific requirements for residents, and Sanford City residents are not eligible.

“We have staff here who will help every person upload and scan their documents,” said Director of Seminole County Community Services Allison Thall. “The holdup would be if somebody forgot a documentation that is required for the eligibility process.”

Crean said, “It was convenient for me. It was an opportunity that I didn’t think would come along to do in person. I got tired of filling out forms online and then waiting and never heading back, so this is great.”

If you don’t have transportation, there is a Lynx Bus stop that will drop you off at the center. The center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, and click here to watch the latest news on your Smart TV.

Jeff Levkulich

Jeff Levkulich, WFTV.com

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