© 2024 Central Florida Public Media. All Rights Reserved.
90.7 FM Orlando • 89.5 FM Ocala
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Central Florida Leaders Encourage Residents to Apply for Emergency Rental Assistance Program Before Eviction Moratorium Ends

Photo: Pavan Trikutam
Photo: Pavan Trikutam

Congressman Darren Soto and State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith called on Central Floridians to take full advantage of the federal Emergency Rental Assistance program. 

A nationwide eviction moratorium is expected to end on July 31st.

Soto says the ERA program, working with local state and county governments, can provide 12 months of back rent along with missed utilities.  

He says that’s a win-win not just for renters and homeowners, but for tenants and the entire community too.

“We know what happens when people lose their homes. Home insecurity leads to food insecurity. It leads to folks needing more benefits and facing mental health crises. Domestic violence. So many other things.”

[audio wav="https://www.wmfe.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/13019_HOUSING_DANIELLE.wav"][/audio]

Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith says people should apply for this assistance now ahead of the eviction deadline at ourflorida.com.

He says successful applications must include proof of COVID hardship such as an unemployment letter, but he says it's worth the paperwork for both the renter and landlord. 

“We want to get this assistance out there. We want to make sure that people are not being evicted from their homes. We want to make sure that landlords are also able to receive these funds so that they can be able to pay their own mortgages. These programs lift all people. And really help grow our economy. It’s not just about the renters.”

[audio wav="https://www.wmfe.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/13020_HOUSING_DANIELLE.wav"][/audio]

The moratorium is ending as coronavirus cases surge in Florida, with 20 percent of new cases identified in the state.

Some 400,000 Floridians could be without permanent housing once the moratorium ends.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.