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The Latest on Emergency Rental Assistance Programs - Webinar

Posted By: Eric Garduño Advocacy News , Coronavirus (COVID-19) , COVID Rental Assistance ,

Update 2/9 - Based on a recent conversation with Hillsborough County officials, we have learned the following regarding their rollout of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.  Please note that all this information is subject to change as the program continues to be developed and approvals are obtained.

  • Rollout could occur as early as March 9, though this could get pushed back.  
  • The program will be open to eligible households throughout Hillsborough County, including in the cities of Tampa, Temple Terrace, and Plant City.  While Lutz and Plant City each cross two counties, only residents in those parts that are in Hillsborough County will be allowed to apply for the Hillsborough County program. 
  • It is likely that initial eligibility will be limited to households below 50% AMI and households who have a member who has been unemployed for 90 days or more.
  • The main program will require landlords to register with the County and provide key documentation such as W9s. Once landlords register, they will be able to forward a link to residents to apply for assistance.
  • The County plans to match residents and landlords who apply. Landlords will be encouraged to help their residents through the application process. 
  • Key documents for residents to have ready when applying include 2020 tax returns, pay stubs/statements (for the two months prior to applying), and State unemployment letters (if applicable).
  • Funding will be capped at $5,000 per household.
  • If a landlord accepts funding through the program, they may have to stipulate that they will not file an eviction for some period (still undetermined).

We will continue to provide updates as more details become finalized and available, so check back with this page periodically.

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On Thursday, February 4, BAAA organized a webinar to present what we currently know about the new Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Programs that are funded through the stimulus bill.  Below is a recording of that webinar.

Key Points from the Webinar

Timing

Local governments are currently developing programs to implement this new funding.  The stimulus bill provided some specific guidance on eligibility and program elements which is different than most local programs created to implement the CARES Act funded rental assistance.  As such, it will take local jurisdictions some time to develop the new ERA programs. We expect some programs may be up and running by mid/late February, but March is probably more realistic.

Required Documents

Based on the stimulus bill and US Treasury guidance thus far, residents should be ready to provide some key documents as part of ERA program applications processes:

  • 2020 Tax Returns
  • Florida Unemployment Letter (if applicable)
  • Pay Stubs/Statements for the 2 months prior to application (January/February)

If you are communicating to your residents about rental assistance, please ask them to have these documents prepared and ready to go when application processes open.  

Background

On December 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Stimulus bill was signed into law as part of the overall Federal funding package.  The stimulus bill provided $25 billion for Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) programs.  Florida is expected to receive $1.4 billion of this amount.  Jurisdictions with populations of over 200,000 may receive their share of funds directly from the US Treasury.  In BAAA's region, this includes Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Manatee, and Sarasota counties, and cities of Tampa and St. Petersburg.