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Manatee Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Posted By: Eric Garduño COVID Rental Assistance ,
Manatee Emergency Rental Assistance Program

The Manatee Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program will begin taking applications for assistance beginning Tuesday, February 16, 2021. To read full details about the program, please visit the County's ERA infomration page at:

https://www.mymanatee.org/departments/redevelopment___economic_opportunity/community_development/manatee_cares/emergency_rental_assistance_program

Applications will be taken until all program funding is exhausted (approximately $12M). Manatee ERA funding can be used to cover rent, utilities that are covered in the lease, and fees that are listed in the lease. Eligible households can request assistance for up to 12 months of rent with no funding cap. The County is considering whether to provide any assistance for future rent, but no decisions have been made at this time.

Household Eligibility

To be eligible, the household must be

  • Below 80% of AMI (see AMI Chart for Manatee County below)
  • Have a demonstratable COVID impact
  • Delinquency of Rent Notice

The County will prioritize households that are below 50% AMI or who have been unemployed for the last 90 days. The County may carry out this prioritization each week by first processing applications of households below 50% AMI or who are unemployed before they process remaining applications (between 50%-80% AMI).  Depending on volume of applications, they may not be able to get to applications in the 50%-80% AMI range in the same week they are submitted.  

Residents should be prepared to provide at least some of the following documents in order to verify household income:

  • 2020 tax returns
  • 2 months of pay stubs/statements
  • Unemployment determination letter
  • Letter from employer/former employer
  • Proof of reduction in hours/income
  • COVID positive test and pay stubs during sick/quarantine time

All household members 18 and over will need to provide income information.  The main applicant will need to provide their ID/proof of citizenship. Florida star card will be sufficient for both.  Otherwise, the main applicant will need to provide proof of citizenship (passport, social security card).  No proof of citizenship is required of other household members.

If applicant’s income was not impacted but someone else in the household was, there must be proof that the other household member resides there (i.e., listed on the lease). Residents on Section 8 are not eligible for this program.

Property Manager Documentation

For all residents seeking rental assistance, the property manager should be prepared to provide the following:

  • The full lease agreement, including any utility addendums. 
  • If the lease has converted to a month to month, then they will need the conversion. 
  • Copy of the ledger showing delinquency (3day notice not required)
  • A copy of the W9

Application Process

The County will use an electronic application process (Neighborly) to receive applications.  Applications may be submitted by residents seeking assistance, as well as property managers on behalf of their residents.

If a property manager applies on behalf of a resident, the property manager will have to secure the resident’s sign off and must submit an individual application for each resident that includes all the required documentation from the resident (i.e., identification, pay stubs, tax return, etc.).  In this case, the County will communicate directly with the property manager for any follow up, including if there are incomplete aspects to the resident’s portion of the application.  The property manager will have to collect any outstanding documentation from the resident and submit it to the County.  Note that the resident who is primary applicant will also need to sign an attestation to finalize the application.

It may take up to a month for a completed application to be processed and payment made because of the review process. After the application is complete and initially approved, the County will send the property manager an invoice which they will need to sign off on as part of the process.

Property manager will not be expected to waive any of their rights by participating in this program (i.e., no non-eviction agreement).