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Second Sarasota County Rental Assistance Program Now Available

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

A second CARES Act rental assistance program is now available to Sarasota County residents who have been financially impacted by the COVID emergency.  This program is administered by the Sarasota County Health & Human Services Department and will provide up to $5,000 in assistance per household.  In addition to paying rent, assistance may also be used to cover utilities, car payments, and some other household expenses.  To be eligible, applicants must be at or below 120% area medium income, show loss of income due the COVID emergency, and be a Sarasota resident.  Documentation will be required, including pay stubs, letters from an employer, a copy of a current lease and a completed W9 from the landlord. 

Landlords who do not what to provide a copy of their W9 to residents may fax a copy directly to Health & Human Services at 941-861-2572.  Please be sure to include a cover sheet that lists the address of the property and the applicant’s name.

Applications must be submitted through the County’s Neighborly Web Portal at https://portal.neighborlysoftware.com/sarasotacountyfl/participant/Login

For more information regarding this rental assistance program, including full eligibility and documentation requirements, please visit www.scgov.net/cares and select individual assistance.  This site has a video about the program that includes detailed step-by-step instructions on how to complete the application. 

The County has established a call center for applicant who may need help in completing their application.  The Call Center number is 941-861-2273 and will be staffed 8AM-7PM, Monday-Saturday

The County has also provided a Program Overview and FAQ PDF that can be downloaded and printed. 

The County plans to make Ambassadors available at local libraries to help residents without internet access apply to the program.  We will send information on this service once it becomes available.

Relationship to Earlier Program

Earlier this month we provided information concerning the first CARES Act rental assistance program available to Sarasota County residents operated by the Office of Housing and Community Development. Here is a blog post detailing that program.

The two programs – one by Health and Human Services described above and one by Housing and Community Development described in the blog post – are currently available to Sarasota County residents.  Assistance from both programs could be provided to the same household, however assistance from these programs cannot be provided for the same month.  For example, one program could cover expenses in July and August and the other program could cover expenses in September.

Also note that the Housing and Community Development program has stricter income eligibility requirements.  If a resident applied to that program and was denied because they didn't meet income eligibility, they may qualify for the program offered by the Health & Human Services Department described above.