Update to Hillsborough Rental Assistance Program

Posted By: Eric Garduño COVID Rental Assistance ,

Hillsborough County’s CARES Act rental assistance program, the Rapid Response Recovery (R3) Utility and Housing Assistance program, continues to provide rental support for residents who have been involuntarily impacted by loss of wages due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

This week the program also modified its approach to reviewing applications to make the process more streamlined and ensure residents receive timely answers to their requests. Now, completed applications will be reviewed within two business days of submission and will receive a follow-up from an eligibility specialist if the application needs further documentation or clarification.

As part of the changes to the process, the program will cap the application intake each day, so every application submitted can be reviewed within the promised timeframe. If the portal reaches its daily intake cap, it will reopen the next morning to accept additional applications.  Applicants will still be able to work on and save their applications on the R3 portal, and this change will only affect their ability to submit the completed application for consideration.  The expedited review process will allow eligibility specialists to resolve issues with applications immediately and shorten the timeframe in which residents must wait for an answer.

Financial assistance is awarded on a first-come basis and while funding remains available. It is recommended residents thoroughly review and understand the eligibility criteria, as well as have all their required documentation ready, to ensure their application is submitted successfully.

If you receive any questions or calls from residents about this program, please refer them to or to the Utility and Housing Assistance Call Center at (866) 538-2926 to speak with a Customer Call Center Representative. The call center is open from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Utility and Housing Assistance program is only part of the County’s overall R3 program, which also provides aid to businesses and nonprofits.  The County has prepared this summary covering all its R3 programs.  The Utility and Housing Assistance program is described in the second half of the first page.