From the Orange County Newsroom
The Orange County Emergency Rental Assistance program is an income-based program aimed at helping Orange County’s most vulnerable tenants by providing one-time assistance to tenants who are past due in rent as a result of financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program will distribute $33.4 million of federal funds to assist eligible Orange County residents.
The funding made available under this program will be used to make direct payments to landlords on behalf of qualifying tenants. Such payments will:
Cover a tenant’s documented past-due rent only for the time period beginning on April 1, 2020, to present and up to one-month prospective rent;
Assistance can be provided for up to 12 months of arrears in past-due rent and one month of prospective rent not to exceed a maximum of $20,000.
NOTE: One-month prospective rent cannot be provided if rental arrears are $20,000 or more.); AND
Shall not be duplicative of any additional rental assistance received by the tenant or the landlord for the tenant’s past-due rent. Any such duplicative assistance shall be deducted from the program payment amount.
They are behind in rent for at least one month.
They meet the program’s residency and location requirements (see: “Residency and Location Requirements” section below).
Their household income does not exceed 80 percent of Area Median Income (see: “Income Requirements” section below).
Due to COVID-19, they, or an adult member of their household, qualified for unemployment, had a reduction in household income, incurred significant unreimbursed costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19.
They are experiencing housing instability.
The transient rentals tax, also known as the “hotel tax,” does not apply to their rental arrangement with their landlord.
They agree to comply with the terms and conditions of this program, including the submission of any documentation requested by the County to confirm and verify the program application.
Room rentals in homeowner occupied or homestead property are not eligible.
Qualifying tenants must be applying for coverage of their past-due rent for a rental property that is:
Their primary residence; and
Located in Orange County, Florida.*
* City of Orlando Exception: As the City of Orlando received its own emergency rental assistance funding allocation from the Federal Government, tenants whose rental properties are located within the City of Orlando’s city limits do not qualify for the County’s program and must instead apply for the City of Orlando Rental Assistance Program.
This exception only applies to rental properties located within the city limits of the City of Orlando. Rental properties located within any of Orange County’s other towns and cities shall qualify as being “located in Orange County, Florida,” for the purposes of this program.
Please note that while a rental property’s address may read “Orlando, Florida,” for mailing purposes, such rental property may still actually be located in unincorporated Orange County and therefore would meet the location requirements for this program. To be certain, please use the address locator tool below to confirm prior to submitting a program application.
In order for a tenant to qualify for rental assistance under this program, the Federal Government requires that their household income does not exceed the maximum qualifying income levels shown below:
|Household Size||Maximum Qualifying Annual Income*|
*The “Maximum Qualifying Annual Income” listed reflects 80 percent of the 2021 Annual Median Income for the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
As part of their application, tenants will be required to provide the following:
A copy of their household’s Form 1040 Tax Return for all adult household members as filed with the IRS for 2020; OR verifiable income documentation for the past 30 days for every adult member of the household (Some examples are: wage statements, paycheck stubs, unemployment statements, social security statements, etc.).
Their fully-executed lease with the landlord, with such lease showing they are the named primary tenant responsible (in whole or in part) for making rental payments to the landlord for the residential property in question.
Their Social Security Number.
A copy of any late notice or eviction notices they received from the landlord.
A valid, government-issued photo identification for each adult member of the household.
Documented proof of a direct COVID-19 impact that involuntarily led to a COVID-19-related loss of income for the tenant or an adult household member, as well as any additional documents requested by the County to determine or confirm eligibility.
For in-person help with applying for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, computers will be available at the Orange County Library locations below and county staff will be onsite to assist with your online application and to answer questions from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on the following dates:
South Trail Branch – Tuesdays, August 10, 17, 24
South Creek Branch – Wednesdays, August 11, 18, 25
Fairview Shores Branch – Thursdays, August 12, 19, 26
Chickasaw Branch – Fridays, August 13, 20, 27
You must bring all of the required documents with you to the library in-person session in order to receive assistance with your online application. For requirements, see Tenant Eligibility.
Applicants who are experiencing challenges with uploading documents or who are unable to upload documents to their online application have the option to take their documents to one of the Orange County Community Centers listed below, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(PLEASE NOTE: This option is only available to applicants who have completed and submitted an online application.)
Requirements for this option:
Deliver the required in person in-person for Community Center staff to copy and return the original documents to you.
Staff cannot accept your documents UNLESS you have already completed and submitted your online application.
You MUST INCLUDE your application number written on each document that you submit or the documents will not be accepted.
|East Orange Community Center – 12050 E. Colonial Dr., Orlando, FL 32826 (map)|
|Holden Heights Community Center – 1201 20th St., Orlando, FL 32805 (map)|
|John H. Bridges Community Center – 445 W. 13th St., Apopka, FL 32703 (map)|
|Pine Hills Community Center – 6408 Jennings Rd., Orlando, FL 32818 (map)|
|Taft Community Center – 9450 S. Orange Ave., Orlando, FL 32824 (map)|
Documents CANNOT BE ACCEPTED at a delivery location without a completed and submitted Emergency Rental Assistance Program online application. For questions, please call the Orange County Government Information Help Line at 407-836-3111 or dial 311.
To be eligible to receive payment pursuant to this program, landlords must meet the following criteria:
They must have eligible tenants (see “Tenant Eligibility” section above).
They must agree to:
Waive all late fees, penalties and interest related to the tenant’s past-due rent; AND
Accept payment made pursuant to this program as full and complete payment by the tenant for all past-due rent and associated fees accrued and owed.
They must agree to, upon acceptance of the program payment:
Release the tenant from any obligation to pay any rent accrued and owed that exceeds the amount of the program payment; AND
Withdraw any eviction and collections actions that they, or one of their agents or associates, filed against the tenant for failure to pay rent and associated fees owed.
They must agree to comply with the terms and conditions of this program, including the submission of any documentation requested by the County to confirm and verify the program application.
Homestead property and or homeowner occupied rentals are not eligible.
As part of their application, landlords will be required to provide the following:
W-9 or equivalent IRS documentation;
The eligible tenant’s rent statement/history that shows the total amount of rent accrued and owed by the tenant at the time of application.
Any additional documents requested by the County to determine or confirm eligibility.
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