TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Floridians struggling to make their monthly rent and mortgage payments because of the coronavirus are in line for $250 million in federal money, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday.
The money would come from the $2.2 trillion federal relief act signed into law in late March.
“Many families across our state have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 through no fault of their own,” the governor said in a statement released by his office. “This initiative strives to provide financial assistance through multiple affordable housing programs to ensure these Floridians receive the support they need during this difficult time.”
Through an executive order, DeSantis placed a moratorium on residential evictions April 1 to help tenants and borrowers retain their homes as they struggle through layoffs and cash shortfalls caused by the public health crisis. The ban was extended and is scheduled to expire July 1.
The federal dollars announced Thursday would be divided into two pools of $120 million each to help tenants with rent and homeowners with mortgages, according to the statement. Another $10 million will be set aside for administrative expenses.
One portion of rental aid would go to tenants in multi-family rental apartments controlled by the Florida Housing Financing Corp. Money would be available from July through December. Tenants could also use the money to pay off back rent for April, May and June.
Counties to distribute homeowner aid
The second pool of funds would go to Florida counties with the cash amounts to be determined by their unemployment rates. The money could be used for “rental and homeowner assistance programs, new construction, rehabilitation, mortgage buydowns, down payment and closing cost assistance, emergency repairs and homeownership counseling for individuals impacted by COVID-19,” the statement said.
The statement did not say how renters and homeowners can apply for the money, or what conditions they need to meet to qualify for the money. It said the state housing finance agency would provide more information at FloridaHousing.org.
© 2020 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.