Manatee County residents may apply for one-time rent, mortgage, utility payment assistance this week

Manatee County residents may apply for one-time rent, mortgage, utility payment assistance this week
Posted on 06/09/2020

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (June 9, 2020) – This Wednesday through Friday, Manatee County residents may apply for emergency help paying overdue rent, mortgage and utilities through the Manatee CARES Assistance Program.

The County recently received approximately $1.3 million from the federal Housing and Urban Development Department and State Housing Initiative Partnership (SHIP) program to assist those with financial hardships as a result of the coronavirus and its economic impacts. The County will disburse those funds to eligible applicants for help with rent/mortgage and utility bills, as long as those expenses have not already been paid by insurance or another assistance program.

The funding is available to Manatee County residents who have lost their job or lost significant income due to COVID-19. Eligible applicants may receive up to $1,500 per month for up to three months in most cases. (Because the City of Bradenton receives SHIP funds and federal funds, City of Bradenton residents are ineligible for Manatee CARES funding.)

The application and more information on the program are available at The application window will open Wednesday, June 10 at 9 a.m. and close promptly at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 12.

Thousands of local residents are expected to apply, but there is enough funding for about 250 households. For that reason, a lottery-style drawing will take place by June 16 to randomly determine the order in which applications will be reviewed. Applicants who meet the minimum eligibility criteria will be notified by county staff with status of eligibility. (If an application is not selected for staff review in the lottery-style drawing, the applicant will be notified by June 18.)

Most questions are addressed on the website. If applicants have questions or need to speak to someone by phone about the application after they have reviewed the CARES FAQ they can call the CARES Helpline at (941) 745-6270 or email [email protected].

“There’s a very finite amount of dollars that we have received to assist a very large number of recently unemployed residents in Manatee County,” said Geri Lopez, director of the Redevelopment and Economic Opportunity department overseeing the program. “We know there will be a very high demand for this one-time assistance, but we’re going to assist as best we can. We’re just asking for patience through the process. We’re hopeful that additional funding will arrive from state or federal partners to allow us to offer another round of help in the future.”

Florida counties with populations under 500,000 did not receive the bulk of the Federal CARES Act funding. Last month, County Commissioners sent a request to Washington leaders asking for the funding to be extended to mid-sized counties like Manatee which has a population of about 411,000.

Applicants for CARES funding will need to provide proof of job/income reduction or loss directly related to COVID-19, such as:

  • Letter or email showing termination, furlough or a reduction of hours from employer stating termination/reduction is related to COVID-19
  • Screenshot of employer’s website stating the employer is currently closed due to COVID-19 along with past paystub showing applicant worked there
  • Copy of unemployment application that shows COVID-19 contributed to your unemployment

A list of other documents applicants will need to apply for CARES funding is available at

For more information on Manatee County Government, visit or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.