Emergency Rental Assistance helps residents financially impacted by COVID-19

Emergency Rental Assistance helps residents financially impacted by COVID-19
Posted on 03/30/2021

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (March 30, 2021) – One day after the federal ban on renter evictions was extended through the end of June, Manatee County is making another push to remind local renters and landlords that help is available for those who have fallen behind on rent payments as a result of losses from the pandemic.

Since launching six weeks ago, 430 Manatee County residents have applied for assistance from the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program. County officials say there's enough funding to serve up to 1,500 people a month for much of 2021. Eligible renters may receive grant funds for up to 12 months of assistance, if needed, through November 2021, whichever is less. Funds will be paid directly to the landlord for delinquent rent bills. Full details and the application portal can be found at www.mymanatee.org/renthelp

Applicants must be at or below 80 percent of the area median income (AMI), which is $43,850/year for a one-person household. Renters who are at or below 50 percent of the AMI ($26,800/year for a one-person household) are given priority, along with those who have documented unemployment for more than 90 days. This is based on the number of people living in your household and the total income for all in your household (including spouse, roommate, elderly parent, adult children, etc.).

"We're actively promoting the ERA program through local non-profits and partner agencies, but we're also looking for residents to help spread the word," said Geri Lopez, director of the Redevelopment and Economic Opportunity Department. "We have a number of resources to help renters with their bills, but they need to know where to find that information and they need to apply now."

Manatee County homeowners have until Friday to apply for assistance from the Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP). That program provides grants to homeowners residing in Manatee County and its municipalities who are delinquent on mortgage payments due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as of March 1, 2020. Forty four residents have applied for help through the MAP.