Advice For Florida Renters & Homeowners (Updated 2/6/2023)
Read below for advice that every Florida renter and homeowner should know during COVID19 and beyond. This guide has been updated on February 6, 2023.
HOMEOWNER ASSISTANCE FUND PROGRAM
- The Florida Homeowner Assistance Fund: The Florida Homeowner Assistance Fund is a federally funded program that may be able to offer you relief for mortgage payments and other homeowner expenses.
- This fund is still processing current applications, but no longer accepting new ones.
- Register now HERE.
HOMETOWN HEROES PRORGRAM:
- This is a new program that provides some professions with support in purchasing a home. Learn more here.
MY SAFE FLORIDA HOME:
- The My Safe Florida Home Program was re-enacted during the most recent Special Session of the Florida Legislature. The program consists of two primary components as noted below. Learn more here.
- Wind Mitigation Home Inspections (DFS anticipates between 140,000 and 145,000 initial home inspections.) All owners of site-built, single-family, residential homes are eligible to make application for a wind mitigation home inspection. This inspection will identify those elements of your home’s construction which could be improved to mitigate your home against future wind damages. All inspections will be provided to eligible homeowners free of charge by the State. Applications will be reviewed and approved in the order in which they are received until current funding is exhausted.
- Wind Mitigation Grant awards for home construction (DFS anticipates awarding between 11,000 and 12,000 grants based on current funding.)
CDC EVICTION MORATORIUM NO LONGER IN PLACE TODAY.
- On August 26, 2021 the Supreme Court of the United States blocked the Biden administration’s Covid-related eviction moratorium.
- So now, there is no moratorium in place. Learn your rights when faced with an eviction here: http://communityjusticeproject.com/eviction
RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS:
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) debuted a new tool (www.consumerfinance.gov/renthelp) that allows landlords and renters to find rental assistance programs in their area.
- Orange County Rental Assistance: Orange County’s application for phase two of rental assistance is now open. Learn more and apply here: ocfl.net/RentalAssistance NOTE: You must live in Orange County and outside the City of Orlando to qualify
- City of Orlando: Their rental assistance program is here but is no longer accepting new applicants.
- State of Florida, OUR FLORIDA: Click here to learn more — THIS FEDERALLY FUNDED PROGRAM IS NO LONGER ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS.
- Please contact your local County Commissioner and/or City Commissioner to see what rental assistance programs may be available AND/OR visit www.consumerfinance.gov/renthelp
WHAT TO DO IF YOU FACE AN EVICTION OR FORECLOSURE?:
- If you know you are falling behind in monthly payments, consider contacting your landlord or bank/mortgage lender in advance to see if a payment plan can be crafted.
- See a step-by-step guide from Community Action Project here: http://communityjusticeproject.com/eviction
- Contact a local Legal Aid organization. It’s important to have legal representation when you are facing an eviction or foreclosure. More legal aid options are listed below, too.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS:
It is SO important that you know your rights as a tenant. Despite no state or federal moratorium, there are still some federal protections for renters (and homeowners).
COMMUNICATE TO YOUR LANDLORD:
Always express to your landlord the efforts you are making to pay rent. Explain to them the broken unemployment system, and the delay in receiving rental assistance. Ask if they sought forbearance from their mortgage, and/or see if a payment plan can be crafted. Also confirm if the mortgage is federally-backed, or if the apartment was constructed via low-income housing tax credits. Sometimes that can offer additional protections.
SEEK LEGAL SUPPORT:
If you are facing an eviction or foreclosure, please seek leal support. Below are pro-bono options.
You can also call Florida Bar lawyer referral at (800) 342- 8011 or locally to the Orange County Bar association lawyer referral at (407) 422–4551 for lease issues.
HOMELESS AND/OR PRECARIOUSLY HOUSED
Many Central Floridians live in hotels or find themselves homeless. Here are a list of resources to consider if you and/or your family are in this situation.
- Call 211 for an assessment to be conducted, more here: https://www.211.org/
- Central Florida Commission on Homelessness: https://www.cfch.org/
- Visit a Community CES HUB or Access Site to speak with someone about eligibility for housing programs.
- Locations Here: https://www.cfch.org/get-help/
- Homeless Services Network: https://www.hsncfl.org/
- Coalition For The Homeless: https://www.centralfloridahomeless.org/
- Salvation Army: https://salvationarmyflorida.org/orlando/
- HOPE Team: https://hcch.org/homeless%20outreach.htm
- Pathways To Home: https://www.pathwaystohome.org/apply-for-help/
Precariously Housed (Living in Hotel or Motel)
- Hope Partnership: https://www.thehopepartnership.org/
- Community Resource Network:https://www.communityresourcenetwork.com/
- Family Promise of Greater Orlando: https://familypromiseorlando.org/what-we-do/
- Matthew’s Hope: https://www.matthewshopeministries.org/home
If you are a Floridian who lives in one of our motels or hotels facing eviction, please visit this link to know your rights and seek pro-bono legal support.