During the COVID-19 pandemic, many Floridians have lost their main sources of income, either through layoffs or furloughs. While waiting for unemployment to kick in, some central Florida residents may have incomes of exactly $0.
Even before the economic crisis, less than half of all Americans had enough funds available to cover a $1,000 emergency. That equates to a major financial crisis for many of our neighbors. You may be one of them.
On this page, we listed out resources by county for various programs, ranging from rent, utility, and food support. We highly recommend you check out these resources first.
Additional programs like the ones listed below vary in availability, especially because their services cover an extended range, further taxing those resources.
Additional Programs for Housing Assistance
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) oversees federal programs designed to help Americans with housing needs. Since 1937, HUD has assisted low-income renters and today offers a variety of avenues of outreach to find assistance. Through the HUD Southeast region office, information is available online, by emailing the state web manager (FL_Webmanager@HUD.gov) or calling the closest office (Jacksonville: 904.232.2627; Miami: 305.536.4456).
United Way 211 Programs
Local 211 programs through the United Way offer assistance, as well. Users can find their local 211 program by entering their zip code or city and state in the prompt on the website. You will find phone numbers for specific service areas. You can talk through your situation and available resources with a live operator in Spanish or English. Or you can text your zip code to the prescribed number to connect that way. The website also offers a chat option, leaving plenty of ways to connect for advice. Not every 211 location offers financial assistance. The United Way suggests reviewing all programs available at your local United Way. You can find them on the United Ways of Florida page.
Executive orders in place ban utility companies like Florida Power and Light from disconnecting services at the moment. However, you should apply for programs now if you anticipate needing help paying your utility bills when the ban lifts. Programs like the Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) have always provided assistance to families in need. LIHEAP home does not require past-due notices, disconnection notices or the like for admission into the program. They serve as an energy credit applied to an eligible utility account to offset high expenses.
The Realty Medics – Leading the Way in Rental Management
As we’ve said before, we understand that this is a tough time for everyone. We expect all tenants to adhere to their signed lease agreements, but our number one goal is to keep tenants in their homes. By utilizing available resources, you can potentially address many of today’s financial stressors and minimize any negative impacts on your future.
That being said, if you’re still having trouble making payment on your rental property or think you may in the future, reach out to us now. Only through honest communication can we help you!
Already, many of our renters have reached out proactively to discuss their options. We’ve helped a number of them create repayment plans to keep them in their homes with credit and rental history records intact. We’re here to help as best we can, but without communication, we won’t know what you need. Connect with us today!