Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC) Board of Directors unanimously approved the release of $75 million to local governments to assist Floridians in need of rental and mortgage assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), DeSantis made available $250 million, of which $120 million will be sent to local governments to provide rental and mortgage assistance program. The $75 million approved Friday is the first release of the funding to local governments.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused profound disruption to families throughout the state,” said DeSantis. “It is my hope that these funds and the rest of the $250 million will provide some level of relief to individuals who—through no fault of their own—are now having difficulty making ends meet.”
In general, the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) is a portion of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump in March 2020 in response to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Florida Housing’s CRF Fund for Impacted Homeowners and Renters will be administered by the local State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program (SHIP) housing office in your community. Florida Housing staff are working with the local governments and SHIP Programs in preparation to begin the application process in each community as soon as possible.
The $75 million includes allocations to many local governments in Florida, but the Governor traveled to the City of Apopka to highlight Orange County’s allocation of $7.3 million.
“As Floridians continue to struggle with the negative economic impacts of COVID-19, Florida Housing remains committed to providing renters and homeowners with housing assistance,” said Trey Price, Executive Director of Florida Housing Finance Corporation. “We are proud to stand with the Governor to ensure affordable housing remains a top priority, and that families have the necessary assistance to remain in their homes during these difficult times.”
Administered by Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC), $120 million will be provided in short-term rental assistance for COVID-19 impacted households residing at multifamily rental properties in FHFC’s portfolio. FHFC will reimburse participating properties to subsidize eligible households’ rents for each impacted month.
The rental assistance will be available to help pay a household’s rent for eligible months from July through December 2020. The household may be eligible for assistance to pay rent arrearages accrued during the months of April, May and June 2020.
A separate pool of $120 million will be released to counties based on a county’s reemployment assistance rate for the determined disbursement period. These funds would be used for rental and homeowner assistance programs such as new construction, rehabilitation, mortgage buydowns, down payment and closing cost assistance, emergency repairs and homeownership counseling for individuals impacted by COVID-19. The allocation also includes $200,000 for technical assistance to local governments.
A one-time allocation of $2 million will be provided to assist with past and future costs related to additional staffing, security and supplies directly related to COVID-19 in serving special needs and homeless households residing in the supportive housing developments. The allocation will be based on each development’s total number of units.
Additionally, $8 million will be provided in expected administrative costs, including credit underwriting, disbursement review and processing, compliance monitoring and technical assistance. Funds not used for administration, if any, would be added to Rental Assistance and/or Operations Assistance for Special Needs Developments.
How do homeowners receive assistance? It seems that the essential employees, who own a home in Leon County, get the shaft all the way around. Our hours are cut but we are not eligible for unemployment. We watch people vacationing and play golf on federal unemployment funds while our mortgages go in the tank! Now those people get rental assistance and homeowners get nothing; not even a break on our power bill.