Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday that Florida will receive $250 million in CARES Act funding to provide rental and mortgage assistance for families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Many families across our state have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 through no fault of their own,” DeSantis said. “This initiative strives to provide financial assistance through multiple affordable housing programs to ensure these Floridians receive the support they need during this difficult time.”
The funding will be divided into two funding pools for a total of $240 million. The other $10 million will be held for operational costs.
The first pool, the Rental Assistance for Affordable Housing Tenants, will provide $120 million in short-term rental assistance for households impacted by COVID-19 at multifamily rental properties in the Florida Housing Finance Corporation’s portfolio. The FHFC will reimburse participating properties to help subsidize eligible households for each month they were impacted by COVID-19.
The rental assistance will extend from July through December 2020 and households may be eligible for backpay for the months of April, May and June.
The second pool, Rent and Mortgage Assistance, will provide $120 million to counties based on the county’s reemployment assistance rate during the disbursement period. The funds will be permitted for rental and homeowner assistance services including new construction, rehabilitation, mortgage buy-downs, downpayment and closing costs. The funds can also be used for emergency repairs and homeownership counseling for those impacted by COVID-19.
$200,000 will be allocated for technical assistance for local governments.
“Florida Housing is grateful for the Governor’s strong support of housing and the programs proposed to give renters and homeowners impacted by COVID-19 the relief they desperately need,” said Florida Housing Finance Corporation Executive Director Trey Price. “The Governor and Florida Housing stand together in guaranteeing Florida households stay a priority, and ensuring families have the necessary assistance and tools in place to remain in their homes affordably during this public health emergency.”
The $10 million set aside for operational expenses will pool under Operations Assistance for Special Needs Developments and Administrative Costs. That money will provide a one-time allocation of $2 million for past and future costs for supplies, security, and additional staffing related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The other $8 million will go to administrative costs such as technical assistance, compliance monitoring, credit underwriting and disbursement review and processing.
Any money not used for administration will be added to affordable housing relief.
More information about these programs can be found at FloridaHousing.org.