State Rep. Dianne Hart is partnering with Florida Rising to host a day of action Saturday in hopes of providing families facing eviction with information on how to access available resources to prevent homelessness.
Hart, along with a coalition of elected officials, churches and nonprofits, will be knocking on doors to reach as many renters as possible, meeting at Bible-Based Fellowship Church of Temple Terrace to kick-off canvassing efforts.
“There are so many evictions that are happening in my district, I totally support taking the information to the tenants with the attempt to prevent homelessness in in all of the communities,” Hart said in a statement.
Many families across Hillsborough County are overwhelmed with past due bills for rent and utilities as a result of the pandemic’s impact on the economy. Funds are available from OUR Florida and the R3 (Rapid Response Recovery) Emergency Rental Assistance program in Hillsborough County, but many do not know where to turn or how to access such resources, according to Florida Rising.
“It takes a village, all-hands-on deck,” Robin Lockett, Tampa Bay regional director for Florida Rising, said in a statement. “We are coming together to get the information out to the community with the attempt to prevent homelessness due to the rise in evictions.”
The coalition plans on targeting communities of color, who were especially impacted by the pandemic.
Hillsborough County Commissioner Mariella Smith and Hillsborough County Clerk of the Circuit Court Cindy Stuart will also be joining the efforts Saturday, along with Tampa City Councilman Orlando Gudes.
The county’s R3 Emergency Rental Assistance Program offers tenants assistance on up to 12 months of past-due rent beyond March 13 2020, as well as up to three months of assistance for prospective rent. More information can be found here.
OUR Florida is also accepting applications for rental and utility assistance, with more information available here.