Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the state will tap $250 million in CARES Act funding for rental and mortgage assistance due to Covid-19.
The announcement comes about a week before the state’s moratorium on evictions and foreclosures is expected to end. The executive order gives homeowners and renters time in their homes if they can’t make their mortgage or rent payments due to the pandemic, but it does not provide financial relief to renters and homeowners. As a result, industry sources say there will be a backlog of evictions and foreclosures come July.
Florida Housing Finance Corp. will administer a $120 million funding pool of the $250 million, in the form of short-term rental assistance for Covid-19 impacted households who live in affordable housing rentals in FHFC’s portfolio.
Qualified renters would be able to tap the fund for rent between July and December, and may be able to secure assistance for payments that were due in April through June.
A separate $120 million fund will be for rental and homeowner assistance programs, including for new construction, rehabilitation, mortgage buydowns, down payment and closing cost assistance, emergency repairs and homeownership counseling for individuals impacted by the pandemic.
Up to $10 million of the $250 million will be set aside for expected operating costs of the assistance programs. And about $200,000 will be set aside for technical assistance to local municipalities.
Some cities within South Florida have rolled out similar programs, such as the city of Miami and Miami Beach. Miami Beach created a $550,000 rent relief fund in May, using state and federal money from three programs, including the CARE Act.