COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance

July 1, 2021

Broward County Opens Three Service Centers To Help You

Residents behind on their rent and utility balances due to a COVID-19 financial hardship are encouraged to submit an application for Emergency Rental Assistance before the end of the national eviction ban. Three new customer service centers offer in-person assistance if necessary or desired – an appointment is required.

Broward County has received $53 million in federal funding for its Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), which for eligible residents, it provides 100 percent of past due rent and utility payments as far back, as March 2020. Up to 12 months of assistance for past due rent is available for eligible residents who have experienced financial hardship, are at risk of eviction, homelessness and up to three months of future payments, to provide housing stability.

While completing the application does not guarantee the renter will receive assistance or that the landlord won’t begin eviction proceedings, it is likely to deter landlords who would rather not go through the eviction process, if their tenant has submitted an application for assistance and is waiting to hear, if they qualify.

To schedule an appointment at an in-person service center, call: (800) 204-0557. An agent will help applicants ensure they have all the required documentation to complete the process. Applicants who are missing documentation will be given a checklist and will be asked to return with the proper documentation. Locations for in-person assistance include:

Housing Foundation of America
2400 North University Drive, Suite 200 Pembroke Pines, Florida 33024
Housing Foundation of America
1773 North State Road 7, Suite 101-D Lauderhill, Florida 33313

Crisis Housing Solutions (at the Northwest Family Success Center)
10077 Northwest 29th Street, Coral Springs, Florida 33065

Tenants and landlords are encouraged to work together to complete the application process. Rental assistance funds will be paid to either the tenant or the landlord. Utility assistance payments will be paid directly to the utility provider.

An on-line application option is available and encouraged for faster responses. To apply on-line, visit: www.Broward.org/RentAssistance or call: (888) 692-7203 for assistance over the phone in English, Spanish and Creole, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tenants or landlords who have already filed an application, can also call: (888) 692-7203 to check the status of their application and please have the case number, handy.

Eligibility
An "eligible household" is defined as a renter household in which at least one or more individuals, meet the following criteria:
• Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability (including eviction notices, utility shutoff notices, past due rent notices, past due utility notices or any other evidence of unsafe or unhealthy living conditions or housing stability); and
• Qualifies for unemployment, has experienced a reduction in household income, has incurred significant costs or experienced any financial hardships, due to COVID‐19;
• Has a household income at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income.
• Review the 2021 Income ​Category Chart at: https://www.broward.org/RentAssistance/Pages/default.aspx

Payment Method
• Rental assistance payments will be made to either landlord or tenant. Utility payments will be made directly to utility providers.

Eligible Expenses
• Past-due rent, including contracted late fees

• Past-due utility and home energy cost (includes electricity, gas, water and trash removal)

Future Rent (up to three months)
• Relocation expenses (includes rental security deposit, application fees, screening fees and hotel costs)

No Duplication of Benefits
• Assistance provided for an eligible household may not duplicate any other assistance, including federal, state and local assistance provided for the same costs.
• An eligible household that occupies a federally subsidized residential or mixed‐use property, may receive assistance, provided that funds are not applied to costs that have been or will be reimbursed under any other federal assistance.
• If an eligible household receives a monthly federal subsidy (e.g., a Housing Choice Voucher, Public Housing, or Project-Based Rental Assistance) and the tenant rent is adjusted according to changes in income, the renter household may receive ERA assistance for the tenant-owed portion of rent or utilities that is not subsidized.

Level of Assistance
• Eligible households may receive up to 12 months of assistance (measured from March 13, 2020), plus an additional 3 months if the applicant is able to demonstrate that the extra months are needed to ensure housing stability and that funds are available.
• Assistance will be provided to reduce an eligible household’s past due rent, before the applicant will be evaluated for its eligibility for assistance with future rent payments.
• Applicants will be required to provide documentation to support their eligibility for assistance.

As of June 22, in Broward County, 4,600 individuals have completed the application process and another 6,300 have started the process, but have not yet, completed it.

“We have funds available and a program in place to help,” said Broward County Family Success Assistant Director Natalie Beasley. “We will continue to accept applications after June 30th, when the eviction moratorium ends. People in need are encouraged to apply now and those who have started the application process and not completed it, are urged to do so as soon as possible.” The Service Centers will also remain open, until further notice.

For more information COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance visit: https://www.broward.org/RentAssistance/Pages/default.aspx