INDIAN RIVER COUNTY - With many eviction cases pending in Indian River County courts since the CDC moratorium on evictions ended on July 31, the county is working with court judges and Florida Rural Legal Services on a rental assistance program for tenants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Indian River County’s Rental Assistance Eviction Prevention and Diversion Mediation Program uses federal CARES Act funds to help local households pay their rent and avoid eviction.
The program provides financial assistance to eligible households due to economic losses caused by COVID-19, with the maximum total award not to exceed $10,500 for rental assistance per household. The county will review applications on a first come first served basis until the $4,500,000 in available funds is committed.
Rental assistance will not be provided for the same months that were previously funded by other CARES Act funds, or any other rental assistance program. Rent assistance may be provided for late payments after March 1, 2020 and may also include three months of future payments.
Tenants facing eviction should begin by filing an application with the county to see if they qualify. Once qualified, volunteer attorneys from the Indian River County Bar Association will contact the landlord and tenant to attempt to negotiate an agreement where the landlord may receive payment for past due rent while helping the tenant avoid eviction and stay in their home.
The landlord and tenant must enter into a settlement agreement where the landlord agrees to dismiss pending eviction efforts and enter into a new short-term lease.
Applications can be filed on-line or in person at one of the help centers listed at the end of this article.
Applicants will need to provide basic information such as address, names, dates of birth, and income for all members of the household, and an explanation of COVID hardship. Some documentation such as a copy of the lease, even if expired, driver’s license or other identification, and income or unemployment documentation may be required. Late rent/delinquency notices should also be provided.
Applicants should be prepared to explain how many household members have experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19; the employment status of all household members and any unemployment that is due to COVID-19; the name and address of employer at the time of COVID-19 impact and a current employer, if different.
Additional information is available in person at North County Help Center, contact Tracy Galentine, (772) 400-6357; North Indian River County Library, 1001 Sebastian Blvd., Sebastian; Central County Help Center, contact Leigh Uribe, (772) 226-1631; Indian River County Human Services, 1900 27th St., Vero Beach; Indian River County Community Development, 1801 27th St., Vero Beach.
To apply on-line, visit www.zoomgrants.com/gprop.asp?donorid=2374&rfpid=3558. You can also find a link to this application and more information at https://ircgov.com/coronavirus.htm, then click “rental assistance eviction prevention and diversion mediation program.”
Call (877) HEART95 for more information.