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Orange County prepares to start a new $16 million rental assistance program

This chart showing some features of a new rental assistance program was part of presentation in June by Manager Dianne Arnold of the Orange County Citizen Resource and Outreach Division. Image: Orange County via video

The Orange County Commission is poised Tuesday to approve a program for nearly $16 million more in rental assistance.

Emergency Rental Assistance Program 2 — ERAP2 for short — is expected to start next month.

A wider range of renters can receive these federal funds under the American Rescue Plan, according to Orange County. Previously, renters had to show that their financial hardship was due to COVID-19.

But under ERAP2, they may qualify if the hardship simply occurred during the pandemic. You could, for example, get help if you were affected by steep increases in rent. The program could pay arrears and the amount of increase for the next three months, according to county presentation from June.

There are income requirements — a household of four, for example, might qualify if it earned less than $66,320 — and this county program doesn’t cover city of Orlando residents.

County officials plan to prioritize the renters most in need — those with lower incomes, households with children and areas with higher eviction rates.

The prior program — ERAP1 — ends officially on Sept. 30, but Orange County stopped taking new applications last month. The program provided more than $29 million of rental assistance in the county.


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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.