JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The City of Jacksonville announced Monday that its Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) has more than $3 million left to help Duval County residents who have been unable to pay their rent and/or utilities due to a loss of income related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Applications will be accepted starting at 8 a.m. on Wednesday and will close at 5 p.m. on Dec. 5. You can access the application at coj.net/erap or text APPLY to 211904 to access the application.
An eligible household may receive assistance for rent and/or utilities including up to a combined 12 months of past-due rent and/or utilities. Since March 2021, the City of Jacksonville’s ERAP has distributed over $62.6 million of federal funds to provide rent and utility assistance to Duval County renter-household residents.
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Who qualifies is somewhat complicated, but here is a breakdown of who can get money.
Federal guidelines require qualifying individuals and families to have an income that falls below 80% of the (AMI). Priority must be provided to households that have incomes at or below 50% area median income or have one or more members who have been unemployed for at least 90 days. The income requirements are as follows:
|Household size||50% Total AMI||80% Total AMI|
In addition to the income prerequisite, applicants must be a resident of Duval County (this includes the Beaches and the Town of Baldwin) and meet all three of these qualifications:
- At least one person in the home must be on unemployment or saw a loss of income during the pandemic
- You can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, including past-due rent or unsafe living conditions
- A household income less than 80% of the area median income, which is $46,850 for a single person.
Chiquita Moore, Director of Operations for the Neighborhoods Department for Jacksonville, said the city hopes to get the funds out as quickly as possible.
“I know that some people were concerned that before, it took several months to kind of get the funds out,” Moore said. “It does take time to process that and verify the information so they want to make sure that they’re continuing to pay their rent. This doesn’t negate their responsibility to do that. And then as soon as we get everything we need, then we will actually issue them a check for whatever they’re eligible for.”
Moore said there is still a need for pandemic relief.
“There are still a lot of people that are calling us,” she said. “Believe it or not, there are still a lot of people that haven’t even been able to return to work. From the assistance that they’re receiving from the state or federal government or whatever, we know that those are kind of going away. So they’re already looking for a security net to help them going forward.”
So far, Moore said the average amount of funding per household has been anywhere between $3,500-$4,000 with around 15,000 families getting help.
Moore said people are only eligible if they have not received any funding from other sources, such as Our Florida.
For more information, you can visit the city’s website.
The city says anyone not eligible should contact United Way for information on other local rental assistance programs.