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Coffee table covered with past due bills

Emergency Rental Assistance Program Ready to Help Residents Financially Impacted Due to COVID-19

Program to help with past-due rental and electric bills; landlords can register starting March 16; online applications open March 23

Hillsborough County and the City of Tampa have received more than $44 million from the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 to assist residents who are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the impacts of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Landlords can register starting Tuesday, March 16 and online applications open Tuesday, March 23 at 10 a.m. for eligible residents.

Help with past-due rent and electric bills

Through this additional funding, the Rapid Response Recovery Emergency Rental Assistance Program (EARP) was developed. The program aims to prevent recipients from experiencing further financial hardship by providing up to $7,500 for past-due rent and up to $750 for past-due TECO electric bills per approved household.

For approved tenants residing in Hillsborough, the County will issue direct payments to landlords who will apply these payments to past-due rent. Landlord registration is required for landlords to participate as a program vendor. Landlord registration begins on Tuesday, March 16 at 10 a.m.

Landlord information sessions

The County will host landlord information sessions to discuss the program and requirements for landlord participation on:

Registration is required.

Resident eligibility

The program's eligibility criteria, documentation requirements for households, and the timeline for the opening of online applications are posted at HCFLGov.net/R3HomeHelp. Any eligible resident of Hillsborough County, including individuals and families in Tampa, Plant City, and Temple Terrace, can apply for assistance. The County urges residents who need assistance to review the eligibility criteria and requirements before applying. This ensures applications are complete, accurate, and can be quickly reviewed to determine eligibility.

Qualifying households must be actively renting and have income at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) as reported on their 2020 Federal Income Tax filing (IRS form 1040 Adjusted Gross Income). These incomes depend on household size and could be between $39,400 for a single-member household to $83,250 for a 10-person household.

Priority access will be given to eligible households at or below 50 percent AMI or with zero income the 90 days prior to the application date. These incomes could be between $24,650 for a single-member household to $52,050 for a 10-person household. Online applications will open on Tuesday, March 23, at 10 a.m. for select eligible residents.

Rental financial assistance will be a direct payment to registered landlords for past-due rent of approved tenants. Electric financial assistance will be paid directly to TECO and will cover past-due charges.

For full details, visit HCFLGov.net/R3HomeHelp.

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