Local Financial Assistance Programs
Due to the unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19, the state, and local governments have developed many assistance programs for those affected by the virus. In an effort to assist residents, we have provided a brief overview of some state, and local programs aimed to assist residents who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. Please scroll down to find various local government assistance programs.
Reemployment Assistance provides financial assistance and reemployment services to those unemployed in the State of Florida. Please click here to learn more about Reemployment Assistance. To apply for Florida’s Reemployment Assistance, please click here.*
*Unfortunately, due to current circumstances, the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has reported issues with filing initial claims because the agency's online system keeps crashing and the call center is overloaded. In response to these issues, the DEO has allowed residents to download the application from the agency's site and mail it in. Residents can also go to CareerSource locations, which provide the applications and assist them with submitting it. To find your local CareerSource Center, please click here. FedEx is also offering free printing and mailing of the forms at more than 100 storefronts across the state.
Note: The Governor issued Executive Order 20-104 on April 16th, which suspended the biweekly reporting of "actively seeking work" requirement for claimants of unemployment benefits. Those who have obtained unemployment benefits from the State of Florida to do not have to fullfill the traditional requirement of reporting their search for employment to the state until the expiration of Executive Order 20-52.
Short Time Compensation
Short-Time Compensation (STC) permits pro-rated Reemployment Assistance benefits to employees whose work hours and earnings are reduced as part of a STC plan to avoid total layoff of some employees. Please click here to learn more.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
On April 30, Governor Ron DeSantis and the Department of Children and Families announced that the SNAP recipients' maximum monthly allotment will be increased. The increase in maximum monthly allotment has been extended through July, and will likely be extended again for the month of August. Please click here to learn more or to apply for SNAP benefits.
Florida Housing Finance Corporation
On June 25th, the Governor announced that he will allocate $250 million in CARES Act funds for housing relief. Administered by Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC), $120 million will be provided in short-term rental assistance for COVID-19 impacted households residing at multifamily rental properties in FHFC’s portfolio. FHFC will reimburse participating properties to subsidize eligible households’ rents for each impacted month. The rental assistance will be available to help pay a household’s rent for eligible months from July through December 2020. The household may be eligible for assistance to pay rent arrearages accrued during the months of April, May and June 2020.
- FHFC property managers and owners seeking assistance for their residents must apply for these funds. To learn more about receiving these funds, please click on the link below.
A separate pool of $120 million will be released to counties based on a county’s reemployment assistance rate for the determined disbursement period. These funds would be used for rental and homeowner assistance programs such as new construction, rehabilitation, mortgage buydowns, down payment and closing cost assistance, emergency repairs and homeownership counseling for individuals impacted by COVID-19. The allocation also includes $200,000 for technical assistance to local governments. On July 17th, the Governor announced an inital $75 million would be released. The state will determine if more is needed at a later date.
- For a list of the intial $75 million released to local governments to be used for rent/mortgage relief, please click on the link below. It is important to note that these funds may replenish a local relief fund that had previously exhuasted its funds.
Local Government Assistance Programs In SCAA
Brevard County CARES Individual Assistance Program
- On May 5, 2020, the Board of County Commissioners approved $4.4 million for a Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program, Utility and Security Deposit Program, and a Food Stability Program. Applicants may receive a maximum of 3 months of assistance or $7,200. Applicants must prove financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 and experienced a loss of income of at least 25%. Applicants cannot be above 140% of Area Median Income (AMI) for the household size ($96,880 for a family of four). To learn more about this program or to apply, please click here.
Note: SCAA was told on July 23rd that the program is still accepting applications and that the funds are quite healthy.
Brevard County Small Business Eeconomic Relief Program
- On July 7th, the Brevard County Board of Commissioners authorized the use of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding for operating a short-term economic relief program for small businesses dealing with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This program is expected to provide those local businesses with the opportunity to apply for a one-time only grant – in an amount not to exceed $10,000 – while program funding exists. If you are interested in applying for this grant, please click here.
Note: Applications begin Monday July 27th, 2020. Applications will only be accepted during a two week period.
Titusville Emergency Assistance Program
- The City’s COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Program, funded by the CARES Act opened applications on June 1st. This program provides assistance with rent and/or utilities, up to three months, for households that have been impacted by the COVID-19 virus and experienced a loss or reduction in income. Applications are available via email upon request at email@example.com or call 321-567-3987.
Melbourne Rental, Mortgage and Utilities Assistance Program
- The City of Melbourne’s Emergency Rental, Mortgage, and Utilities Assistance Program has changed. A new program will be in operation until December 30, 2020, if funding is still available. The City will use $112,290 in Coronavirus Relief Funds under the (CARES Act) to fund the program. The Florida Housing Finance Authority is overseeing the grant for the State. The Application process is simpler and easier to complete. Applications can be processed as of March 1, 2020, through December 11, 2020, for rent, mortgage and utility payments. Utility payments now include water, electricity, gas, internet, phone, cable, or other similar services, and people living in mobile homes can also be helped.
Note: Interested City of Melbourne residents need to complete a pre-screening checklist online to verify all required information before they start the application process. The city is currently accepting applications. For more information, please call 321-608-7530.
St. Lucie County CARES Individual Assistance Program
- This program will provide a one-time payment to eligible St. Lucie County residents who have suffered an economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants are eligible for a onetime payment of up to $4,000. A comprehensive list of documentation is listed on the application, but you will need to submit necessary income documentation, and rental notice from your landlord stating the amount due or utility statements, among other required documents. Please click here to learn more.
Note: The county is currently accepting applications at this time.
St. Lucie County Recovers Small Business Assistance Grant
- This grant program is designed for small St. Lucie based businesses with under $1 million in revenues to provide a rapid infusion of capital, with the amount of money allocated dependent on the number of business employees. This grant may provide up to $7,500 to eligible businesses. To learn more please click here.
Martin County Coronavirus Relief Fund
- The Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) is a portion of the CARES Act. If approved by the Martin County Board of County Commissioners during their August 11, 2020 commission meeting, Martin County Human Services will begin accepting applications for Coronavirus Relief Funds which can assist with payments of rent and/or mortgage payments and certain Emergency Repairs through the Florida Housing's Coronavirus Relief Fund. The funding comes from the Florida Housing will be administered by Martin County's SHIP program.
Okeechobee County CARES Act Business Grant
- Okeechobee County has partnered with the Okeechobee County Economic Development Corporation (OCEDC) to provide RELIEF funds to businesses who have suffered due to the required closures resulting from the COVID-19 public health emergency. The program will offer a one-time grant of $7,500 to qualifying small businesses and $5,000 to Independent Contractor/Sole Proprietorship to cover expenses such as employee wages, bills and rent and other business related expenses. Please click here to learn more.
Another Round Another Rally
Another Round Another rally provides grants to chefs, servers, bartenders, dishwashers, sommeliers, managers or someone who holds any other type of hospitality role, they may be able to help. Another Round Another Rally is offering $500 relief grants for hospitality workers who lost their jobs or had their hours slashed in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. To apply for a grant, please click here.
Bartender Emergency Assistance Program
- The Bartender Emergency Assistance Program provides relief to bartenders and others in the service industry who have been affected by COVID-19. To learn more, please click here.
- Feeding America is providing emergency food banks for people affected by COVID-19. To find your local distribution center please click here.
Golden Rule Charity
- The Golden Rule Charity provides grants to hospitality workers in need. To learn more, please click here.
Resident Relief Foundation
- The Resident Relief Foundation provides rental assistance for residents who are facing eviction for the first time. Please click here for more information.
Restaurant Employee Relief Fund
- The Restaurant Employee Relief Fund helps restaurant industry employees who are experiencing hardship as a result of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Through this fund, grants will be made to restaurant industry employees who have been financially impacted by COVID-19, whether it was through a decrease in wages or loss of employment. If you would like to donate to this fund or learn more about it, please click here.
United Way Fund
- United Way assists local organizations in helping those affected by COVID-19. United Way has local organizations with local funds that assist families in need of financial relief all across the state.
- Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) Fund. The ALICE Fund provides rent, mortgage and utility assistance to help prevent eviction and homelessness.
- Martin County provided $2 million to United Way. To begin a pre-screening program to find out if you qualify for rental, mortgage or utility relief, you can go to www.unitedwaymartin.org/CARES and follow the prompts to a questionnaire.