Governor Ron DeSantis has allocated millions of dollars in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds to help Florida homeowners who've been economically impacted by the COVID-19 national emergency. With the funding, the state is setting up a new program called the "Coronavirus Relief Fund For Impacted Homeowners And Renters." This program will offer financial assistance to eligible homeowners to cover their housing expenses.
Around $120 million of CARES Act funding will be released to Florida's counties to implement homeowner assistance programs. These programs will provide funds to eligible homeowners to pay for mortgage costs, mortgage buydowns, down payment and closing costs, and emergency repairs. The funding will also pay for homeownership counseling for individuals impacted by COVID-19. Money for renters will be available, too.
The State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) program in your community will administer the relief fund. As far as how much each household can get, your local SHIP office will determine the maximum amount available based on need and household income. Assistance is available for costs incurred between March 1, 2020, and December 30, 2020, only.
Florida households with incomes up to 120% of the area median income that can show their earnings have been adversely impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible. To learn the income limits for the county where you live, go here.
You'll have to show that you're having difficulty paying for eligible housing expenses, like mortgage payments, as determined by the applicable SHIP program.
At present, the various SHIP offices are developing application requirements, processes, and systems. Each SHIP office will inform households in its jurisdiction about qualifications and the application process, as well as timelines, sometime soon.
But rather than waiting for news about this program, it's a good idea to periodically check the Florida Housing Finance Corporation's official website and its Coronavirus Relief Fund website. That way, you can apply for assistance as soon as your area program opens up. You can also contact your local SHIP housing office for more information about when you can begin the application process.
If you have questions about how to get mortgage payment relief from Florida's Coronavirus Relief Fund, contact Florida Housing's toll-free Coronavirus Relief Fund Information Line at 888-362-7885, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (EDT).
Effective date: August 3, 2020