Various local governments and communities in Florida are receiving almost $30 million in federal government stimulus dollars. The money is lowing to the state in an effort to keep struggling families from losing their homes and to assist those who may have already lost their homes and that have been evicted. The U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary recently announced the grant awards that are being provided to Florida. Find additional assistance programs in Florida.
The money being provided will not only help those families who may be facing homelessness, but it will also save taxpayers significant money in the long run as people who can stay in their homes remain productive. Both the state and the federal government believe, and studies have shown, that is is much cheaper for society to keep someone in their existing home than it is to find new, permanent housing for them.
In total, across the nation, HUD’s Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program (more info here) is providing almost $2 billion in aid to communities to help them provide both short- and medium-term housing assistance, help with rent, and even foreclosure prevention.
There are many allowed uses for the government funds that are being provided to Florida. The money can be used to pay for rental assistance, utility service deposits, apartment security deposits, cooling and energy bills payments, moving cost assistance, and people can even receive aid in the form of hotel vouchers. Payments from this Florida housing assistance program will made directly to utility companies and/or landlords and the funds will not be issued to the family in question.
The local grants and amounts being provided include:
The Florida Department of Children and Families (phone (866) 762-2237) is overseeing the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program funds and grants at the statewide level. While the money is being provided to the counties per above, they will then be redistributing the funds to non-profits and sub grantees in their county. Each one of these non-profits will have their own plan in place to get the money to those families and individuals who qualify for help.
While the terms of some of the individual non-profit plans can vary, in general each of the agencies has a budget in place that may include financial assistance and grants to help individuals stay in their home, provide stabilization services, offer emergency rent help and case managers who offer housing location. Money is for the homeless or those in danger of eviction and/or becoming homeless.
The program has proven to be effective. To date, almost 15,000 individuals from almost 8000 households have receive support. Over 90% of the people served have left the program as it was successful for them and they no longer needed housing assistance. In total, millions of dollars of government funds have been disbursed throughout the state to pay for rent, utilities, and other housing costs.
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