The federal government is sending stimulus money to Jackson County Florida to provide assistance for renters who may be in crisis. The Department of Children and Families is administering the housing assistance program.
The federal government dollars are being funneled through The Department of Children and Families (DCF), which in turn is partnering with the nonprofit Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida to help distribute the cash to needs residents.
Washington, Jackson, Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, and Holmes counties will split among them a $1.2 million share of Florida’s total allocation of $12.6 million, which has been set aside to help those who need rent help.
Families or individuals who are facing potential eviction because of a failure to pay can apply, or people who have been evicted and have lost their homes because they couldn’t pay the rent can be assisted by the program. This can also help renters who currently owe back rent, and they can get money for rent and also their utility bills so they can stay put. If a family is already homeless, they can get money for rent, grants to pay their utility bills, and also money for security deposits so they get into a dwelling.
The maximum rental assistance that can be provided under the program can last up to 18 months per household. There is no specific per-month assistance cap is set for individual households and the amount provided will be determined based on need and on a case-by-case basis with each person that applies.
There are income limits, and to qualify for help, the household incomes of applicants must fall 50 percent below the area’s median income.
The housing problem is enormous. Currently, almost 60,000 people are identified as homeless in Florida according to the DCF. However, that count is believed to be lower than actual figure. For example, it is assumed that many struggling families or individuals have been taking refuge with friends and families and have not been counted as homeless in those numbers.
The goal is to be pro-active, and the more that the money can be used to help families from being homeless or get homeless families into rental housing, the better chance they have to regain economic self-sufficiency and get back on their feet.
Contact Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida at 850-763-0475 for more information or to apply.
Jackson County Tri-County Community Council is the leading non-profit for low income families in the region. There are also support services for seniors as well as anyone seeking new job skills. Some of what the Marianna Florida based agency may offer includes the following.
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