NewsPrice of Paradise


Florida Dept. of Economic Opportunity gives out $200M in housing assistance

Dept. of Economic Opportunity.jpeg
Posted at 4:56 AM, Jul 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-22 07:35:32-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has given out $200 million in homeowners assistance, the DEO told Scripps Station Fox 4. There's still more to go around — $300 million to be exact. That money is for a program you may not know about.

The DEO is in charge of the Homeowners Assistance Fund, a federally funded program aimed at helping Florida homeowners pay for bills such as insurance, mortgage and utilities.

"It is designed to help the most vulnerable populations in the state get the assistance that they need," said Dr. Shamarial Roberson, a vendor that works alongside the DEO. "I’m happy that we’re able to help so many homeowners so they don’t have to for example, lose their home to foreclosure."

She said more than 11,000 people have applied and more than 6,600 homeowners have been approved for assistance.

"This is for homeowners that were affected by COVID-19 and these households can receive as much as $50,000 for a household," Roberson said.

To be eligible, you have to be a Florida homeowner and meet income requirements based on the Area Median Income (AMI). In Hillsborough County, that's a little more than $60,000, according to the Census Bureau. However, the latest number is from 2020.

We asked how long applications take before homeowners could see the money if approved, and Roberson said every case is different — so there's no ballpark range she can give.

During the application process, Roberson said case workers go through a quality assurance process.

To get the word out, she said they've done more than 500 outreach campaigns across the state.

If you want to check your eligibility, you can apply here.

As Tampa Bay continues to attract new residents and businesses, the impact of living in paradise comes at a cost for all of us— from the increasing cost of housing and infrastructure to utilities and insurance. ABC Action News is committed to helping you and your family make the most of your money and navigate through the Price of Paradise.