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'One Tampa' relief fund pre-application process ends Thursday

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Posted at 7:57 AM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 08:01:28-04

TAMPA, Fla.— People and businesses in the city of Tampa struggling amid the COVID-19 crisis have until 12 p.m. Thursday to pre-apply for aid from a new relief fund.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor announced One Tampa: Relief Now, Rise Together fund April 14. The relief program is an emergency grant targeted at people’s basic needs during the coronavirus outbreak, such as with rent or utilities.

“Unfortunately, many in our community are not able to go to work at all during this crisis,” said Mayor Castor. “Many families have had their lives disrupted by an unexpected loss of income, and our local businesses are suffering as well.”

The pre-application process started April 21 and ends April 23 at 12 p.m. The full application process starts April 24 at 12 p.m. and will be open until all eligible slots are filled.

Applicants will get an email within 48 hours letting them know if they're eligible to continue to the full application process.

The mayor noted this will give up to one month’s rent or mortgage to qualifying individuals or businesses, as well as utility costs. Payments will be made directly to a landlord, mortgagors, or to TECO on behalf of relief recipients.

“For individuals who reside in the city of Tampa and were employed as of February 1 but lost their job because the business closed or they lost more than 25% of their income because of a business slow down, we will directly pay their landlord or bank up to $1,000 for late or forthcoming rent or mortgage, and we will cover the cost of utilities up to $250,” said Castor.

Small businesses can receive up to $4,000 for rent or mortgage and up to $1,000 for utilities. Businesses must be located in one of the city’s designated low-income census tract zones or be in one of the low-income census tracts and community redevelopment areas.

“These individuals and businesses represent the hardest hit and are ones more vulnerable to slip through the cracks,” said Castor. “That is where our program is aimed to make the biggest difference.”

Castor acknowledged the Tampa Bay Rays, the Buccaneers, and the Lightning organizations, who’ve each given $100,000 to the fund. The Mayor thanked other businesses for donating as well, while also welcoming individual donations at this time.

For more information on the program and how to qualify, click here.