POLK COUNTY, Fla. — A new Polk County program is giving hundreds of thousands of dollars in assistance to help keep residents in their homes.
“It’s overwhelming honestly, to try to keep everything together,” said Amber Case.
Like many, Amber Case is playing catch up on her mortgage payments. She’s four months behind.
“When you’re behind you’re literally counting every single nickel and dime just so that you can somehow wait for you to get a break to catch up,” Case said.
Polk County is hoping to prevent homeowners from mortgage default.
“Many of the lenders did offer some type of forbearance vehicle or leniency vehicle but at the end of the day you still owe that money,” said Tarrel Davis, Polk County Community Development Supervisor.
The county is partnering with the Housing and Neighborhood Development Services of Central Florida to distribute nearly $890,000 in mortgage assistance funds to homeowners impacted by COVID-19.
The program offers homeowners up to six months of assistance with a maximum of $12,000 towards delinquent mortgage payments.
“Homeowners somehow in the past, it’s been very hard for them to qualify for some of the other assistance that maybe a renter may have,” Davis said.
To qualify, applicants must meet the following criteria, which includes:
- Must be a Polk County resident (excluding City of Lakeland residents per the CDBG funding guidelines)
- Gross annual income must not exceed 80 percent of the area average median income
- Proof of a loss of income, reduction in hours or unemployment as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Must have a primary mortgage in the applicant’s name
You can apply to the program here.