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Pinellas County expands eligibility for its Emergency Rental Assistance Program

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Posted at 7:01 AM, Sep 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-08 07:09:15-04

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Pinellas County wants to help more residents stay in their homes.

The county just expanded the eligibility requirements for its Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

Any resident who experienced a significant reduction in income or an increase in costs since March 2020 may now qualify for assistance, even if their financial hardship is not a result of the pandemic.

RELATED: Thousands in Hillsborough, Pinellas counties face eviction after moratorium ends

Applicants for assistance previously had to prove a direct or indirect financial impact from the pandemic.

You may qualify to receive money to pay rent or utilities if:

  • You experienced reduced income or increased costs during the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • You are behind on rent payments or at risk of missing a rent payment;
  • You have a household income at or below 80% of the area median income.

For a single person the income limit is $41,350, while it is $59,050 for a family of four.

Pinellas County says staff made updates to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program to streamline application process. To apply, click here.

For questions, call the Emergency Rental Assistance helpline at 855-379-3515. Staff will answer calls Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Help is also available by emailing erap.pinellascounty.fl@tetratech.com.

Pinellas County also posted FAQs for both renters and landlords about the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

Homeowners who experienced financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic may soon be eligible for help through the State of Florida’s Homeowner Assistance Fund.