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With CDC eviction ban set to end, Miami-Dade offering rent relief program

County accepting applications for federally-funded financial assistance

Rent relief is coming to Miami-Dade County.
Rent relief is coming to Miami-Dade County. (WPLG)

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Miami-Dade County has started accepting applications for a new round of rent relief.

This as we are days away from the end of the CDC’s eviction ban.

Federal dollars are fueling the return of a Miami-Dade rent relief program.

“They were looking for more applications because there’s still money available,” said Audrey Aradanas, Assistant Director of Programs for Miami Homes for All.

That money is for eligible renters and landlords, in an effort to help mitigate against evictions and foreclosures, and it comes as the CDC’s eviction moratorium is set to expire at month’s end.

“At this time, a lot of advocates, including national partners, think it will not be extended this time around,” Aradanas said.

FIU researcher Nika Zyryanova said before COVID-19, a quarter of a million renter households were cost-burdened, meaning they were spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing and 90 percent of renters were making less than of $35,000 dollars a year.

“Renter assisted need far exceeds what is available,” Zyryanova said. “With that type of income you really can’t afford to live in Miami-Dade.”

Said Aradanas: “We know that before Covid even happened, 200,000 and more families were at risk of experiencing housing instability.

Then came pandemic-related layoffs.

“We lost a lot of jobs,” said Zyryanova.

Renters started missing payments and landlords struggled to cover the mortgage.

Now, Zyryanova said Miami-Dade is trailing behind in economic recovery.

“Unemployment is still really high,” she said. “We are 100,000 jobs short as of pre-pandemic levels.”

When asked by Local 10 News’ Christina Vazquez just how worried he and his group is, Zyryanova responded, “Pretty worried.”

And so while the federally-funded rental relief program helps, experts believe it may not be enough to prevent a wave of evictions and foreclosures.

“Continuation of that assistance is really needed, or else you will have a homeless problem,” Zyryanova said.

Added Aradanas: “We can expect that there may be a skyrocketing number of people experience housing instability or becoming evicted.”

Miami-Dade County is outpacing other metropolitan areas in terms of dispersing federal funds to help with rent relief.

County officials said so far, the program has helped, “nearly 1,600 families with an average aware of $7,500 totaling nearly $12 million in relief since March,” according to Miami-Dade public housing officials.

By way of contrast, California has expended less than $1 million and New Jersey and New York have barely cut checks in any amount. The City of Miami has issued less than $400K in assistance.

“ERAP 2.3 is federally funded through the Federal Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2021 (Act) passed on December 27, 2020,” said Ignacio Ortiz-Petit with the Miami-Dade County Public Housing and Community Development. “The ERAP 2.3 program has already helped nearly 1,600 families with an average award of $7,500, totaling nearly $12 million in relief since March. By way of contrast, California has expended less than $1 million; New Jersey and New York have barely cut checks in any amount. City of Miami has issued less than $400K in assistance.”

Visit the following link to download an application: https://www.miamidade.gov/global/housing/home.page

RELATED LINKS

Miami-Dade once again accepting applications for rent relief

AXIS Helps Miami

FIU Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center COVID-19 Economic Recovery Index

FIU Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center Affordable Housing Needs Assessment

Broward County Rent Assistance


About the Author:

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."