CARES Act rent or mortgage assistance still available through November 30

TAVARES – The November 30 deadline for lake residents to apply CARES Act Rent or Mortgage Assistance approach, giving people just days to apply for up to $4,000 in assistance.

The money, approved by Lake County commissioners in September and made available for enforcement Oct. 26, is being paid to reimburse people who have already paid rent or mortgage payments on time during the COVID-19 pandemic, or as a direct payment to owners or lenders to help cover another month.

Overdue rent or mortgage payments are not required to be eligible, as the aid is intended to help people who have kept up with their payments as well as those falling behind.

Previously, the county offered assistance directly to those unable to make their payments due to the pandemic.

The current window, Phase 2, was opened after people in this predicament had time to apply for a portion of the $15 million allocated to the Resident Assistance Program.

In order to apply for the program before the deadline, residents must register at lakecountyfl.submittable.com. They will need to have received no other portions of county housing or housing assistance related to COVID-19, including from the Coronavirus Relief Fund offered earlier this year by Lake County and United Way, and only one person per household can apply.

The applicant must also have been financially impacted by the virus in some way, such as reduced hours, furloughs, layoffs, unforeseen childcare costs, diagnosis of COVID-19 or a quarantine that resulted in a loss of income.

They must also live in the county, their address at the lake must be their primary address, and they must have rent or a mortgage payment to make.

Applicants will be required to submit, either through a PDF or photo:

  • The front of their driver’s license
  • Documentation of COVID-related difficulties, including but not limited to a letter from their employer, a note from a school or child care center discussing the closure, or a confirmation of request for unemployment.
  • A current lease that shows the address of the property, the name of the landlord, the length of the lease and where the rent payments are made. If the lease has expired, the applicant must provide a letter from the landlord explaining that it is a month-to-month lease.
  • Documents showing rent or mortgage paid or overdue for each month from the date the hardship first occurred to the date the claim was submitted. Examples include mortgage or rent statements, or a letter from the landlord detailing charges, payments and balances due.

For more details, visit www.ReopenLake.com#cares, or call the CARES Act Program Helpline at 877-927-1057 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.