DUVAL COUNTY; Fla. – Duval County residents can start applying for rent or utility bill assistance starting Wednesday. This is a part of a program through the city of Jacksonville to help residents who lost income because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program has more than $3 million left to aid people in need.
A household that is eligible for this help may receive money for up to a combined 12 months of past-due rent and/or utility bills. The federal assistance program has distributed more than $62 million since March 2021.
Related: Duval County to open up applications for $3M in federal rental assistance funding this week
As of Wednesday morning, 2,000 people had already applied.
Who qualifies is somewhat complicated. Here is a breakdown of who can get money.
How do I qualify?
Federal guidelines require qualifying individuals and families to have an income that falls below 80% of the (AMI). Priority must be provided to households that have incomes at or below 50% area median income or have one or more members who have been unemployed for at least 90 days. The income requirements are as follows:
In addition to the income prerequisite, applicants must be a resident of Duval County (this includes the Beaches and the Town of Baldwin) and meet all three of these qualifications:
At least one person in the home must be on unemployment or saw a loss of income during the pandemic
You can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, including past-due rent or unsafe living conditions
A household income less than 80% of the area median income, which is $46,850 for a single person.
The city says anyone not eligible should contact United Way for information on other local rental assistance programs.
Applications will be accepted starting at 8 a.m. on Wednesday and will close at 5 p.m. on Dec. 5. You can access the application at coj.net/erap or text APPLY to 211904 to access the application.
That application will stay open until Monday, Dec. 5 at 5 p.m.