WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Palm Beach County Department of Community Services launched the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
The ERA was first launched to help those directly affected by the pandemic and has helped nearly 20,000 families pay their rent and utilities.
James Green, director of the Department of Community Services, said two years later the county is still looking to help, but their help is not limited to those directly affected by the pandemic. Green said they get many calls every day from people needing help after their rent went up 50-100%.
“We understand that, especially seniors and those on fixed incomes, they’re going to have really significant challenges being able to meet that obligation,” Green said.
The Department of Community Services is hosting a countywide Community Revitalization Team virtual town hall meeting at 10 a.m. Tuesday.
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The meeting will give residents of Palm Beach County and unincorporated Palm Beach County the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the ERA program.
Green said the county has $27 million in ERA funding and wants to make sure residents know how to ask for help.
“It was a gift from God. It stopped a number of evictions from happening,” Green said. “Many people who have nowhere to go have been able to stay home and continue to support their families throughout the pandemic.”
To qualify for funding through the ERA, Green said families need a household income at or below 80% of the region’s average income. For a one-person household in Palm Beach County, Green said that’s about $49,000 a year.
In addition, candidates must prove that they have recently encountered difficulties.
Join the meeting by clicking here or join by phone at 844-621-3956 with access code 2303 594 0929.