County Commissioner Laura Moss
We all know everyone has been impacted differently by the COVID-19 pandemic, including landlords and tenants. When tenants cannot afford to pay rent because COVID interfered with employment, the tenant is at risk of being evicted. When a landlord does not receive rent because a tenant cannot afford to pay due a hardship caused by COVID, the landlord is at risk of failing to meet other financial obligations.
Florida Rural Legal Services (FRLS) and Indian River County (IRC) want to help. They have a program designed to help landlords recoup past-due rent, and helping tenants obtain six-month leases with the first three months paid by the county. There is an application process and eligibility requirements.
The application can be found at the county website (www.ircgov.com), but there will also be in-person events on 09/20/2021 at the Intergenerational Center on Oslo Road in Vero Beach between 4pm-8pm for those who need assistance, have questions, or would like more information. Both landlords and tenants can call 877-HEART95 to learn more. If you or anyone you know is struggling with rent due to COVID, please tell them about this program.
As you know, with the eviction moratorium lifted the struggle will intensify for those in need in our community. I am coordinating this Outreach Program and would appreciate whatever assistance you may be able to offer with regard to disseminating this information.
We have Outreach Events planned as follows:
Intergenerational Center Monday, 09/20 4-8 PM
Sebastian City Hall Thursday, 09/23 4-7 PM
Fellsmere City Hall Tuesday, 09/28 5-8 PM
Vero Beach Main Library Thursday, 09/30 10AM- 1PM (second floor Pelican Room)
The purpose of the Outreach events is to provide one-on-one assistance with applications for this federal funding (CARES) to qualifying households. We hope to help people who are late in paying their rent as a result of Covid-related circumstances. If we can help BEFORE they receive an eviction notice, they avoid the court system entirely. Households may receive up to $10,500. Judge Menz attempts to help people AFTER an eviction notice has been issued. It is a two-pronged approach.