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First Coast

Jacksonville Will Distribute Nearly $29M In Rent, Utility Assistance

Downtown Jacksonville skyline file photo.
BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS
/
Downtown Jacksonville skyline file photo.

Nearly $29 million in federal money will be distributed by the city of Jacksonville to help Duval County residents who may have been unable to pay their rent or utility bills due to a loss of income related to COVID-19.

Applications will be accepted starting Monday, March 29, at 8 a.m. The application deadline is Friday, April 9 at 6 p.m.

Money will be available to those who qualify to cover up to 12 months of rent and utility payments with the option for an additional three months if determined necessary to ensure housing stability.

Partnering agencies JEA and the United Way of Northeast Florida will administer the program, with JEA managing $5 million and United Way distributing $23.8 million.

Federal guidelines require qualifying individuals and families to have an income that falls below 80% of the area median income. The requirements are as follows:

Household size     Total Income

One person                $42,000     

Two people                $48,000      

Three people             $54,000      

Four people               $60,000      

Five people                $64,800      

Six people                  $69,600      

Seven people             $74,400         

Eight people              $79,200

Applicants must also meet the following criteria:

  • Reside in Duval County.
  • Provide proof of hardship due to COVID-19, including verification of unemployment benefits, a reduction in income or other financial issue that threatened the household’s ability to pay rent when due.
  • Provide a documented risk of housing instability or homelessness.
  • Be unable to access other payment assistance for the same costs. For example, if rent assistance was received from another program for March – May, this program may not be used to pay for rent during that timeframe; however, it could cover other months.

The city said priority will be given to households that have incomes at or below 50% of the area median income or have one or more members who have been unemployed for at least 90 days. Payments will be made directly to the utility company or landlord.
Residents can apply online or in-person by appointment only beginning Monday. The city said the fastest and easiest way for tenants and landlords to apply is online at https://www.coj.net/erap

Paper applications will be available for pick up and drop off at the sites. 

Drop Off Only Sites

Catholic Charities – 40 East Adams Street, Suite 310 – Jacksonville, Fla. 32202

Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry, 850 6th Avenue South, Suite 400 – Jacksonville Beach, Fla. 32250 

City of Jacksonville Housing and Community Development Division, 214 North Hogan Street, 7th Floor – Jacksonville, Fla. 32202

Pick Up, Drop Off, and In-Person Application Assistance Sites

Jewish Family & Community Services, 6261 DuPont Station Court – Jacksonville, Fla. 32217

Wealth Watchers, 5310 Lenox Avenue, Unit 4 – Jacksonville, Fla. 32205

Downtown Ecumenical Services Council, 215 North Ocean Street – Jacksonville, Fla. 32202

Limited in-person assistance will be by appointment only. Anyone that has additional questions can call (904) 630-2489 (CITY).

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.