TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Floridians who have received rent and utilities assistance through OUR Florida, the federally-funded Emergency Rental Assistance Program operated by the Department of Children and Families, share their stories of rebound and recovery.

OUR Florida, which stands for Opportunities for Utilities and Rental Assistance, provides relief on rent and utilities for families who were affected by the public health emergency. The program was launched on May 10 and has already paid millions in relief to landlords and utilities companies to ensure families can stay safely in their homes, together.

“I was laid off last April due to the pandemic. As money began to run out, I realized I was facing eviction and was worried how I would make ends meet. Everything changed when I heard about the OUR Florida program. OUR Florida provided me with the necessary relief to keep a roof over my head. Now, I am back on my feet and starting a new job at the end of this month. OUR Florida has been my lifeline during such a challenging time in my life.” – Marvel, Tenant, Orlando

“As a single mother, after I lost my marketing job during the pandemic, I was extremely worried about how I would pay for my rent. OUR Florida came at the perfect time. With OUR Florida helping with my rent payments, I have the time I need to search for a new job while keeping a roof over my son’s head. OUR Florida has put me back on track as my family recovers.” – Aidaliz, Tenant, Winter Park

"I thought all was lost until I was approached about the OUR Florida program. Now, I can see the light at the end of the dark tunnel. My tenants remain safe in their homes, and my small business is back in the black!" – Mark, Landlord, Belleview

“This program has been a blessing to our family in so many ways. Without this program, I would be in a very bad spot, homeless, or without utilities. Thank you so much for offering this program to hard-working families like ours who are dealt unfortunate circumstances. You have restored my faith in humanity and what our great country stands for!” – Amanda, Tenant, Orlando

Floridians who rent their home, apartment, or other dwelling where they live can apply. To be eligible for benefits, renters must:

  • Earn an income at or below 80% of the area’s median income,
  • Be unemployed, have experienced a loss of income or financial hardship during the last year, and
  • Be delinquent with rent or utilities payment or at risk of falling behind.

As of July 13, 2021, OUR Florida has paid more than $3.9 million in rental or utility assistance to 869 individuals with an additional $24 million obligated to more than 7,030 clients approved as eligible for assistance, which is anticipated to be disbursed by the end of the month. Applicants are highly encouraged to gather all required documentation and to coordinate with their landlord prior to applying to ensure a quick determination and payment process. Complete applications that match registered landlords can be processed and verified in as little as 18 days. Benefits are paid directly to the landlord or utility provider.

To learn more about eligibility, required documentation, and how to apply, visit OURFlorida.com.

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Media Contact: HQW.Press.Office@MyFLFamilies.com 

If you are currently experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness, you may access your local continuum of care for additional resources.