ORLANDO, Fla.— The U.S. government is making about $1.4 billion in rental-assistance funding available to Florida, and Central Florida is going after its share of it.

What You Need To Know

  • Orlando, at least 7 Central Florida counties apply for federal rental-assistance funds

  • Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Brevard, Marion, Volusia counties seek funding

  • Funding comes from $25 billion U.S. Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance Program

The City of Orlando, Orange County, and at least six other Central Florida counties say they have applied for funding from the $25 billion U.S. Department of Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

The program, from the federal coronavirus relief bill signed into law late last month, allowed counties and municipalities with populations of more than 200,000 to apply for funding. In all, Florida is allocated to receive about $1.4 billion.

The Central Florida counties of Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Brevard, Marion, and Volusia also applied for funds.

The City of Orlando said Friday that it applied for up to $8.6 million.

“As we seek additional guidance from the Treasury Department, we will figure out exactly how those funds will be administered,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said at Thursday’s Orange County coronavirus news briefing.

Dyer said the city has helped more than 550 households get current on their rent through its Rental Assistance Program. The application deadline for that program expired in December.

Funding for Orlando's rental assistance and for programs such as Orange County’s COVID-19 Eviction Diversion Program came from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act from last March.

The funding and programs come as the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic continue to produce a crushing effect on Central Florida and its services and entertainment industry.

Molly Duerig is a Report for America corps member who is covering affordable housing for Spectrum News 13. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.