Some residents in Miami most in need of assistance with paying their rent during the coronavirus pandemic will likely get a helping hand.
Mayor Francis Suarez, along with nearly all city commissioners, announced Thursday a $1.3 million donation from the Local Housing Assistance Program to help with rental assistance in the city.
Commissioners were scheduled to vote on whether to approve the donation at a meeting later in the day.
An additional $306,000 allocated for a separate project sponsored by commission vice-chair Ken Russell will also be moved to help with rental assistance, Suarez announced.
“This is for the residents in the community who need assistance to make it another day,” commission chairman Keon Hardemon said. “We know in the city of Miami that you are hurting.”
The donation is intended to help with mortgage assistance and rental help at a time where a growing number of residents are out of work.
“Our city is hurting. Beyond the physical suffering, there is an economic suffering our city is going through,” Russell said.
Despite the current moratorium, between March 1st and June 30th 1,533 eviction cases have been filed according to the Miami-Dade Clerk of Courts. For this same time period, the Broward County Clerk of Courts says 1,646 evictions have been filed.
When the state’s current moratorium on evictions and foreclosures is lifted in just over a week, some housing advocates say a crisis could be next.
“The eviction moratorium will run out and we’re going to see a crisis we have never seen. This will help us,” Russell said.
Officials say more is needed.
"We're going to make sure that these funds go to those people that right now are on the verge of being evicted," Commissioner Manolo Reyes said. "The only message I want to send to the state and federal government is send some more because Miami is really hurting.