Shelter is one of life’s basic necessities, and for many it’s difficult to pay for during the COVID-19 pandemic. So Miami-Dade County is stepping up.
Early Tuesday morning, county residents started lining up to take advantage of the county’s emergency rental assistance program.
“I’ve been here since 4:30 this morning,” said Arlene Martinez.
She joined dozens of people in line at the location in Miami’s Allapattah neighborhood.
"I have bronchitis and asthma, so I had to go to the doctor yesterday and they put me out of work now until the 30th again until I go to a pulmonologist, so I have to wait,” she said.
The payment is a one-time benefit to assist with one month’s rent.
It’s designed to specifically accommodate families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants must provide proof of their hardship, like a termination letter or unemployment documents.
Calvin Jackson recently lost his job at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood international Airport.
“Everybody’s going through the coronavirus, can’t pay the rent, I ain’t been working in the last four or five months,” he said. “Hopefully we can make something happen.“
County workers handed out applications at four locations.
Paperwork can also be submitted online.
$10 million has been earmarked for the rent relief fund and county officials are anticipating demand will be far more than the funds available.
The application process closes Friday.