The Florida rental assistance program "OUR Florida" was designed to help low-income renters who are struggling to make ends meet. However, after an abrupt closure announcement, many renters who were approved for help but did not receive the promised funds are facing eviction.
The Our Florida rental assistance program claims that they have distributed more than $1 billion in federal funds to low-income tenants who needed help paying their rent.
With the recent rise in Florida rental rates, programs like this can mean the difference between being housed or becoming homeless.
However, numerous Florida renters have come forward recently to report that they did not receive any of the money they were promised via the OUR Florida rental assistance program and are now facing eviction.
For example, we recently covered the story of Natasha Miller, a single mother who applied for funds through the OUR Florida program and was approved for four months of assistance. At first, she was relieved. But when the program failed to actually send the funds to her landlord, she began to panic.
Miller persistently called and tried to make an appointment to speak with a program caseworker. Unfortunately, she was told that they were "booked up through May." However, now the program is closing down, so the chances of getting anyone to help are slim.
Kiasha Taylor, a mom of three living in Daytona Beach, shared a similar story with local reporters. After a series of hardships, including taking time off work to care for her children at home after they contracted COVID-19, Taylor applied for rental assistance and was approved.
According to Taylor, OUR Florida was supposed to send $2,873 to her landlord, but the money never arrived. Now, Taylor is three months behind on her rent and facing eviction if she can't come up with the funds soon.
On May 10, 2022, the Department of Children and Family Services announced that the OUR Florida rental assistance program would be shutting down for good on May 27, 2022.
However, many renters like Taylor and Miller who were approved for funding and relied on OUR Florida's statements that the "funds are coming" are concerned that they may never get the assistance they were promised once the program shuts down.