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Polk County Government Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) has been approved by the Polk County Board of County Commissioners, with $17 million in funding from the federal Emergency Rental Assistance program. Up to $12,000 in assistance can be provided. The program will pay directly to landlords, property management and utility companies on behalf of qualifying Polk County residents. Only one household per address. For consideration, a tenant must be delinquent on rent or utilities at the time of application.

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For more information, email, view our frequently asked questions, or contact the call center at (863) 345-2600. The call center is open from 9 a.m. to noon.

Eligibility requirements

An "eligible household" is defined as a renter household in which at least one or more individuals meets the following criteria:

  • A current resident of Polk County
  • Qualifies for unemployment due to COVID‐19, has experienced a reduction in household income due to COVID‐19, or has incurred significant costs due to COVID‐19 or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID‐19
  • Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability (including eviction notice, utility shutoff notice, past due rent notice, past due utility notice, or any other evidence of unsafe or unhealthy living conditions or housing stability)
  • Priority will be given to tenant(s) with income less than 50 percent of the area median income and unemployed for 90 days
  • Has a household income at or below 80% of the Area Median Income
Household Size Monthly Gross Income Annual Gross Income
1 $2,879 $34,550
2 $3,291 $39,500
3 $3,704 $44,450
4 $4,112 $49,350
5 $4,441 $53,300
6 $4,770 $57,250
7 $5,100 $61,200
8 $5,429 $65,150

Eligible expenses

  • Rent
  • Rental arrears, including contracted late fees
  • Utility arrears (includes electricity, gas, and water)

Level of assistance

  • Eligible households may receive up to 12 months of assistance (from April 1, 2020), plus an additional 3 months if the applicant is able to demonstrate that the extra months are needed to ensure housing stability and funds are available.
  • Assistance will be provided to reduce an eligible household’s rental arrears before the applicant will be evaluated for its eligibility for assistance for future rent payments.
  • Applicants will be required to provide documentation to support their eligibility for assistance.

Payment method

  • Funds will be paid directly to landlords and utility service providers who agree to participate in ERAP.

Required documents

  • Florida Driver License for applicant and co-applicant
  • Documented income hardship (qualify for unemployment benefits or significant reduction income or increase in expenses due to COVID-19)
  • Delinquent statement for rent and utilities
  • Current lease or rental statement in applicant’s/co-applicant’s name
  • Most recent paystub, unemployment letter, or 2020 Tax Returns
  • W-9 form from your landlord or property manager

No duplication of benefits

  • Assistance provided for an eligible household may not duplicate any other assistance, including federal, state, and local assistance provided for the same costs or same months.
  • An eligible household that occupies a federally subsidized residential or mixed‐use property may receive assistance, if funds are not applied to costs that have been or will be reimbursed under any other federal assistance.