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Neighbors in Gadsden County can receive some rent and utility relief through OUR Florida Programs

County Commissioners team up to support
Posted at 10:20 AM, Apr 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-29 10:22:12-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — "It causes a lot of stress not only on the tenant but on the landlord as well," said Felicia Evans.

According to the U.S. Census, of the estimated 43,714 people living in Gadsden County in 2021, 21.9 percent lived in poverty.

Compared to the 11.4 percent in poverty for for the entire state of Florida.

People in Gadsden County have been battling eviction since before the pandemic.

One landlord here is hoping tenants will have some relief through a program called "Our Florida."

"It's a big impact," said Evans.

Felicia Evans is a mother and landlord.

She has property in Gadsden County and the last few years have made business tough as people have a hard time paying their bills.

"It puts you in a difficult situation of having to juggle okay what do I do ? Do I evict this family or do I give them time," said Evans.

Evan said delayed payment forces landlords to pay unexpected bills in other ways and expenses like the mortgage on their property add up quickly.

"The need is very great in this county," said County Commissioner Ronterious Green.

Commissioner Ronterious Green said he knows rent is high and programs are out their but people aren't utilizing the resources because,

"They don't Google or they don't research or they just don't know and sometimes things are not advertised," said Green.

Now, Green said county leaders are partnering with a group called OUR Florida to bring opportunities into the neighborhoods.

According to OUR Florida's website, it provides renters who qualify help with unpaid rent and utility bills, and supports landlords and utilities on lost revenue.

"So this a change breaker for a lot of people," said Green.

As of April 20, OUR Florida relief has reached more than 215,000 households across Florida and that relief could help people like Evans.

"You know I say this is a blessing for not only you, this is a blessing for me because without you I can't do what I need to do for my family so I am pretty much working for you I wouldn't have what I have" said Evans.

A team effort to keep people in their homes.

Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Gadsden County commissioners and OUR Florida are bringing resources to New Life Ministries of Quincy.

According to OUR Florida you are eligible if:

  • You rent your home.
  • Earn an income at or below 80% of the area's median income.
  • Have qualified for unemployment, experienced a loss of income,incurred significant costs or faced financial hardships due to COVID-19
  • Are at risk of losing your home, or are living in unsafe or unhealthy conditions.