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Escambia Cares Rent and Mortgage Assistance Grant Program FAQs

How do I apply for the program?

This application period is currently closed. Applications will be available online at: www.myescambia.com/CARES if the application window re-opens. 

Is assistance to mobile/manufactured homes permitted?

Yes. An inspection may be required on pre-1994 homes to verify that the property is not sub-standard and habitable.

How will payments be processed?

Payments will be made directly to the landlord, mortgage company, or utility company.

What utilities are eligible?

Water, Sewer, Trash, Propane (for heating, cooking, and hot water), Electricity, and Gas payments are eligible.

Are property taxes or insurance eligible?

Homeowner’s insurance is eligible as part of the mortgage escrow. Property taxes being collected as part of a mortgage escrow would be eligible in the case of delinquent mortgages (past due 30 days or more).  If the mortgage is not delinquent, the amount of assistance provided will be the mortgage amount owed less the escrowed property taxes.

When is a mortgage considered delinquent? 

A mortgage is considered delinquent when it is past due by 30 days or more.

When determining income, will the county look at pre-COVID income or my current income?         

The county will calculate income eligibility based on current income.

What if I don’t have a current lease?
Rent can only be paid for months where there is a valid lease agreement.

Are late fees from landlords eligible?
Yes.

I don’t think I will be able to pay next month’s rent. Can you pay that rent in advance?
Rental assistance cannot be provided in advance but can be provided for rent once it’s due.

My utility bill is in someone else’s name. Can the county pay this?
Utilities should be in applicant’s name or another member of the household. Assistance may be able to be provided if additional documentation is provided to substantiate that the applicant is residing at the address on the bill.  Staff will contact you to request additional documentation if needed.

My utility bill is in my landlord’s name. Can the county pay this?
No. Funds will not be approved to pay for utilities in the landlord’s name.

I need assistance with utilities only. Can you provide assistance?
The funding is intended for foreclosure and eviction prevention. Utility assistance can only be provided in conjunction with mortgage or rent assistance. Utility assistance can be provided if your lease specifically requires maintenance of utilities and could be a cause for eviction. If you need utility assistance ONLY, please call 2-1-1 for referrals for utility assistance.

Can you pay past due rent for a location where I no longer live?
No

How do I know if my household qualifies as “Special Needs”?
This information is being collected for reporting purposes only. Special Needs is defined in F.S. 420.0004 (13) as an adult requiring independent living services in order to maintain housing or develop independent living skills and who has a disabling condition; a young adult formerly in foster care who is eligible for services under F.S. 409.1451(5); a survivor of domestic violence as defined in F.S. 741.28; or a person receiving benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program or the supplemental Security Income (SSI) program or from veterans’ disability benefits.

Can you pay past due rent or mortgage payments from January or February?
Only rent or mortgage bills from March 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 are eligible under this program.

Are HOA fees eligible?
Yes

I have a “contract for deed” arrangement? Can the county provide mortgage assistance?
Yes

I do not have a social security card for my minor children. Can I submit some other form of identification?
A copy of the birth certificate for minor children will be acceptable.

Do I need to submit my homestead exemption application for mortgage assistance?
No. Staff will pull homestead information and your deed to document primary ownership of your residence if you are applying for mortgage assistance.

Can I see a preview of the online application to know how to prepare?
Yes, please see these instructions.

How will I know the county has successfully received my application?
You will receive a confirmation message on your screen once you have completely submitted your successful application online. You will not receive an e-mail with this confirmation. If you are having trouble completing your application via phone, try re-submitting using the "small" file size option from your phone when uploading documents.

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