Skip to main content

Now Closed Emergency Rental Assistance Program Helped More Than 5,000 Polk County Families

Published: March 15, 2024

Bartow, Fla. (March 15, 2024) – Since its July 2021 launch, Polk County’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program helped more than 5,000 families with utility and rent payments. Polk County and its agency partners – Florida Rural Legal Services, the Agricultural and Labor Program, Inc., Heart for Winter Haven and the Salvation Army – distributed $32.7 million to assist people who lost jobs or income during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Polk County officials recently announced that the program is now closed.

“The pandemic impacted everybody,” said Polk County Commissioner Bill Braswell, “and I’m glad the Emergency Rental Assistance Program was able provide some relief to 5,000 families. No one deserves to lose their home because of circumstances beyond their control. This money helped people keep a roof over their heads.”

The distributed funds came courtesy of the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program. To qualify for assistance, residents had to:

• Be experiencing a loss or reduction of income, loss of employment or health-related issues because of COVID.
• Be currently delinquent on rent or utility payments.
• Have a gross household income below 80% of the area median income based on household size.

Decorative blue swish decoration at the bottom of the page, serving as a visual element for design purposes