Miami Beach’s Rent Relief Fund: What You Need to Know

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

Miami Beach’s Rent Relief Fund: What You Need to Know:

Residents impacted by COVID-19 eligible for assistance

Miami Beach has created a rent relief fund for qualifying residents who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19. At their meeting this week, the Mayor and City Commissioners unanimously voted to make a total of $549,111 available through state and federal funds for residents who have fallen behind in payments as a result of job loss.

The funds will come from three entitlement programs: the Community Development Block Grant Program & CARES Act CDBG-CV, HOME Investment Partnership Program, and State Housing Initiative Partnership (SHIP).

Here’s what you need to know about the application process

When: Starting Monday, May 18, interested residents should call the Office of Housing and Community Services to schedule an appointment. The number is 305.673.7491. There will be 24 appointments scheduled per day.

How it works: Callers will be informed of the required documentation to bring to the appointment. Once an application is completed with all required documentation, it will be reviewed for eligibility. Applicants will be provided with a letter to give to their landlord informing them that an application for rent assistance has been filed with the City of Miami Beach. Once the file is approved, a check will be mailed to the landlord within 7-10 business days.

Click here for a checklist of documents needed to apply for the rental assistance.

Eligibility: The City will provide assistance to households earning no more than 80% AMI (Area Median Income) until funds are exhausted. Further details provided by the City on each program being utilized, including eligibility requirements, are at the end of this article.

City spokeswoman Melissa Berthier said the City estimates 93 to 96 households will be served by the funding.

In terms of amount of assistance, Berthier said, “Depending on the funding source the tenant qualifies for, they are eligible for up to 6 months rent if resources allow.”

“For now, we are providing assistance only to bring tenants current. The average rent is about $1,600 per household per month or $4,800 for a 3-month period and $9,600 for a 6-month period,” Berthier said.

If someone is ineligible for the City’s funds or if funds are exhausted, the City is referring them to the HAND Program (Housing Assistance Network of Dade).

Meanwhile, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has extended the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures in the state to June 2.

For more information on the rent assistance program, see the “Rent Assistance” tab on the City’s dedicated coronavirus page.

More details on eligibility requirements from the City

Community Development Block Grant Program & CARES Act CDBG-CV
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) will enable the city to offer $218,235 in CDBG-CV and CDBG for rent assistance.
This program will provide assistance to qualifying Miami Beach residents earning up to 80% Area Median Income who are in danger of becoming homeless for failing to pay their monthly rent. Under program guidelines, assistance will be payable directly to the landlord upon verification of eligibility and financial position. An estimated 136 households may be assisted with these funds.
  • Must be U.S. citizen or permanent resident;
  • Must be a resident of the City of Miami Beach;
  • Must demonstrate need due to job loss as a result of COVID-19;
  • Household income must me less than 80% area median income (AMI); and
  • Rent must be have been current as of March 2020.
Required Documentation
  • Proof of legal residency;
  • Copy of paystubs for all household members;
  • Copy of most recent unemployment payment, if applicable;
  • Copy of bank statement(s), annuity statements or any other documentation showing personal assets;
  • Notice from employer relating to reduction of work hours/employment/business closure due to COVID-19;
  • Copy of current lease;
  • Proof applicant was current on rent as of March 2020; and
  •  W-9 form completed by landlord.
HOME Investment Partnership Program
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is allowing use of their HOME Investment Partnership (HOME) funds for tenant-based rental assistance (TBRA) to households affected by COVID-19. Funds allocated to TBRA are designated to:1) provide immediate rental assistance to individuals and families seeking housing; 2) assist households that have housing but face reduced or lost wages that jeopardize maintaining their housing; and 3) assist existing TBRA families that need additional assistance due to reduced or lost wages.
The City of Miami Beach TBRA program is designed to provide rental and utility assistance to low-income households earning at or below 60 percent of Area Median Income and experiencing financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants must have experienced job loss or difficulty paying rent or utilities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As per HUD regulations, the majority of households who receive HOME TBRA assistance must be very-low income (earning 60% percent or less of AMI) and no household served may have income in excess of 80% AMI. Funding for this program is $310,369.
Eligibility Requirements
  • Applicants must have U.S. Citizenship, permanent residency or granted legal status;
  • Qualifying utility costs to be paid include: electricity, water and natural gas;
  • Program funds are only available to renters that live or plan to relocate within City limits;
  • Maximum household income must be at or below 80% of Area Median Income;
  • Tenants served must be income-eligible and remain income-eligible while receiving TBRA;
  • TBRA shall be for a maximum of six (6) months, contingent upon tenant(s) remaining eligible and having an active lease; and
  • Rent must have been current as of March 2020.
TBRA Funds May Cover the Cost of the Following
  • Monthly rent;
  • Security deposit in conjunction with rent at the same address;
  • Utility cost in conjunction with rent at the same address; and
  • Utility deposit in conjunction with rent at the same address.
Ineligible Uses of TBRA Funds
The following situations are not eligible uses of TBRA funds:
  • Use of TBRA funds for utility or security deposit without rental assistance.
  • Payment of rental fees for a tenant that is also an owner of the housing unit.
  • Tenants receiving subsidy from public housing or Section 8 program.
  • TBRA funds cannot be used for overnight or temporary shelter for homeless persons.
  • TBRA funds cannot be used to reduce the tenant's rent payment to 30% of income. For example, if the household is already receiving assistance under the Section 8 program, the household may not also receive assistance under a HOME TBRA program.
Landlord Forms
  • Landlords must agree to the execution of a landlord participation agreement. If the landlord terminates the lease with the tenant, the City will suspend all payments until a new lease is executed.
  • Applicants can provide applications and documents on an appointment basis only. Electronic submissions of supporting documents are acceptable, however, client consent and an authorization to collect information must be signed in person to verify identity in conjunction with government-issued identification and Social Security card.
State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP)
The Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC) has approved state entitlement communities to request waivers to reallocate existing funds to be utilized for rental and mortgage assistance/foreclosure prevention to income-eligible households affected by COVID-19. Available funds that the city can commit to rent and mortgage assistance for income-eligible household is $20,506.54.
SHIP funds may be used to provide utility and rental assistance for up to three months to income-eligible households. All applicants must follow income limits and rent limits issued by FHFC. Income certification guidelines follow the same criteria as HOME and CDBG.


Miami Beach Launches Emergency Cultural Arts Fund

Susan Askew
Susan Askew
$1 million allocated to help local cultural institutions impacted by COVID-19 crisis

COVID-19 Assistance Programs

Susan Askew
Susan Askew
Where to get help