Melrose at Waters apartments in Tampa, Florida's District 7.
At today's city council meeting, Tampa's Housing and Community Development (HCD) leaders said that it's spent the initial $12 million of the city's Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) funds, which it received from federal money due to the effects of COVID-19. The program helps people in need with both rental and utility assistance.
Between March and September, an overwhelming majority of the ERAP funds went to District 7, which stretches from the North Tampa area to New Tampa. The district saw 1,544 assistance applications and received around half of the funding to the tune of $6,022,356.56
Upon seeing these numbers, Tampa city council chair Orlando Gudes stopped the presentation to ask Luis Viera, who represents District 7 if he could believe these numbers.
"Am I looking at this right?" Gudes asked. "District 7, man that's....Mr. Viera do you see that number sir?"
"My district includes many families that are working family areas, people struggling, etc., and that comes as no surprise whatsoever to me," Viera said.
City of Tampa
Slide describes ERAP funding across Tampa districts.
Second to District 7 was District 5—which covers central and east Tampa and is represented by Gudes— which saw 1,408 ERAP applications and $5,339,136 in funding dispersed.
Although the city has used its initial $12 million in ERAP funding, a second allocation of $9 million is currently being distributed, in a partnership between Tampa and Hillsborough County. HCD said the county helped them in obtaining those funds to assist those who have fallen behind in rent.
So far, the average rental assistance distributed is $3,900. For more information on applying to receive rental and utility assistance, visit the HCD's website at tampa.gov
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