Tampa has used $12 million of its emergency rental funding, with half going to District 7

An majority of the assistance also went to District 5 in East Tampa.

click to enlarge Melrose at Waters apartments in Tampa, Florida's District 7. - Google Maps
Google Maps
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.
click to enlarge Slide describes ERAP funding across Tampa districts. - City of Tampa
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.

Send anonymous news tips to [email protected]. Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team works tirelessly to bring you news on how coronavirus is affecting Tampa and surrounding areas. Please consider making a one time or monthly donation to help support our staff. Every little bit helps. Subscribe to our newsletter and follow @cl_tampabay on Twitter.

About The Author

Justin Garcia

Justin Garcia previously wrote for the USA Today Network, The Economic Hardship Reporting Project, Scalawag Magazine, and various other news outlets. When he's not writing, Justin likes to make music, read, play basketball and spend time with loved ones. 

Scroll to read more Tampa Bay News articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]