Tampa unveils new fund to pay rent for residents and small businesses

Applications for the fund open at noon on Friday, April 17.

click to enlarge Tampa unveils new fund to pay rent for residents and small businesses
Screengrab via City of Tampa/Facebook

This morning, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor announced the new Relief Now; Rise Together fund, a new grant program to help alleviate rental stress for local residents and small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Broadcasting on Facebook Live at an empty Amalie Arena, Castor said the new fund will be available to any Tampa citizen that meets qualifications and will pay landlords, mortgagors, or TECO on behalf of the recipient.

The fund will provide families up to $1,000 for rent or mortgage, and up to $250 for utilities. The fund also will help small businesses with up to $4,000 for rent/mortgage and up to $1,000 for utilities.

“Know this, we are here for you and that help is on the way,” said Castor during the announcement, “and to everyone in our community: Remember we will get through this together even if it means spending a little time apart.” 

More details on the Relief Now; Rise Together fund can be found at tampaone.org.

“This relief is a grant and does not need to be repaid,” says the website. “It is intended to be a vital financial bridge for those most in need until other state and federal support funds arrive.” 

The fund is calling for donations, and has already pulled in $300,000 from the Tampa Bay Lightning, Buccaneers and Rays.

According to the site, individuals looking for rent assistance must meet the follow qualifications: 

  • Must have documentation reflecting employment as of Feb. 1, 2020.

  • Since February 1, 2020, have experienced a reduction in hours of work or pay by 25% or more as a direct result of the COVID-19 crisis.

  • Must have paid 2018 property taxes in full (if applicable) and have no outstanding open code enforcement issues.

  • At the time of application, annual income must not exceed 80% of Area Median Income (AMI). If you lost your job, your current income is zero. If you are working then your annual income should not exceed the following limits:

  • 1 Person - $39,400

  • 2 Persons - $45,000

  • 3 Persons - $50,650

  • 4 Persons - $56,250

  • 5 Persons - $60,750

  • 6 Persons - $65,250

  • 7 Persons - $69,750

  • 8 Persons - $74,250

Small businesses must meet the following criteria: 

Residents and businesses can apply online or by phone, at 211 and then press 7 to reach the Emergency Relief Hotline. Applications for the fund open at noon on Friday, April 17.

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About The Author

Colin Wolf

Colin Wolf has been working with weekly newspapers since 2007 and has been the Digital Editor for Creative Loafing Tampa since 2019. He is also the Director of Digital Content Strategy for CL's parent company, Euclid Media Group.
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