COVID-19 Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance Grant Program Guide Download Program Guide (PDF)
This program is only available for existing residents of the City of Port St. Lucie.
The COVID-19 Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance Grant Program provides assistance to eligible residents of the City of Port St. Lucie who have experienced loss of income, reduction in hours, or unemployment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic only. Assistance will only be provided for rents or mortgage payments past due beginning on April 1, 2020 and onward. Eligible applicants must be able to continue to make rental and mortgage payments and meet basic needs once assistance is provided. Applicants seeking mortgage assistance must first attempt to receive assistance in the form of forbearance from their lending institution before applying for the City of Port St. Lucie’s COVID-19 Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance Grant. This program is not designed to assist those who were not financially impacted by COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance Grant Program is implemented by the City of Port St. Lucie Neighborhood Services Department (NSD) and the City’s Program Administrator. Staff encourages you to carefully review the eligibility requirements in this document to obtain a clear understanding of program participation. All grant payments will be made directly to the landlord or lending institution (grants will not be paid to applicants).
Should you desire to apply for the program, please complete and submit the application provided to you in accordance with the instructions outlined below and in the application.
1. Review the Program Guide and Eligibility Requirements in pages 3-5 of this document.
2. Beginning May 18, 2020 at 8 a.m., complete and submit the mandatory Pre-Qualification Questionnaire online. The Pre-Qualification Questionnaire is a mandatory step. This questionnaire will be available on the City of Port St. Lucie’s website at www.cityofpsl.com/communityservices. If you have any difficulty accessing the questionnaire, please contact the City of Port St. Lucie’s 1PSL line at (772) 871-1775. A 1PSL Navigator will help you locate the questionnaire. If you have any issues accessing our website online, we will provide accommodation and help get your questionnaire submitted over the telephone.
3. Complete the application provided to you upon completion of the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire online, beginning with Section I - Applicant and Household Information. The application will be made available to applicant(s) who have completed the pre-qualification questionnaire by email. If you do not have an email address or access to Internet, copies of the application can be retrieved from the City’s Program Administrator. Please call for hours of availability.
4. Retrieve and attach copies of all requested and applicable supporting documentation listed in Section II - Required Documents of the application. Only copies of the documents are required. Documents proving applicant(s) financial and housing situations must be provided. More information about supporting documentation will be in the application and on the City’s website in the question and answer section of COVID-19 Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance Grant Program at www.cityofpsl.com/communityservices.
5. Submit completed applications and provide all supporting documentation. Completed applications will only be accepted by one of the following three (3) methods:
- By email to: Program Administrator (Information to be provided). All emailed applications and supporting documentation must write “COVID-19 Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance Grant Program” in the subject line of the email. This email address should only be used to submit applications and supporting documentation.
- In person at: Offices of the City’s Program Administrator (Information to be provided). All applications and supporting documentation delivered to the City’s Program Administrator in person must call the office and ensure they are open. Applicant(s) must confirm the time of the drop-off with staff and follow any and all necessary directions and safety precautions put in place by the organization in regard to entering their premises. These directions and safety precautions are subject to change based on developments regarding the COVID-19 emergency situation. You must call in advance before dropping off your application and supporting documentation to hear the latest information and confirm your drop-off time.
- By mail to: Program Administrator (Information to be provided). All mailed applications and supporting documentation must be enclosed in plain sealed envelopes marked “COVID-19 Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance Grant Program” and addressed to the location identified above.
Program Guide and Eligibility Requirements
The COVID-19 Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance Grant Program was created to assist eligible residents of the City of Port St. Lucie with temporary rental or mortgage assistance in order to avoid displacement due to loss of income, reduction in hours, or unemployment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic only. The assistance is limited to a one-time payment equal to a maximum of 2 months’ rent or 2 months’ mortgage payments in an amount not to exceed $3,000. All grant payments will be made directly to the landlord or lending institution (grants will not be paid to applicants). This program assistance is not intended to provide long-term support for program participants, and it is not intended to provide all supportive service needs of households that affect housing stability.
The City may utilize different funds or other sources of funding to conduct activities associated with the COVID-19 Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance Grant Program. The rules and regulations associated with Sections 420.9071-420.9079 F.S. chapter 67-37 F.A.C. will govern the use of such funds; when applicable.
Form of Assistance
Assistance is in the form of a one-time grant not to exceed $3,000 per household. The assistance is limited to a one-time payment equal to a maximum of 2 months’ rent or 2 months’ mortgage payments. Assistance will only be provided for rental or mortgage payments past due beginning April 1, 2020 and onward. First priority will be given to applicants experiencing a total loss of income. Applicants experiencing a partial loss of income will be eligible for assistance based on a percentage of loss and availability of funds.
This program is for current residents of the City of Port St. Lucie and all applicants must comply with the following requirements:
- Applicant(s) must reside within the City limits of the City of Port St. Lucie. Residency within the City of Port St. Lucie must be full-time as of April 1, 2020 and be current at the time of application.
- Applicant(s) must apply for unemployment benefits, if they qualify. Applicant(s) must be able to provide proof of their unemployment benefit application outcome or proof of not qualifying for unemployment with supporting documentation.
- Applicant(s) must have documentable information to evidence loss of income, reduction in hours or unemployment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that contributed to the missed payments.
- Applicant(s) or household members must not have received any other financial assistance for mortgage or rent for the time frame that assistance is requested.
- The driver’s licenses/state issued identification of all household members 18 or over must match the address of the property on the lease or mortgage statement.
- Applicant(s) or household members must not have liquid assets that exceed two (2) months of the household’s monthly housing expenses.
- Applicant(s) must not have received any rental or mortgage assistance from any other organizations on or after April 1, 2020.
- Applicant(s) must not have any liquid assets in the excess of $5,000 available to them on at time of application.
- Applicant(s) must meet gross monthly income limits per the number of people in the household not exceeding the monthly 80% Area Median Income (AMI) limits established for the jurisdiction of St. Lucie County (see chart below). For the purposes of this grant program current household income as a result of the COVID-19 emergency situation will be calculated. Household income must not exceed the monthly income limits (adjusted for family size) as follows:
State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Income Guidelines
Income Limits Effective 4/14/2020 and subject to change. Maximum Income Limit Adjusted for Household Size.
|NUMBER OF PEOPLE
The applicable income limits for determining program eligibility are published by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation and are updated annually. The applicant’s gross monthly household income (for the purpose of determining program eligibility) shall be calculated according to the HUD regulations identified in the Code of Federal Regulations at 24 CFR, Part 5. Income includes gross wages, income from assets, retirement, social security, disability, unemployment and any other resources or benefits received by household members age 18 and older.
Warning: Florida Statute 817 provides that willful false statements or misrepresentation concerning income and assets or liabilities relating to financial condition is a misdemeanor of the first degree and is punishable by fines and imprisonment provided under S77.082 or 772.083. Section 1001 of Title 19 of the U.S. code makes it a criminal offense to make willful false statements or misrepresentation to any department or agency of the United States as to any matter within the jurisdiction. False information may result in civil liability, and/or in criminal penalties including, but not limited to, fine or imprisonment or both.
- Applicant(s) must have a lease in their name.
- Properties owned by an immediate family member of applicant(s) (parents, stepparent, children, siblings or grandparents).
- Applicant(s) applying for mortgage assistance must own and occupy the property as their primary residence (proof that the property is the applicant(s) primary residence must be provided (for example proof of a Homestead Exemption or bills in the applicant(s) name).
- The property must not be in foreclosure or listed for sale.
- Applicant(s) must provide documentable proof that they have been denied forbearance from their lending institution in order to be eligible for the City’s grant program.
- Applicant(s) who have received forbearance on their mortgage will not be eligible to apply for the City’s grant program.
- Eligible properties must be located within the limits of the City of Port St. Lucie.
- Hotel and motel addresses will not be eligible for this program.
- All landlords or mortgage companies receiving funds under the program must complete a W9 for tax purposes and to be able to receive the grant payment.
- All grant payments awarded will only be paid to landlords or lending institutions directly.
Availability of Funds
Applications will be processed on a first-come, first ready basis. All applicants must meet program eligibility criteria. First priority will be given to applicants experiencing a total loss of income.
Applicants experiencing a partial loss of income will be eligible for assistance based on a percentage of loss and availability of funds.
Only completed applications, which consist of submittal of all applicable supporting documentation in order to prove eligibility, will be accepted. No exceptions will be made. If the application is not complete, the application will not be eligible for processing. The number of applications that will be processed and the number of applicants that will receive a grant are subject to the availability of funds. When funding has lapsed, the City of Port St. Lucie will announce the closure of the program on its website at www.cityofpsl.com/communityservices.
If you have any questions about any of the information in this Program Guide you may contact the City of Port St. Lucie by email at COVIDgrant@cityofpsl.com or by telephone at the City of Port St. Lucie’s 1PSL line at (772) 871-1775.
The City reserves the right to alter, cancel or discontinue this program. In the event that an applicant is denied funding, that determination is final and there is no appeals process. It is important to note that the financial information required by this program may be subject to public inspection or disclosure as required by federal, state or local law, including the Florida Public Records Act.
Financial institutions, banks, lenders, landlords, publicly traded companies, nonprofits, elected and appointed officials, and City employees are not eligible for this program.
All applicants submitting applications agree to the terms herein.
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