Miami, Fla. – Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties are offering rental and home buying assistance for people struggling to pay rent and facing eviction, and those seeking to purchase their ﬁrst houses.
Financial institutions have collaborated with Miami-Dade and area cities to offer assistance to ﬁrst-time home buyers who are experiencing economic hardship with down payments on single-family homes, townhouses and condos with zero interest on home loans on property purchases up to $352,000.
Palm Beach County is offering ﬁnancial assistance for low-income residents who are struggling to pay their rent or on the brink of eviction.
The county was granted an additional $12.5 million in reallocated funds from the federal government’s American Rescue Plan to help with the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s the largest single fund allocation from the plan in the state.
The threshold to qualify for assistance is less than $73,000 for a household family and less than $51,000 for single residents.
Returning and new applicants can receive up to 12 months of assistance plus three additional months if needed.
The Community Services Department is handling the rental assistance program. “This new allocation of funds will allow us to provide those supports needed for families a little bit longer,” department director James Green said. “If you’ve experienced some type of hardship that has caused you to lose income and now you’re behind on your rent or your utilities, then you can visit rentalassistancepbc.org and apply.”
Green said since the start of the pandemic, the Community Services Department has spent $135 Million in American Rescue Plan dollars and processed more than 29,000 applications.
“These dollars are there to help them through these troublesome times and we want to be there to assist where we can,” Green said.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava is spearheading efforts to provide affordable housing to low-income residents throughout the county.
The law enforcement community and teachers who can’t afford to buy homes are also eligible under the county’s ﬁrst home buyer program.
In a partnership with ﬁnancial institutions including Bank of America, Chase Bank and OneUnited Bank, the county’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program will temporarily pay up to $3,000 a month for people who are behind on their rent for one year.
Residents with an income below 80 percent of the county’s annual median income are eligible, including those making between $20,500 and $95,620 and families of four earning between $78,000 and $136,500.
Homeless people who were evicted or people facing eviction may qualify for the rental assistance and mortgage program with rent, a security deposit for rental facilities, mortgage, utility bills and food and water.
They could receive between $1,000 and $1,500 in mortgage assistance.
The City of Miami is offering struggling potential ﬁrst time home buyers a program that assists with down payments on single-family homes, townhomes and condos in the city.
According to the city, those who qualify will be eligible for zero interest on home loans for property purchases of up to $352,000, but not have owned a home in the last three years, and have a household income of up 80 percent of the city’s median income.
The program will provide up to $12,500 in down payment assistance or in a no interest loan. The loan could be forgiven within 10 years of the homebuyer living in the home.
In return buyers must spend at least $500 of their own money for a down payment or closing costs and attend a workshop on homeownership.
Chase Bank, Bank of America and OneUnited Bank, America’s largest Black-owned bank, are also part of the affordable housing programs.
Chase Bank is offering $5,000 to assist people with closing costs and down payments when purchasing homes in predominantly Black, Latino and Hispanic neighborhoods, and a $2,5000 homebuyer grant to qualiﬁed homebuyers in low-to-moderate income communities.
Bank of America launched a pilot program to help potential homebuyers purchase homes in Miami-Dade County.
The program offers mortgages with zero down payment and zero closing costs to assist ﬁrst-time homebuyers in designated Black and brown U.S. markets including Miami.
OneUnited Bank is covering credit report or appraisal fees for eligible individuals reﬁnancing or buying a primary residence. Its Fannie Mae program allows potential homebuyers to use 12 months of consecutive rent payments as a way of qualifying for a home loan.
Cava said the county’s commitment to invest over $500 million for new affordable housing and ﬁnancial partners’ assistance to get residents their own homes is moving along well.
“Our budget invests over $500 million to build new housing people can afford, create more pathways to homeownership, and provide immediate relief to struggling residents including renters and homeowners,” she said. “At the same time, the budget makes critical investments in enhancing public safety, expanding transit, protecting the environment and reducing our carbon footprint, and more, to build a stronger, safer, and more resilient Miami-Dade.”
For more information on emergency rental and mortgage assistance and first-time home buyer programs, visit:
• miamidade.gov/emergencyrentalassistance or call 305-723-1815
• miamigov.com/Housing-AssistanceRecovery/Homes-Ownership/Apply-for- First-Time-Homebuyer-Assistance or call 305-416-2080.
• oneunited.com/loans/home-loans or call 305-696-0700.