Sumter County CARES Act Housing Assistance Grant

Program Information

The Sumter County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) is providing funding for renters and homeowners who have been directly affected by COVID-19.  The CARES Act Funds will be distributed by Florida Housing Finance Corporation and expended only for the purpose authorized by the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) Subrecipient Agreement. 

Sumter County received a Housing Assistance Grant allocation of $309,029 in July 2020 to assist homeowners and renters, who have been affected by COVID-19, pay past-due mortgage, rent, and utility payments. Assistance will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis using an online application and document submission process.  The application period will end on December 4, 2020.  On September 22, 2020, the Board of Sumter County Commissioners approved an amendment to receive the second allocation of $103,875.  All funds must be expended by December 30, 2020.

All households assisted must be at or below 120% of the area median income for Sumter County, Florida. The rent limits, as established by Florida Housing Finance Corporation, will be used for all rental units.  To obtain income & rent guidelines for Sumter County visit here.  

All payments will be paid directly to the property owner (landlord), utility company, or mortgage holder.  

CRF funds are awarded on behalf of the eligible person/s in the form of a grant, with no repayments required.  Recipients of CRF funds will be eligible one time only.

The property must be located in Sumter County.  The residence must be considered a safe, decent, and sanitary residential unit that meets the standards of the Florida Housing Code adopted under Chapter 553, Florida Statutes.  Applicants who reside in manufactured housing constructed before June 1994 must submit pictures of the structure for the local government to review and determine that the home is not substandard.   

General Process

On August 10, 2020 Sumter County created an application which will be processed through the BOCC/housing webpage at the links below.

Staff will receive applications through the website portal, verify eligibility, review supporting documentation, and contact the applicant.  

Staff will contact the applicant within 14 days of receiving the application, discuss if issues were noted on the application, and thereafter provide notice of approval or denial of the application for assistance.  

Application for Program Assistance

1.    The number of people residing in the household, including name, age, relationship to head of household, current address, and phone number.

2.    Name and address of employer(s), work phone number(s), position title, and the number of years on the job with the employer.

3.    All sources of annual income, including earned, unearned, and asset income, and a statement signed by all of the adults who reside in the household consenting to the disclosure of information for the purpose of verifying income and assets for determining income eligibility for program assistance.

4.    Attachment: six months bank statements for all checking and savings accounts.

5.    Attestation indicating that the applicant understands that all information provided is subject to Florida’s public records laws.  

6.    Attestation that all information provided is true and correct and acknowledgement that it is a first-degree misdemeanor to falsify information for obtaining assistance. 

7.    Verification of hardship.  The application must provide documentation, which clearly shows the household was directly affected by COVID-19. Eligible reasons may include loss of employment, displacement, business closure that caused job loss, sudden medical expenses due to COVID-19, or death in the immediate family.

Eligibility Rental Assistance – Eviction Prevention

Funds will be awarded to eligible renter households that require assistance to pay past due rent and late fees.  Assistance will be provided one-time only.  

Rental amount not to exceed $1,500 per month nor to exceed six months of rent.  The maximum award for a household is $9,000. Partial payments will not be made.

Utility payments not to exceed $800 per month nor to exceed six months of payments.  The maximum award for a household is $4,800. Partial payments will not be made.

The landlord must provide documentation that they are the property owner, property taxes are current, submit a W-9 form, and sign a statement that the property is eligible housing as described in program information.

No Sumter County code compliance cases can be active on any properties. 

The applicant must provide a lease.  The applicant must provide a written statement from the property owner (landlord), which stated the number of months in arrearage, the total amount due with late fees, name, address, and phone.  The delinquency cannot be before March 2020.  

Application Attachments:

Lease

W-9 and a written statement from the landlord

Proof of ownership and property tax record from the landlord

Current utility statement

Proof of all income & assets

Six months banks statements for checking and saving accounts

Verification of hardship

Rental Assistance - Apply Here

Mortgage Assistance – Foreclosure Prevention

Funds will be awarded to homesteaded homeowners with a delinquent mortgage, not under an active foreclosure action.  The home must be used as the applicant’s primary residence.  

Mortgage amount not to exceed $1,500 per month, nor to exceed six months of payments.  The maximum award for a household is $9,000.

Utility payments not to exceed $800 per month, nor to exceed six months of payments.  The maximum award for a household is $4,800.

Payments will only be made on first mortgages.  If the property has more than one mortgage, the applicant must provide documentation that all other mortgages are current before the county issuing payment to the first lender.  

All property taxes must be current.

No Sumter County code compliance cases can be active on any properties. 

Proof of homeowner's insurance, property ownership, and homestead required.

The applicant must provide a current mortgage statement.  The mortgage payment cannot be delinquent before March 2020.  

Application Attachments:

Current mortgage statement

W-9 from the mortgage holder

Proof of homeowners insurance, property ownership, and homestead

Current utility statement

Proof of all income & assets

Six months banks statements for checking and saving accounts

Verification of hardship

Mortgage Assistance - Apply Here