NAPLES — Collier County is expanding its scope to help more residents who are struggling to pay rent, mortgage or utilities, or a combination of those. The County has allocated $7 million of the American Rescue Plan Act funds toward lessening the housing affordability issue.
Qualifications include proof of income between 81% and 140% area median income (AMI), Collier County residency and financial strain during COVID-19. A detailed list of eligibility requirements is provided below.
Each qualified applicant may receive a maximum amount of $25,000 that will be paid directly to the landlord, mortgage or utility provider(s).
Applications will be available online in the coming weeks. Interested individuals can sign up for updates online at CollierFLAssistance.com and clicking on “Sign up for household assistance email alerts.”
The county is also currently accepting Emergency Rental Assistance Program applications from those who need similar assistance and whose income is at or below 80% AMI. Between these two programs, the county is expecting to help more residents experiencing housing instability. Housing instability encompasses many challenges such as struggling to pay rent, living in an overcrowded situation or moving frequently, among others. Apply online at CollierFLAssistance.com.
The County has also entered into agreements with Legal Aid which provides legal services for those facing foreclosure and eviction and HELP which provides financial counseling services. Legal Aid can be reached at (239) 775-4555 and HELP can be reached at (239) 434-2397.
Eligibility requirements include:
• One or more individuals within the household has qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship during or due directly or indirectly to the COVID-19 outbreak.
• One or more individuals within the household must demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability.
• Applicants must be Collier County residents, at least 18 years of age, a legal U.S. resident or eligible non-citizen.
To verify eligibility applicants should be prepared to provide the following documentation:
1. Drivers Licenses / Valid Photo IDs
• All residents ages 18 and older
• Proof of address if drivers’ license doesn’t match lease address
2. Proof of Citizenship/Legal Residency
• For one adult household member
3. Household Income Verification (All household members over 18 years old)
• Household Income Verification (pay stub, tax return etc.)
• All other sources of Income Support
4. Utility Bills
• Electric (FPL or LCEC)
• Internet (Xfinity, Comcast)
5. Same Name Affidavit
• If documents show multiple spellings/names for an individual
6. Landlord Information
• Current signed lease
• Current rent ledger
• Copy of W-9
7. Mortgage Information
• Current mortgage statement
For more information, call Collier County Community and Human Services at (239) 252-CARE (2273) or (239) 450-2114. For media inquiries, call Public Information Coordinator Daniel Christenbury at (239) 252-6956.