In an effort to help curb a potential flood of evictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Osceola County is launching a COVID-19 Eviction Diversion Program on Monday.
Funded by Federal CARES Act money, the program is designed to help Osceola County tenants who are in imminent danger of being evicted. It helps prevent the property owner from initiating the eviction process, which will keep the eviction from appearing on the tenant’s permanent record.
“At some point many of our hard-working residents may face potential evictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic. My hope is that this new program will ease some of the mental stress that residents may be experiencing. It will also stop judgments from showing up in the future, harming the ability to find housing later,” said Osceola Commission Chairwoman Viviana Janer. “This program should give renters a chance to get back on their feet, while not punishing landlords by providing a short-term flow of income so they don’t lose their investments.”
Landlords and tenants with pending court action will receive letters from the county. To be considered eligible for the program, both the tenant and the landlord must complete applications. Human Services will send payments directly to the landlord.
The county is working with Chip Tatum and the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando to help market the programs to all the developments over 250 units in Osceola County.
Also launching on Monday is utility assistance to provide funding to residents who have not been able to pay electric or water bills. Participants must be an Osceola County resident, show proof of impact from COVID-19 and have a past due electric, gas or water bill. There is no cap on the amount an applicant is eligible to receive. The program is open only to residential properties.
“The board believes it is extremely important for our residents to not lose power or water during these difficult times. If we are able to help, we are going to help,” said Janer.
The county is opening another round of housing assistance Monday to pay rent or mortgage obligations.
Information all the programs is available at http://housing.osceola.org.
If you have questions regarding the eviction diversion program, please call 407-742-8440 or e-mail
If you have questions regarding the utility assistance program, please call 407-742-8403.