Flagler County Coronavirus Relief Fund Rent, Mortgage & Utility Assistance Program

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

 

download all FAQ here

Q: Where is this money coming from?

Q: What types of assistance are available?

Q: (For Palm Coast residents only) My city has a program to help residents pay water bills. Can I apply for that program as well as this one?

Q: What if I have overdue bills from before March 1, 2020?

Q: Can I receive assistance with my utility bills even if I am not requesting assistance with my rent or mortgage?

Q: When does the application process end?

Q: How do I apply for the Coronavirus Relief Fund Assistance Program?

Q: What documents do I need in order to apply?

Q:  Can I upload photos of my required documents?

Q: What if the physical address on my identification documents does not match the address for which I am applying for assistance?

Q: May multiple individuals in my household apply for assistance?

Q: How will I know my application has been successfully submitted?

Q: What if I don't receive or I delete my confirmation information?

Q: May I edit my documents after I submit my application?

Q: What if my application is incomplete when I submit it?

Q: Where can I check the status of my application?

Q: If my application is approved, will I get a notification?

Q: Section 6A of the Itemized Instructions on the application mentions that I may be required to pay money to the County. What does this mean?

Q: May I still receive assistance if I do not sign the eligibility release forms?

Q: Am I required to have a co-applicant, or can I leave those sections blank?

Q: Should I leave the witness signature line of the “Commission on Homelessness for Volusia and Flagler Counties CLIENT CONSENT FOR HMIS DATA SHARING” blank, or should I have someone witness for me when I sign?

Q: Do I need to complete the FPL authorization for release if I am not requesting assistance for an FPL bill?

Q: What are the eligibility criteria?

Q: What constitutes a hardship related to COVID-19?

Q: Can I still qualify for assistance if not all the members of my household have been negatively impacted by COVID-19?

Q: How do I know if my income falls within a qualifying range?

Q: What is the approval process?

Q: Will certain residents be prioritized?

Q: How much money will I receive?

Q: How long will it take for the payment to be made?

Q: Will I receive the payment directly?

Q: Do I have to pay back the money?

Q: (For mortgage assistance only) The payment made excluded some or all of my property tax expenses. Is this correct?

Q: Who can I contact if I have more specific questions not answered here?           

 

Q: Where is this money coming from?

A: The funds for the Coronavirus Relief Fund Assistance Program are part of Flagler County’s Federal CARES Act funding. The money is distributed by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation to local communities’ SHIP programs to prevent evictions and foreclosures that may result from hardships relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.  back to list

 

Q: What types of assistance are available?

            A: Pending individual qualification for each type of assistance, applicants may receive assistance with current and overdue rent payments, current and overdue mortgage payments, and overdue utility payments (electric, water, and gas). Households which are approved to receive mortgage assistance will also receive foreclosure counseling. Households currently experiencing homelessness can qualify for housing reentry assistance and do not have to prove COVID-19 impact.  back to list

 

Q: (For Palm Coast residents only) My city has a program to help residents pay water bills. Can I apply for that program as well as this one?

            A: Applicants cannot qualify for utility assistance for their water bill from this program if they have already received assistance from the city of Palm Coast for the same bill. In the event that an applicant cannot receive assistance from the city of Palm Coast for their water bill, this program may consider their utility assistance application and award assistance if they are deemed eligible.  back to list

 

Q: What if I have overdue bills from before March 1, 2020?

            A: The Coronavirus Relief Fund Assistance Program is designed to prevent evictions and foreclosures that may result from hardships relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, which began on March 1, 2020. This means that the Coronavirus Relief Fund money can only be spent on charges incurred after March 1, 2020.  back to list

 

Q: Can I receive assistance with my utility bills even if I am not requesting assistance with my rent or mortgage?

            A: The main goal of this program is to prevent eviction and keep Flagler County residents stably housed. As a result, any utility payments that do not meet this goal are not eligible. This means that, if only paying for utilities will not protect the applicant from eviction, then that payment is not eligible. Additionally, if the applicant is behind on utility payments but is not in danger of these services being discontinued, then that payment is also not eligible.  back to list

 

Q: When does the application process end?

            A: All funds must be expended no later than December 30, 2020. The application process will end on December 1 or when all the funds are exhausted, whichever comes first.  back to list

 How to Apply

 Q: How do I apply for the Coronavirus Relief Fund Assistance Program?

            A: There are two ways to apply, via an online application (recommended, fastest) or via a paper application.  back to list

 

Online Application (fastest method)

Visit www.flaglercares.org/help.htm  and complete the request form to initiate the application process.  You will receive an email with instructions for completing the application online (make sure you check your email regularly).  Emails will come from Flagler Cares (echosign@echosign.com) and help@flaglercares.org.  back to list

 

Paper Application

Paper applications can be downloaded and printed from here or picked up from 2561 Moody Boulevard, Suite 206, Flagler Beach, FL 32136.

 

To complete the paper application:

1.     Read the instructions for this application.

2.      Please type or use BLUE or BLACK ink. Do not use pencil or other colors of ink. Please write legibly. All blanks must be completed or have N/A written in.

3.     All household members 18 years of age or older must sign and date the application.

4.     Submit application with ALL of the required documentation to: 

  • Email help@flaglercares.org

  • Fax:  386-463-1030

  • Mail:  2561 Moody Boulevard, Suite 206, Flagler Beach, FL 32136

  • Drop off:  Completed applications can be submitted in person between 10:30 and 2:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday at 2561 Moody Boulevard, Suite 206, Flagler Beach, FL 32136  back to list

5.     If you need special accommodations to complete an application, please call 386-569-3314 or email help@flaglercares.org for assistance.

 

Q: What documents do I need in order to apply?

            A: Applicants will need to have a fully completed and signed application which includes information from all members of the household and additional information from all adults in the household, as well as all the following documents:

  • For adults, a copy of their government issued photo ID.  Photo IDs for applicant and co-applicant MUST match the home address.

  • For children, some form of identification, like a birth certificate or social security card

  • For mortgage assistance, a full mortgage statement, proof of homestead (printout from Flaglerpa.com acceptable), and 2 complete monthly statements for all bank accounts

  • For rental assistance, complete signed lease, contact information for landlord, and landlord’s W-9 IRS form

  • For utility assistance, full copy of all past due bills related to assistance request (online printouts of account balance are NOT acceptable)

Important things for the applicant to remember about the documents submitted:

  • Mortgage statements must be fully legible and complete, including all pages of the statement even if they are blank

  • Leases must be current, fully executed, including every page (front and back, even blank pages), and signed by both the tenant and the landlord to be acceptable

  • Applications for utility assistance must include full, legible copies of utility bills and the name on the bill must match the applicant’s name; printouts or screenshots of the applicant’s account or amount due will not be accepted

  • All included documents must be legible and will not be accepted if program administrators cannot read them

  • If applicants need assistance with printing or scanning documents, the Palm Coast and Bunnell public libraries provide those services for a small fee; information about how to utilize those services can be found here

  • Some churches also provide printing and/or scanning services; applicants should check with their local churches if they need printing/scanning assistance  back to list

 

Q: Can I upload photos of my required documents?

            A: We recommend that applicants who don’t have access to a printer/scanner download one of many free phone apps that allow you to convent a photo into a PDF. One free app that does this is called Camscanner. Applicants should remember that applications can be denied if additional documentation is too difficult to read, so using an app like this to convert a photo into a PDF is strongly encouraged.

 

Q: What if the physical address on my identification documents does not match the address for which I am applying for assistance?

            A: The address for which assistance is being provided and the address on an applicant and co-applicant’s identifying documents must match. If they do not, the applicant can apply for a change of address online here: https://services.flhsmv.gov/VirtualOffice/. The applicant can then provide documentation of the requested address change and that will be sufficient.  back to list

 

Q: May multiple individuals in my household apply for assistance?

            A: No, only one application will be accepted from each household and all members of the household must be listed on the application to be eligible for assistance.  back to list

 

Q: How will I know my application has been successfully submitted?

            A: Applicants will be notified by email, from help@flaglercares.org, when their complete application has been reviewed.  If the application was submitted without all required information or documents, the review will be delayed. Applicants may receive an email requesting additional information, so it is important to check email regularly.  If an applicant is found to be eligible for assistance, they will receive one additional form that the applicant and co-applicant, if applicable, must sign before payments will be made.  This document will list the amount of assistance for which the household is eligible.    back to list

 

Q: What if I don't receive or I delete my confirmation information?

            A: If an applicant believes they did not receive confirmation information after submitting an application, they should check their spam or junk folder in their email. If an applicant mistakenly deletes their confirmation information, they should NOT submit a second application. They can send an email to help@flaglercares.org to explain the issue and they will receive instructions from there. Applicants should check their email regularly as funds are limited and are disbursed on a first ready, first served basis.  back to list

   

Q: May I edit my documents after I submit my application?

            A: After the application is submitted, an applicant cannot edit their documents. The applicant should NOT submit a second application. If they believe some part of the application needs to be changed, they can email help@flaglercares.org to explain the issue and they will receive instructions from there.  back to list

 

Q: What if my application is incomplete when I submit it?

            A: An application must be complete when it is submitted to be considered for assistance. If an applicant mistakenly submits an application before it is finished, they should NOT submit a second application. They can email help@flaglercares.org to explain the issue and they will receive instructions from there.  back to list

 

Q: Where can I check the status of my application?

            A: Applicants will be contacted via email when their application has been reviewed. They will also receive a final document that they must sign if they have been determined to be eligible for assistance. If an applicant has not yet received an email from help@flaglercares.org, their application is still under review. Applicants should remember that this program anticipates a large volume of applications and it will take program administrators some time to review all applications and determine eligibility. Funds will be disbursed on a first ready, first served basis and incomplete applications will significantly delay the approval process. Applicants should continue to pay their bills, if possible, while waiting for their application to be reviewed. Application status updates will not be given over the phone. back to list

 

Q: If my application is approved, will I get a notification?

            A: Yes, if an application is approved, the household will receive a notice of award explaining what payments are being made on their behalf and the amount being paid. They will also receive a copy of the payment after it is sent to the mortgage company, landlord, or utility company.  back to list

 

 Application Questions

 Q: Section 6A of the Itemized Instructions on the application mentions that I may be required to pay money to the County. What does this mean?

            A: Applicants cannot receive a duplication of benefits, which means that they may not receive assistance from two or more different funding sources for the same bill. For example, if an applicant has already received assistance for a September rent payment when this program also assists them with September rent, the applicant will be required to pay back any amount that is greater than the bill for which they are receiving assistance.  back to list

 

Q: May I still receive assistance if I do not sign the eligibility release forms?

            A: No, an applicant must sign the eligibility release forms to qualify for assistance. These forms are required for the program administrators to confirm that the applicant meets the eligibility requirements for assistance.   back to list

 

Q: Am I required to have a co-applicant, or can I leave those sections blank?

            A: If an applicant lives alone, it is not required for them to have a co-applicant. It is required, however, that every member of a household be listed on the application and that every adult (over 18) in the household provides certain documents and information for the application. This means that if an applicant does NOT live alone, they should have information for all household members on the application and all other adults (over 18) in the household should provide the required documents and information.  back to list

 

Q: Should I leave the witness signature line of the “Commission on Homelessness for Volusia and Flagler Counties CLIENT CONSENT FOR HMIS DATA SHARING” blank, or should I have someone witness for me when I sign?

            A: Program administrators will serve as a witness to this section, so applicants should not worry about getting someone to witness for them. 

 

Q: Do I need to complete the FPL authorization for release if I am not requesting assistance for an FPL bill?

            A: If an applicant is not requesting assistance with an FPL bill, they do not need to complete the FPL authorization for release. If the applicant includes an FPL bill for assistance, however, they are NOT eligible for assistance unless the FPL authorization for release is completed.  back to list

 How to Know if I Qualify

Q: What are the eligibility criteria?

            A: An applicant’s household must meet the following criteria to qualify for assistance: 

  1. Household must reside in Flagler County

  2. Household must be negatively impacted by COVID-19

  3. Households must not earn more than 120% of the area median income (income calculated by reported household income for next 12 months and assets).

  4. Households must be at least one-month delinquent on rent, mortgage and/or utilities for which assistance is requested.

  5. Currently homeless households are not required to document a COVID-19 impact.

  6. All required documents must be submitted for application to be reviewed (see last page of application). Applicants will be notified if documents are missing and will have 7 calendar days to submit those documents before their application is rejected.  This will delay your assistance and may prevent you from receiving assistance if funds are expended before your application is approved.

Applicants should remember that meeting these criteria does NOT guarantee that they will receive assistance. Assistance is being provided to eligible applicants on a first ready, first served basis until December 30, 2020 or until funds are exhausted, whichever comes first.  back to list

Q: What constitutes a hardship related to COVID-19?

            A: The applicant must be able to prove that one or more members of their household has been or is currently unemployed or underemployed, or has experienced some other loss of income and/or increase in expenses, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.   back to list

Q: Can I still qualify for assistance if not all the members of my household have been negatively impacted by COVID-19?

            A: Yes, applicants can still qualify if not everyone in the household has been negatively impacted by COVID-19, as long as the household can prove that at least one person has been negatively impacted, assuming they meet all other eligibility criteria.  back to list

 

Q: How do I know if my income falls within a qualifying range?

            A: A household must not earn more than 120% of area median income. The maximum income limits for Flagler County by household size are as follows:

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

55,200

63,000

70,920

78,720

85,080

91,320

97,680

103,920

110,208

116,506

 

Applicants should note that the assets they document on the application may increase their projected income.  back to list

 

Q: What is the approval process?

            A: Submitted applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received. The program’s administrators will work to confirm the accuracy of all information provided by the applicant and then to assess the eligibility of the applicant to receive assistance. If the application is approved, the applicant will receive a notification of award which states the assistance they have been approved for, the monetary amount of assistance that has been approved, and a copy of the payment (already submitted on the applicant’s behalf).  back to list

 

Q: Will certain residents be prioritized?

            A: Applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received. Approvals will then be made on a first eligible, first served basis until December 30, 2020 or until funds are exhausted, whichever comes first. Applicants who are actively at risk of being evicted will be prioritized. They will need to provide an eviction notice and will still need to fully comply with all other requirements of the application.  back to list

 After Qualification, if applicable

 

Q: How much money will I receive?

            A: Depending on the type of assistance which has been approved, the monetary award could be a portion or the entirety of the bill that is due. There are certain taxes and fees, which may be a part of the applicant’s bill, that this program cannot pay. These include property taxes for currently due mortgage payments, amongst other things.  back to list

 

Q: How long will it take for the payment to be made?

            A: All payments will be made directly to the landlord, mortgage company, or utility company on behalf of the applicant within 3 business days of receipt of the “Duplication of Benefits Agreement” signed by applicant and co-applicant.  This final document will note the monetary amount of assistance that has been approved.  The applicant should remember that this does NOT mean a payment will be made within 3 days of successful submission of an application. The applicant should allow at least 2 weeks for the application to be reviewed and approved.  This timeframe will be significantly extended if applications are not complete.    back to list

 

Q: Will I receive the payment directly?

            A: No, the payment will be made on behalf of the applicant and will be sent directly to the landlord, mortgage company, or utility company. The applicant will receive a copy of the payment which they should keep for their own records.  back to list

 

Q: Do I have to pay back the money?

            A: No, applicants who are approved for assistance do not have to pay back the money.  back to list

 

Q: (For mortgage assistance only) The payment made excluded some or all of my property tax expenses. Is this correct?

            A: Yes, this is correct. This program cannot pay property taxes for mortgage payments which are currently due. For mortgage payments which are delinquent, this program may pay all or some of the property taxes included in the mortgage payment.  back to list

 Q: Who can I contact if I have more specific questions not answered here?

            A: If you have a question which has not been answered here, you can send your question to help@flaglercares.org with your full name in the subject line or you can contact the Flagler Cares Community Health Associate by call or text at 386-569-3314. Email is the fastest and easiest way to communicate. If you call and are sent to voicemail, be sure to leave your full name and contact information.  back to list

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