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Jax Daily Record Friday, Nov. 27, 202007:00 PM EST

City to start accepting applications for grant money to prevent evictions

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The JBA-administered program will provide up to $5,000 for homeowners and renters and $10,000 to commercial tenants. 
by: Mike Mendenhall Staff Writer

The Jacksonville Bar Association and the city will start accepting applications in December for a $5.3 million eviction and foreclosure prevention program for Duval County residents and businesses.

Applications for residential mortgage and leaseholders can be filed starting Dec. 3 and commercial tenants Dec. 7, the city said in a news release.

Applications will be accepted electronically at JacksonvilleCares.com where Duval County residents and commercial property owners also can the eligibility requirements. 

Grants will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Eligible residential tenants and homeowners can receive up to $5,000 with up to $10,000 for commercial properties.

The nonprofit JBA will administer the program as the federal residential eviction moratorium is scheduled to sunset Dec. 31.

The city will pay for the program using part of the $168 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act money it received in April.

“The Jacksonville Bar Association is proud to partner with the City of Jacksonville on the Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Program through its management and administration,” said Christian George, JBA Board of Governors member and chairman of the JBA’s committee on the program. 

George said the JBA wants the CARES Act money to “get in the hands of the families and small businesses that need it most during the pandemic.”

 Applicants must provide these documents to be eligible:

Residential tenants:

• Identification for all household members

• A copy of the lease or mortgage

• Proof of the ability to make payments of 60 days of rent or mortgage

• A notice from the landlord or mortgagee of pending eviction or foreclosure (if applicable)

Commercial: 

• A copy of the lease or mortgage

• Landlord or mortgagee W-9

• Proof of an at least 20% reduction in income, staffing or employee hours 

• A copy of the current Duval County occupational license

• Proof of the ability to make payments of 60 days of rent or mortgage

• A notice from the landlord or mortgagee of pending eviction or foreclosure (if applicable).

To qualify, tenants must be at least two months behind in rent or mortgage payments from April 1 through Oct. 31, according to a fact sheet distributed by the city in October. Tenants also will need written notice from their landlords to qualify.

Landlords or mortgagees must agree to waive all costs, fees and charges incurred as a result of nonpayment or partial payments during the impacted months.

Landlords cannot have unpaid code enforcement liens or be in violation of any state, federal, or local laws.

JBA Executive Director Craig A. Shoup said Oct. 23 that grants will be disbursed directly to landlords or mortgage lenders.

The JBA is required to keep records and provide a financial report to the city by Dec. 31, 2021.

The city’s contract with JBA is through Dec. 30, one day before the federal deadline to use the CARES Act aid.

City Council voted 19-0 on Oct. 27 to pass to shift money to the program from the VyStar Small Business Relief Program.

An amendment to the original bill will require 66.6% of aid go to residential tenants and landlords and 33.3% for small business rent and eviction relief.

 

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