Getting rental assistance is not always easy

MIAMI – It started with an email sent to CBS4 from a Miami woman who told us she was behind on her rent and had applied for the Emergency Rental Assistance program in Miami-Dade County.

That was on September 14th.

Over a three-month wait and a lot of anxiety, the woman said she was frustrated because she was told the application was under review.

Two documents were missing and despite submitting the paperwork a second time, the wait continued.

We are not naming the woman because she said she didn’t want her family to know about her struggle.

When we met her at her small efficiency unit in Miami, she told us she hadn’t slept in days because January is approaching and she is months behind in her rent.

“I’m worried about January. I’ve never been behind in my rent, so I applied for the program and submitted the paperwork” she said.

Two weeks ago, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said they were expanding the rental assistance program.

“ERAP helps with past rent utilities, relocation, and increases in rent,” the mayor explained.

Under the program, in Miami-Dade single renters making up to $95,620 a year can qualify for the rental assistance.

According to the county, application reviews generally take a few weeks.

Broward County also has rental assistance, but you must present a government-issued ID like a driver’s license, current lease signed by you and the landlord, and document your income.

The landlord has to show your back rent and you must prove financial hardship.

“I want my story out because I know there are others in the same situation,” she said.

The head of Miami-Dade Public Housing told CBSMiami that somehow the woman’s case fell through the cracks and that

she does qualify and her rental aid is expected to be issued Thursday.

The woman says she is relieved and has a message for other renters who have applied for her assistance

“Make sure all your documents are sent and received so you know it’s being looked at,” she said.

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