If you need help paying rent in Florida, various programs that can help you make ends meet. There is no longer a rental assistance program funded by the state or government, but charitable organizations and county programs provide rental assistance. Generally, you'll need a past-due or eviction notice to demonstrate need.
Catholic Charities is one of the largest non-profit organizations in Florida. The charity helps people going through a temporary financial hardship or emergency. Assistance programs are available to provide food, clothing and employment services. Emergency prevention services are available for people facing an eviction or foreclosure. In an effort to prevent homelessness in Florida, the charity provides referrals to housing programs and rental assistance. Although anyone struggling can apply for rental assistance, priority often is given to seniors, disabled and households with children.
St. Vincent De Paul
The Society of St. Vincent De Paul has locations statewide. The SVDP Parish Conferences extend financial assistance to help the needy with basic needs. Specific programs available may vary by location. For example, in Hillsborough County assistance is available for food, clothing, medication, gasoline, bus passes, utilities and rent. In Miami, SVDP developed subsidized rental apartments to offer reduced rent for low-income residents.
Jewish Family Services
Jewish Family Services has locations throughout Florida. The charity's aim is to help families in need, regardless of religious affiliation. JFS offers emergency financial assistance to help with basic needs, including rent. Since the assistance is only temporary, The Family Stabilization Program can help you achieve long-term self sufficiency. The program provides free supportive services to help with employment and money management.
United Way's 211
The United Way's 211 service provides free information and referrals to local programs that can help pay your rent. You can dial 211 or search the online database for help near you. The referrals include private organizations, churches and charities. For example, in Brevard County, the South Brevard Sharing Center offers rent assistance since government programs are not available in that area. In Orlando, the Orange County Crisis Assistance Programs provides a one-time rent payment for emergencies.
- Need Help Paying Bills: St. Petersburg and Pinellas County Catholic Charities Assistance Programs
- Jewish Family Services: JFS Services
- Florida Department of Children and Families: Emergency Financial Assistance Program
- Need Help Paying Bills: Catholic Charities
- Orange County Government: Crisis Assistance Program
- South Brevard Sharing Center: Get Help
- Society of St. Vincent De Paul: Hillsborough County - Types of Assistance
- Need Help Paying Bills: Miami Dade Society of St. Vincent Assistance Programs
Jeannine Mancini, a Florida native, has been writing business and personal finance articles since 2003. Her articles have been published in the Florida Today and Orlando Sentinel. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Florida.