WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — April 1 was the first day monthly bills were due, and many residents across Florida have struggled to make payments on housing.
However, if you are heavily impacted by COVID-19, there is relief in sight if you own or rent a home.
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the COVID-19 Mortgage Foreclosure and Eviction Relief Order, which went into effect Thursday.
It suspends all evictions and foreclosures in the state for the next 45 days to ensure cost-burdened people remain in their homes during the stay-at-home order and pandemic.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development defines "cost-burdened individuals" as those paying more than 30 percent of their income for housing, and the severe rent burden pay more than 50 percent.
A 2019 rental market study by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation found there are double-digit numbers of people spending more than 30 percent of their monthly income on housing in South Florida.
In Palm Beach County 32 percent are cost burdened; 24 percent in Martin County; 32 percent in St. Lucie County; 30-percent in Indian River county and 24 percent in Okeechobee county.
It’s important to note, the Mortgage Foreclosure and Eviction Relief Order only provides “targeted, temporary relief." It does not relieve a person’s obligation to make mortgage and rent payments, which means the rent accrued is due at the end of the 45-day order.