More people reaching out for rental, mortgage assistance in Palm Beach County

'They have implemented great programs to help'
Posted at 5:26 PM, Oct 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-01 18:49:09-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Palm Beach County nonprofit organization said a record number of people are reaching out for rental and homeowners' assistance, after Governor Ron DeSantis let Florida's eviction and foreclosure moratorium expire.

WPTV first spoke to Althea Smith, owner of Tropic all Blooms n' More, in September when she was doing her best to salvage her business.

"People who paid for their wedding we had to return their money and then all the monies that we had booked up to cover whatever, was canceled, Althea said. I can’t stop. If I stop then I’ll definitely be drowning. It’s like in water, it’s a storm you’re afraid you’re going to drown, but you got keep going,”

Althea was facing eviction.

“For four months, I was paying them half. Start to get after the second month they were like we can’t cover you anymore,” she added.

But she didn’t give up. Scheduling smaller outdoor weddings and applying for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

“So, I’m thinking what about people who aren’t really good for the internet or business savvy what do they do?”

“They have implemented great programs to help,” said Lynda Charles, Vice President of Housing Services with Community Partners of South Florida.

She said Monday the county’s mortgage assistance program reopened to the public; however, the rental assistance program has not reopened yet.

“For the mortgage, people can only get up to $10,000 for four months and for the renters up to 3 months with $5,800,” Lynda said.

She suggests trying to work out a deal with your landlord or the bank. Their program offers free financial counseling.

“We can help them negotiate with landlords and start helping them put a budget together to catch up,” she said.