By Hank Tester

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The coronavirus economic squeeze has hit renters and landlords equally hard.

Amanda Gill, Government Affairs Director at Florida Apartment Association, says, “Rent collections obviously have been stronger than anticipated and that was expected because of the $600 in federal unemployment dollars you know there are no longer in the pipeline. Folks are struggling to survive on the $275 a week. This is an issue that won’t go away.”

Gill represents more than 750,000 apartment homes in the state.

“We have been advocating since this crisis that the real solution to address to protect home providers is to provide rental assistance,” says Gill.

Through the cares act, Governor Ron DeSantis made available $250 million, of which $120 million will be sent to local governments to provide rental and mortgage assistance programs.

“we are really excited that the governor has allocated a portion of the Cares Act for this purpose. We hope local government will get funds out quickly because there is a great need across this state for rental relief which will help the renter as well as housing providers,” adds Gill.

The governor has stayed evictions until September 1st.

“The housing providers across the state have been proactive in front of the crisis and they have been waving late fees allowing additional flexibility for different payment options that are available,” Gill says.

While renters have seen some protections, most landlords with expenses, property taxes, big loan payments to make do not have a safety net unless their loans are federally based.

Amanda Gill says, “Which means a majority of the housing providers across the state of Florida do not have access to mortgage forbearance protection that can help them.”

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