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The Volusia County emergency rental assistance portal reopened this morning, Jan. 12, for new applications. The county was prepared to accept 500 applications, and it did in just 36 minutes.

“We never know exactly how much demand we’re going to receive,” Community Assistance Director Carmen Hall told The Beacon. “It’s a little bit quicker than anticipated, but we were thinking it would probably close within an hour.”

With $4 million to distribute for people who have experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the county was accepting 500 applications. If approved, applicants could receive rental assistance for up to nine months for past-due rent fees and up to three months for future rent payments.

To be eligible for assistance, applicants must be able to prove they have experienced financial hardship due to the pandemic, like losing their job or seeing a reduction in income.

“Unemployment is easy to document, and a reduction in household income is usually easy to document,” Hall said. “Some of the other things, it just depends on the situation what they would need to use for documentation.”

It will take several weeks to process the newly received applications, Hall said, but if there is money left over, the county will accept more applicants for the program.

Volusia County will provide advance notice if the emergency rental assistance portal reopens.

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