Emergency Rental Assistance Program Questions

What is the status of my application?

Please go to www.leeflcares.com and click on “Check Your Application Status”. You will be able to see the status of your application there. Once your status changes, you will receive notification or you can log in to see your application move through the process.

My application status says Pending Landlord Information – what does that mean?

This means that you have been determined to be eligible for the program and we are working to get your Landlord to agree to participate in the program and provide the required documentation

My application status says Referred to Fort Myers – what does that mean?

This means that your property is within the City limits of Fort Myers and the City will be processing your application. You can contact them at https://cityftmyers.com/2044/Rental-and-Utility-Assistance for additional information on your application. The County will not have any further information on your application once it has been referred to the City for processing.

I own my own home – can you provide assistance for utility, HOA fees or mortgage payments?

The Emergency Rental Assistance program is for renting households only. If you are in need of assistance and you own your home, please contact United Way by dialing 211 on your phone.

I cannot get access to the portal to apply – why won’t my credentials from the previous LeeCares program work with this application?

This is a different portal than we used for previous LeeCares programs. You will need to re-register for assistance. Please follow the link below and complete the application through the portal. Once you have completed the application and provided the documents requested, we can process the request for assistance.

When can I apply for this program?

The LeeCares Emergency Rental Assistance program will begin accepting applications at 8 a.m. Monday March 1 2021. You can apply online by visiting this webpage.

Where did this funding come from?

This funding is part of the U.S. Department of Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance program established by section 501 of Division N of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.

When will assistance be distributed?

It may take a few weeks from the date of application submission until eligible households receive the approved assistance.
Please be aware that federal regulations require the County to process the applications of households meeting certain requirements first. Therefore, the County will be prioritizing the processing of applications for households 1) at or below 50% area median income and/or 2) with a household member that has been unemployed for at least 90 days.

Will there be access to paper applications if I do not have access to the internet or a computer?

At this time, we have no in-person/paper option for the applications. Lee County Libraries have public computers with internet access, and the application is mobile-friendly if the public would like to work on the application on their phones. County buildings have free guest WiFi.

I have applied for and/or received assistance through another Lee County program. Why do I have to resubmit all the documents and information I previously provided when I applied with Human & Veteran Services or the earlier rounds of LeeCares?

There are several factors that require Lee County to obtain documents at the time we are processing a new ERA application. Because this program is funded through a new grant, it is under new regulations by the US Treasury. Some of the documentation required is different than anything previously submitted. Also, applicants must attest to the accuracy of the documents used for this application. We must have the most current lease, rental statements, and utility bills, and when the applicant submits the application, they are attesting to their validity and accuracy. It is not appropriate for the County to complete an ERA application on the client’s behalf.

Is uploading my unemployment tax info from last year sufficient for the income verification? / What do I need for income verification?

There are two ways that you can document your income: 1) by providing your 2020 Federal Income Tax Return showing your total annual income; or 2) by providing documentation showing your current monthly income. Monthly income documents may include pay stubs, statement of unemployment benefits, pension statements, social security, or other such documentation. Under application Section I. Required Documents, you can also find an Employment Verification Form that your employer may complete instead of you providing pay stubs, etc. There is also a Self-Employment/Self-Declaration Form available in this section for use if you are self-employed and claiming a loss of self-employment income because of Covid-19 or regularly work for cash.

Is the Emergency Rental Assistance Program the same as LeeCares? Do I need to apply to LeeCares separately?

The initial rounds of business and individual assistance through LeeCares ended at the end of December 2020. The Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program is a new federal grant that Lee County is making available to assist renting households under the LeeCares umbrella. Eligible renting households need to submit only one application.

Are unemployment wages, social security, and pensions considered ‘income?’

Yes. We need to consider these and all sources of income. Please provide statements for all sources of income to your household and report them as part of your total monthly or annual income.

I pay rent to my roommate, who owns the house. Can I get assistance for the rent I pay him/her?

In order to be eligible for assistance through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, the household, as a whole, must be a renting household. If the owner of the house lives in the residence, the household is not a renting household. According to requirements of the federal grant that funds this program, to be eligible for assistance under ERA, “…a household must be obligated to pay rent on a residential dwelling” and the Lee County ERA Program considers a household to be all persons living within the dwelling. Roommate agreements are not eligible.

More frequently asked questions coming soon