ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Local leaders met on Thursday morning to announce a new system that will streamline landlord/tenant cases and link people facing eviction with legal and housing support services.

The initiative will help provide emergency rent assistance to prevent people from being evicted from their homes due to COVID-19-related hardship.

“By working together, the county, city, court system and community-based organizations, we will make it easier for people to access the help they need during this time of unprecedented crisis,” Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said in a statement.

Monroe County has committed $6 million in CARES Act funding for the Eviction Prevention Pilot Initiative. The program will provide direct funds to landlords/banks for individuals and families in need of up to five months of back rent/mortgage.

Applicants will be pre-screened by Lifeline/211 and referred for the program. Program applicants must be able to make payments on their own going forward, and will be referred to free financial counseling. Income eligibility is capped at 275% of the Federal Poverty Level, or about $72,050 for a family of four.

Residents interested in either program should call 211.