County-city joint program raises over $10 million for emergency rental assistance

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(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren announced the county-city joint rental assistance program has raised over $10 million in funding Friday.

In late March, the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (EPPI 2.0) was created to help keep residents of the region in their homes.

Depletes in regular income during the COVID-19 shutdown forced many families to search for external assistance. EPPI 2.0 is meant to combat the potential of homelessness for all.

“It is critically important that Monroe County residents who have suffered from economic losses during the COVID-19 pandemic get to stay in their homes without fear of eviction or homelessness,” Bello said. “Preventing eviction and homelessness keeps our community and neighborhoods strong, provides stability for working families and their landlords and helps stabilize our economy”

At its core, the city-county relief program provides rental assistance to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who qualify, are eligible for 12 months of back-up rent and maximum of three months of future rent.

Last year, the federal government supported $16 million to Monroe County and $6 million to the City of Rochester to eliminate eviction for working families. As the national eviction moratorium deadline approaches fast, those struggling are urged to call 211 for pre-screening.

“Many of our clients have avoided eviction because they have been approved for funds from this project,” Carla Palumbo, President & CEO of the Legal Aid Society of Rochester said. “We are proud to work with our partners in government and the not-for-profit sector to help our clients avoid life altering disruptions, like eviction.”

Applicants must meet the program’s income limits, set at or below 80% of the area median income, or about $5,092 for a family of four. As of today, more than 6,300 applications have been received under the EPPI 2.0, representing tenants in 43 ZIP codes throughout Monroe County.

The 211 center — open 24 hours a day, seven days a week — will refer those who are qualified to one of 13 local non-profit agencies to complete their application.

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