As a new year begins, Miami-Dade County residents are coping with a protracted housing-affordability crisis.
Finding an affordable home to rent or buy in an area with a dwindling supply of available homes, and some of the highest prices in the country, is difficult.
Here are a group of local government and bank financial resource programs for individuals and families that need rental assistance, money toward buying a home or to avert eviction. It’s not an inclusive list of all rental and mortgage assistance programs around the county.
READ MORE: Four Miami-Dade professionals describe housing squeeze
Rental and relocation assistance
Emergency Rental Assistance Program
Miami-Dade will temporarily pay up to $3,000 a month to qualifying people behind on their monthly rent payments by up to a year. If your rent is up to date, the funding can pay the difference of your current rent and higher rent if the increase is no more than 30%.
Residents with an income below 80% of the county’s annual median income of $59,044 are eligible. That includes individuals earning between $20,500 and $95,620 and families of four earning between $78,000 and $136,500.
Single individuals earning less than $95,620 and couples making less than $109,200 now are eligible to apply for the financial aid. Families of three earning less than $122,920 and families of four earning less than $136,500 can also qualify for the program.
To apply and get more information about the program, residents can either call 311 or 305-723-1815, send an email to ERAP@miamidade.gov, or go online to https://www.miamidade.gov/global/housing/emergency-rental-assistance-program.page.
Community action, human services department financial and utility assistance
Individuals experiencing homelessness, on the verge of eviction, or who have been evicted, may be eligible for county assistance with rent, a security deposit on a lease, a mortgage, utility bills, emergency shelter or food.
Individuals can receive one form of assistance a year, such as $1,000 toward rent or $1,500 in mortgage assistance. To receive housing assistance, an individual must be homeless or evicted from a prior residence and submit a three-day notice, court eviction paperwork or 24-hour notice to a caseworker.
Checks will then be paid directly to the landlord or management company. If that payment does not meet the landlord’s payment requirements, the balance and security deposit must be paid by the applicant.
Residents can visit their local community resource center to apply. For more information, call 786-469-4640 or check https://www.miamidade.gov/global/service.page?Mduid_service=ser1497555806798351.
Miami’s first-time homebuyer program
The City of Miami will help first-time homebuyers with down payments on single-family homes, townhouses or condos in the city by providing zero-interest deferred loans on property purchases costing up to $352,000. City buyers who have not owned a home in the last three years, have a household income up to 80% of the area’s median income and qualify for a mortgage from a participating lender, could be eligible. Buyers must spend at least $500 of their own money toward a down payment or closing costs buying a home. Homebuyers also must attend a homeownership workshop.
For more information, call 305-416-2080 or go to https://www.miamigov.com/Housing-Assistance-Recovery/Home-Ownership/Apply-for-First-Time-Homebuyer-Assistance.
Miami-Dade County homeownership assistance program for first-time buyers
Miami-Dade County Equitable Advocacy Trust has an aid program focused on increasing the number of first-time homebuyers among low-to-moderate income county residents. Residents can get a zero-interest deferred loan to use for a down payment and closing costs on a home. The program will provide up to $12,500 in down payment assistance or in a no-interest loan. The loan could be forgiven within 10 years of the homebuyer living in the home.
To be eligible, first-time homebuyers must not have owned a home or been on the title of a home within the past three years. They must also attend an in-person education course on homebuying, among other requirements. For more information on the homeowner assistance program, call 305-375-5661, visit https://www.miamidade.gov/global/service.page?Mduid_service=ser1532378258174440 or email HAPInfo@miamidade.gov.
JP Morgan Chase Bank’s homebuyer grant program
Chase Bank expanded its homebuyer grant program in early 2021 to provide $5,000 to assist customers with closing costs and down payments when purchasing a home in predominantly Black, Latino and Hispanic neighborhoods here and around the country. Chase also provides a $2,500 homebuyer grant to qualified buyers in low-to-moderate income communities. For more information, go to https://www.chase.com/personal/mortgage/affordablelending or visit your local Chase bank branch.
Bank of America’s community affordable loans
Bank of America’s Community Affordable Loan Solution offers mortgages with zero down payment and zero closing costs to assist first-time homebuyers in designated Black and brown U.S. communities such as Miami. The program uses creditworthiness guidelines to qualify applicants based on factors such as timely rent, utility bill and phone payments. It requires no mortgage insurance or minimum credit score.
Eligibility is based on income and home location. Program participants are expected to complete a homebuyer certification course provided by select Bank of America and HUD-approved housing counseling partners before applying. For more information, you can call Bank of America at 1-800-641-8362 or https://www.bankofamerica.com/mortgage/first-time-home-buyer/.