Financial assistance program now available for Manatee County residents

Starting Wednesday, Manatee County residents who need help making rent, mortgage or utility payments can apply online for one-time emergency assistance through the Manatee CARES Housing Assistance Program. 

The program is designed for anyone who lost their job or income because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Those selected may receive up to $1,500 per month for up to three months to cover overdue rent, mortgage or utility bills. 

Applications will be accepted online from 9 a.m. Wednesday, June 10 until 5 p.m. Friday, June 12. 

Because funding for the program is limited, the county says it will use a lottery system to select 250 eligible applicants to receive relief funds. 

Funds will only be applied to outstanding rent, mortgage or utility bills. Bills already paid by insurance or another assistance program will not be eligible. 

The county also explained those living in the City of Bradenton won’t be eligible for Manatee CARES relief because the city has already received separate state and federal relief funds. 

The county says it hopes to notify all applicants of their status by June 26. 

Payments for successful applicants will be sent directly to mortgage lenders, landlords or utility companies specified in the application. 

Eligible applicants must meet the following requirements: 

Job or income reduction or loss directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e. your workplace shut down under state or local orders). You will be required to provide documentation.  

Income restrictions: During the month in which you apply for assistance, your total household gross income cannot exceed 80% of the federal poverty level for Bradenton/Sarasota MSA. This amount varies depending on the number of people in your household. (Numbers listed below are annual, for monthly divide by 12)
- 1-person household $42,850
- 2-person household $49,000
- 3-person household $55,100
- 4-person household $61,200
- 5-person household $66,100
- 6-person household $71,000
- 7-person household $75,900
- 8-person household $80,800

Manatee County residency: Proof may include driver’s license, photo ID, utility bill, lease or mortgage statement with current address in Manatee County (Because the City of Bradenton receives SHIP funds and federal funds, City of Bradenton residents are ineligible for Manatee CARES funding.)

Dwelling/unit must be located in Unincorporated Manatee County. The easiest way to determine is by where you pay your utility bill, if paid to Manatee County Public Utility Department (MCPUD), then you reside in the County (unincorporated Manatee County); if you pay your utility bill to the City of Bradenton, then you reside in the City. If further assistance in determining in needed, you can contact our office at (941)749-3029. Please note only primary or homestead residences can be assisted.

Legal status: Proof of U.S. Citizenship, including naturalized citizens, or other legal residency status (i.e. permanent residents).

Active rental agreement, lease or mortgage in the applicant’s name. There must be an active rental agreement, lease or mortgage the applicant’s name for the residence to be assisted. 

The rent/mortgage must have been current as of March 31, 2020.

The utilities must have been current as of March 31, 2020.

To apply, click here.