Item Coversheet



TO: Finance and Economic Resiliency Committee Members

Raul J. Aguila, Interim City Manager

DATE: March 26, 2021



At its June 12, 2020 meeting, the Finance and Economic Resiliency Committee (FERC) discussed the demand for rent assistance services in the community and acknowledged that the need was greater than what could be met with the funds allocated in Tranches 1 and 2 through Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-CV) and HOME Investment Partnership (HOME) funds. As such, the Committee recommended that up to $700,000 in General Reserve Funds be set aside for potential use to address the pressing need for rent assistance. However, the Committee requested that only $330,000 of these funds be released at this time – a number equivalent to the value allocated in the two prior tranches of rent assistance. Furthermore, the Committee emphasized the desire that, if possible, these funds be reimbursed through other sources such as CARES funds from Miami-Dade County.


At its July 29, 2020 Commission meeting, the Administration recommended awarding these funds to a non-profit to ensure assistance be available to the broadest range of Miami Beach residents, including those who have not achieved permanent residency status. On September 18, 2020, a contract was executed with H.O.P.E. in Miami-Dade, Inc. (HOPE) to provide rent and utility services to Miami Beach households referred by the Office of Housing and Community Services (OHCS).


Beginning in March 2020, the City harnessed a variety of sources to create a pool of funding to provide immediate financial relief for residents whose household incomes were adversely impacted by COVID-19. These internal, state and federal funds totaled $1,825,061 and included:




Community Development Block Grant (regular allocation)1

$ $68,600

HOME Investment Partnership (regular allocation) 1

$ 361,369

Emergency Food & Shelter Program (EFSP-Phase 36) 1

$ 3,225

Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus 1

$ 214,635

Coronavirus Relief Funds (4 allocations through state) 1

$ 466,250

County CARES 1

$ 142,507

General Fund 1

$ 297,000

Community Development Block Funds Coronavirus – 3 2

$ 254,000

Emergency Food & Shelter Program (EFSP -Phase 37)

$ 15,680

Emergency Food & Shelter Program CARES (EFSP-CARES)

$ 17,395

              1 – Funds were expended by December 30, 2020

                  2 – Funds were received February 2021


The City was able to charge $79,773 to the County CARES program that were originally drawn from General Fund resources as a way to maximize the CARES funding that had a December 30, 2020 expenditure deadline. We are currently expecting the reimbursement from the County to return these funds to the General Fund.


With the exception of General Fund resources, these funds each had specific eligibility requirements. Federal funds served households earning no more than 80 percent Area Median Income or $51,200 for a household of one. The State’s Coronavirus Relief Funds allowed us to serve households earning up to 140 percent Area Median Income. All funds required demonstration that a household seeking assistance could demonstrate financial need as a result of COVID-19 impacts on their income. In addition to determining eligibility, applicants were required to obtain landlord consent for third party payment of past due rents.


We have evaluated the 357 households assisted with rent assistance through December 30, 2021. The average rent assistance (excluding utility assistance) per application was $2,762.23. Fifty-five (55) of these households sought assistance at least twice and 285 households received assistance for multiple months of rent arrears.


The City is currently drawing rent assistance from its EFSP, EFSP CARES and CDBG-CV3 funds. We are pending approval to release funds from the EFSP Clearinghouse for applications that will deplete Phase 37 funds. An analysis of the CDBG-CV 3 funds utilized thus far shows that the average rent assistance request has grown significantly to $5,564.60 per household assistance or 201 percent compared to funds drawn in 2020. While the monthly rent amounts are comparable, applicants are applying for help in greater rent arrears than last year.


The current pace of draw projects rent assistance to average about $105,726 per month. At this pace, the remaining CDBG-CV3 funds will be fully drawn by the first week of April. Projecting forward, the City would need $634,356 in additional funds in order to meet rent assistance needs through the remainder of the current fiscal year.


The Administration encourages a discussion and the monitoring of community need for rent and mortgage assistance services.

Applicable Area

Is this a "Residents Right to Know" item, pursuant to City Code Section 2-14? Does this item utilize G.O. Bond Funds?
No No