Pasco offering more help to renters struggling to pay bills

Pasco County is offering a new financial assistance program to help resident renters pay their bills during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pasco Helping with Emergency Assistance Relief for Tenants (H.E.A.R.T.) was created to help county renters who have experienced economic hardship related to the pandemic. The first round of the assistance will be available Wednesday, Feb. 17 to 500 people on a first-come, first-served basis.

The H.E.A.R.T. online application process opens at 9 a.m. at bit.ly/2EtSEml.

According to a Pasco County press release, the H.E.A.R.T. program can pay up to 15 months of bills for qualifying renters. The types of bills eligible for payment include rent and water and electric utilities.

To qualify, a household must be at or below set income guidelines, based on the number of people in the household. Proof of Pasco County residency and the economic impact from COVID-19 are required.

The single-person, annual household income threshold is $24,650. For a household of six, that figure is $40,800.

Funding for the H.E.A.R.T. program was received through the U.S. Department of Treasury's Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

For more information about the service, residents may call Pasco County Customer Service at 727-847-2411.