The Franklin County Commissioners yesterday voted to invest an additional $2.6 million in rental and mortgage assistance to help residents in danger of eviction or foreclosure. The initiative includes redirected federal TANF funding for the PRC (Prevention, Retention, and Contingency) program via Job and Family Services, new CARES Act dollars for PRC Plus, an expansion of the PRC program, and an investment of CARES Act dollars in the Housing Stabilization Coalition’s HOPE Fund. The programs have different eligibility requirements, but all target low-income Franklin County residents who may be struggling to pay their rent or mortgage due to the current economic slowdown, and both will be available beginning June 1st. The commissioners expect to be able to assist more than 3,000 families with this funding.
“Losing a home is terribly disruptive to families, and can have results that are felt for years,” said Board of Commissioners President John O’Grady. “It throws families into chaos, makes it tough for kids to do well in school, and can make it harder for parents to keep their jobs. To have that happen through no fault of their own, but because of this pandemic would make it especially painful.”
Two million, one hundred thousand dollars of this funding will be administered by Franklin County Job and Family Services, of which, $600,000 will be reserved for families living at less than 165% of the federal poverty line via the expanded standard PRC program, and $1.5 million is earmarked for families between 165% and 300% of the poverty line to be administered through the new PRC Plus.
“This pandemic shows that we are all in this together,” said Commissioner Marilyn Brown. “None of us are truly safe unless our neighbors and their families have a safe place to call home. We are proud to make these investments that help support families navigating through this crisis, and to build a better future for every resident in Franklin County.”
The $500,000 contribution to the HOPE Fund will provide rental or mortgage assistance for households living at or below 200% of the poverty line in an initiative administered by IMPACT Community Action, and in partnership with 16 local partners such as the City of Columbus, Columbus Urban League, Southside Thrive, and Physicians CareConnection.
“The economic slowdown our community is facing right now is unprecedented in the swiftness with which it materialized,” said Commissioner Kevin L. Boyce. “Families all over Franklin County have found themselves laid off, furloughed, or with their business shuttered, and had no time to prepare for it. Each one that we can help stay in their home will be better able to contribute to our economic recovery in the coming months.”
In recent weeks, the commissioners have allocated nearly $12 million in supports to residents and businesses suffering from the effects of the pandemic and economic slowdown, most of which is expected to be reimbursed via funding from CARES Act.
For more information and to apply for PRC assistance, visit jfs.franklincountyohio.gov/PRC. For information about or to apply for assistance from IMPACT Community Action, visit impactca.org.
The Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services provides timely public assistance benefits and builds community partnership through inclusion, responsiveness and innovation. Learn more at https://jfs.franklincountyohio.gov and follow FCDJFS on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.