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Family facing eviction while they wait for Our Florida to approve rental assistance

If you are having trouble with Our Florida or are facing eviction, we have information on who can help you.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — A woman is asking First Coast News for help as she and her grandkids are weeks away from being evicted. 

Brin Hay received rental assistance through the program Our Florida. 

She's waiting on her assistance renewal, but is not getting any answers on her case status. Hay says she is calling Our Florida every day with no luck. 

In the meantime, rent is due, and she lives with her son and grandkids. 

“They’re very helpful right now especially with me being sick but you know right now I’m stressing and I don’t want them to know I am stressed out," she said on the verge of tears.

Hay went to her car for our Zoom interview, so her grandkids wouldn't see her cry.

She says she's been sick since August. Hay received Our Florida rental assistance from December through February. 

In mid-January, she applied for recertification to continue her assistance through March and beyond.

“I don’t know what else to do," Hay said. "I just thought maybe by me doing it early in advance, the recertification and everything would fall right into place but it just seems like everything has crumbled.”

Eviction is imminent without the help, but her case is sitting stagnant.

“We have people who can help her navigate that system," said Jacksonville Area Legal Aid CEO Jim Kowalski. "Really the first thing she should do is call JALA so we can interface with Our Florida. We have navigators who can do that.”

Kowalski says it is cheaper to keep people in their homes than for the state to allow people to go homeless.

If you are having trouble with your Our Florida case or are facing eviction, call JALA at (904) 356-8371.

  • If you live in St. Johns County, call (904) 827-9921.
  • If you live in Clay County, call (904) 284-8410.
  • You can also apply for help online.

Community Activist Vanessa Brito says there is a major backup processing Our Florida cases right now, but there is only so much time Hay and others can wait until they’re out of their home. 

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