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Home for the holidays: Jacksonville's eviction relief money could start rolling out before Christmas

President of the Jacksonville Bar Association says they've hired about 20 people to help review and approve applications as quickly as they can.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Relief is on the way. People could start seeing approvals this week for Jacksonville’s Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention program using CARES Act funds.

People facing eviction in Duval County could get up to $5,000 sent straight to their landlord or mortgage lender to pay overdue payments. Businesses facing evictions could be approved for up to $10,000 in relief.

The phrase "home for the holidays" will have a very special meaning for those who could be saved by this money. The Jacksonville Bar Association is administering the program.

JBA President Michelle Bedoya Barnett says more than 5,000 applications are in progress for residential relief, but only 954 are fully submitted with all the paperwork. 

She says if you’ve applied, check your email and make sure your application is complete. 

If you have any questions, check out JacksonvilleCares.com or call 904-527-2506. She says the best time to call is between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., because they have more volunteers at that time.

“We are anxious to get the money out to the hands of the landlords and the mortgage companies," Bedoya Barnett said. "We recognize that the quicker we get the money out, the better positioned citizens of Duval County are to stay in their homes and businesses as they continue to function.”

Applications will be approved on a rolling basis and the money will be given out based on first-come, first-served. Bedoya Barnett says there are about 20 new hires at the Jacksonville bar association office working solely on getting these applications approved.

She says it’s a great feeling giving people hope.

“I think the world can be crumbling and we can have all kinds of stressors, but if they have hope and somebody on the other end of the line that can help them find a solution, that’s a big deal," she said. 

Remember, the money won’t go into your wallet. The amount you are awarded will be given directly to your landlord or mortgage lender to pay off overdue rent or payments to prevent your eviction.