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City of Fort Myers - News

Posted on: February 26, 2021

City of Fort Myers launches $2.8 million program for COVID-19 rent and utility assistance

Emergency Assistance Program Alert

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Feb. 26, 2021) - In coordination with Lee County, the City of Fort Myers Community Development Department Housing Division is opening a new application period for rent and utility assistance for eligible residents of the City of Fort Myers. A total of $2.8 million in assistance is available for those with rent and utility expenses in arrears for the past six months, plus another three months in prospective rent payments. 

Residents can apply through the city’s Community Development online application portal at  

The online application portal will begin accepting applications at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, March 1. For those without access to a computer, call 239-321-7970 and customer service staff will enter the required information. 

Applicants must reside within the City of Fort Myers municipal boundaries before the date of application. To determine if you live within the city limits, enter your address here: Applicants may still qualify for Lee County assistance if they do not live within city limits. Payments will be made directly to the landlord and/or utility company. 

Renting households at or below 80% area median income (AMI) facing homelessness or housing instability due to inability to pay rent and/or utilities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible for assistance (please consult the table below). Affected households must be able to demonstrate the impact of COVID-19 on their household’s financial position. 

Number in Household 

Annual Household Income 










Priority consideration will be given to households that fall under one or both of the following categories: 

1.     Household income below 50% of AMI. 

2.     One or more people in the household are unemployed and have not been employed for the last 90 days prior to application. 

Citizens with questions regarding the application process for the emergency funds may go to the city website or contact staff directly at 239-321-7970 or

Program background: 

The U.S. Department of Treasury launched a $25 billion dollar Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021, on Dec. 27, 2020. The ERAP assists eligible households that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lee County received Emergency Rental Assistance Program funds in the amount of $23,268,102. 

The county determined that it is in the best interest of the citizens of Lee County to provide its municipalities a pro-rata share of the ERAP funding for eligible households within their municipal limits. The agreement is effective starting March 1, 2021, ending upon depletion of the funds or the end of the program period, whichever comes first. The City of Fort Myers allocation, determined based on population, is $2.8 million. 


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