Struggling Hamilton County Renters Can Apply For 15 Months Free Rent and Utilities

Hamilton County was awarded $12 million in federal dollars to pay landlords and utility companies in order to keep renters housed.

click to enlarge So far, the county has paid $44.9 million to utility providers and landlords in order to keep struggling renters in their homes, and more dollars are on the way. - photo: Vladimir Kudinov, Pexels
photo: Vladimir Kudinov, Pexels
So far, the county has paid $44.9 million to utility providers and landlords in order to keep struggling renters in their homes, and more dollars are on the way.

Some Hamilton County residents struggling to make rent will soon be able to apply for financial relief from the county.

Hamilton County commissioners voted to accept $12 million in federal emergency rent and utility relief funding during a Thursday, Nov. 17 meeting. The vote relaunched a program that was paused over the summer when the county ran out of federal dollars.

Starting Monday, Nov. 21, Hamilton County Job and Family Services will accept applications from county renters through 513Relief.org. Renters can apply for up to 15 months of rent: 12 past due and three future, as well as utility assistance. Applicants must have an income that is at or below 80% of the area median income. The money is part of the federal pandemic relief fund meant to help those who experienced a financial impact due to COVID-19.

In a memo released after the vote, the county’s office says it expects to help between 3,000 and 3,500 renting households with the new round of funding. So far, the county has paid $44.9 million to utility providers and landlords in order to keep renters in their homes.

“Hamilton County has done a great job getting these federal dollars to the people who need them the most. We’ve already helped over 12,000 households keep the lights on and pay their rent,” says Commission President Stephanie Summerow in the news release. “Our job is not done. Families are still struggling to pay the bills with inflation, higher fuel costs and lost income due to the pandemic.”

How to apply

To apply, applicants need the following:
  • Current or past-due household bills, such as rent or utility bills
  • Paystubs or income verifications for the past 30 days
  • “COVID-19 financial impact details,” or a statement about how you suffered financially due to the pandemic
  • Landlord vendor registration
Checks are made out to landlords directly. The application portal will open on Monday, Nov. 21 at 9 a.m.


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