The City of Stillwater has received more federal funding to help city residents who suffered financial hardship due to COVID-19 pay their rent and utility bills. The program has not officially launched and won't for at least a week.
The City of Stillwater will send a release announcing the date applications are to be available online, once that date has been determined.
On Monday, the Stillwater City Council accepted $490,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding that will provide one-time assistance to people living within the Stillwater city limits who meet income guidelines and can demonstrate direct income loss or financial impact due to COVID-19.
Up to 6% of the total can be set aside for administrative costs, leaving a little more than $460,000 to be distributed.
Phase 2 will work differently than Phase 1, in which the City of Stillwater used $150,000 allocated from CARES ACT funds.
Phase 1 had no income requirements, could be used to pay rent, utilities or mortgage expenses and had a limit of $1,500 per household.
Phase 1 funds helped 146 households. The money was allocated in December was exhausted by Jan. 15, a few weeks ahead of the program's planned expiration.
For Phase 2, mortgage payments won't be included and, in addition to being able to demonstrate financial impact due to COVID, the applicants must fall within low-to moderate income limits.
Becky Taylor, Chief Civic Innovation Officer for the City of Stillwater, said those income limits range from $34,850 for one person to $49,750 for a family of 4.
CDBG program rules allow the funding to be used for up to six months of rent, utilities or a combination of the two, but ODB may decide to limit that to ensure more people can be helped, Taylor said.
As in Phase 1, payments will be made directly to the landlord or utility company.
When it begins, the application process will be completely online, Taylor said. People who need assistance applying can talk with Our Daily Bread staff or find help at the Stillwater Public Library.