Manatee CARES Housing Assistance Program (HAP) FAQs

Do I need to complete the application right away when the application window opens?

The application opens August 24th and closes September 7th or upon receipt of 300 submitted applications. Applications will be processed on a first come, first eligible basis.

Applicants who meet the minimum eligibility criteria will be notified by county staff with status of eligibility. Applicants can also sign into the Neighborly portal and check the status of the application.


How do I apply?

You will need to register with the Neighborly portal and select Manatee CARES HAP Round 3 to start an application. You only need one registration to access any of Manatee County applications. You do not have to wait for the release of the application to register. When you register you will need to select your preferred language, provide a valid email, name and create a password. You will then receive an email from Neighborly to complete the registration. Please check you Junk/Spam folder. It takes about 5-10 minutes. If you do not receive an email from Neighborly, please do not re-register. Send an email to their Technical support listed on the registration page.

You will be able to begin an application for Manatee CARES: Housing Assistance Program (HAP) Round 3 on August 24th at 8:00am.

Who can apply?

Individuals and families residing in Manatee County and its municipalities, excluding the City of Bradenton city limits, that have lost their job, been furloughed or have experienced a reduction of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic on or after March 1, 2020 and need financial assistance paying past due rent or mortgage payments and associated past due utilities. You must meet additional qualification based on income and residency. See “How do I know if I qualify?” question.

How do I know if I qualify?

• Applicant is a US Citizen or Legal Resident
• Resident of Manatee County including its municipalities
• Delinquent on rent or mortgage payments with associated past due utilities due to COVID-19 (on or after March 1, 2020)
• Have a loss of income due to COVID-19 on or after March 1, 2020
• Current Gross Annual Household Income is below the 120% area median income (AMI) level for household size (Each household member over the age of 18 must complete a Self-Certification Income form)

My lease has expired and I’m on a month to month. Am I eligible? What documentation do I need to provide?

Yes. Please upload your expired lease. The lease must include a clause that allows for a conversion to a month-to-month lease or we will require a written statement from your landlord that they acknowledge that you are on a month to month. If you can provide this statement and upload it with the lease it will expedite the review process.

I live inside Bradenton City limits; am I eligible?

No, Manatee CARES: HAP Round 3 cannot assist residents of the City of Bradenton city limits. The City of Bradenton received their own allocation of these funds.

My address says Bradenton, how do I know if I live inside Bradenton City limits or unincorporated Manatee County?

The easiest way to determine is by where you pay your utility bill, if paid to Manatee County Public Utility Department (MCPUD), then you reside in the County (unincorporated Manatee County); if you pay your utility bill to the City of Bradenton, then you reside in the City of Bradenton.

You can also check your address at the Manatee County Property Appraiser website by doing a Property Search at https://www.manateepao.com/


I started an application; can I return to it or do I need to start another?

Once you start an application for Manatee CARES: HAP Round 3 you are able to return to the same application. Do not start a second Manatee CARES: HAP Round 3 application.

How many people will receive assistance?

Approximately 300 households will receive assistance.

I applied for Housing Assistance Round 1 or Round 2, can I apply for Round 3?

Do not apply if:
• You received a lottery number from Round 1 and have received notification that the application is in process and have not been notified of ineligibility.
• If you are a homeowner and you have been approved for forbearance through your lender and the missed payments have been added into your loan.
• If your income or job loss was not due to COVID-19.
• If your rent/mortgage was paid by another source, including family members.
• You submitted an application in Round 2
• You live in the City of Bradenton

Yes, apply if any of the following apply to you:
• You did not get a lottery number in Round 1.You were denied for lack of income documentation.
• If you are a homeowner and you have been approved for a forbearance through your lender and the missed payments will be due at the end of the forbearance period.
• If you received assistance and are in need of additional months of assistance beyond what you already received.


I started an application for Round 1 or Round 2; can I return to it or do I need to start another?

You will need to start a new application for Round 3. If you began an application for Round 1 or for Round 2 you will need to start a new application for Round 3. Round 3 is different funding with different eligibility criteria. Please start a new application for Manatee CARES HAP Round 3.

How much assistance can I receive?

Individuals will be awarded assistance based on their specific documented needs for delinquent rent or mortgage payments and associated past due utilities that have accumulated due to COVID-19 on or after March 1, 2020. The amount of grant assistance is up to $10,000 or assistance, if needed, through the end of December 2020, whichever is greater.

You will be required to provide documentation of these needs as described below:
• For rental assistance: A copy of your lease (Lease pages must include the name of the landlord, name of applicant, address of the unit, amount owed each month and signature page and a Formal Letter or Statement from Landlord stating amount owed and months rent is due. Rent must have been current as of March 1, 2020.
• For mortgage assistance: A copy of your most recent mortgage statement or letter from mortgage company showing delinquent amount owed. Funds can pay for Mortgage Principal, Interest and Insurance. (Funds cannot pay for the property tax portion of a mortgage payment.)
• For utility assistance: Utility Bills showing amount owed (*Utilities can only be paid in conjunction with Rent or Mortgage assistance.)
• Funds may be used to pay future months of rent/mortgage and utilities if there is continued impact from COVID-19 and self-certification form is completed and signed on a monthly basis by all household members over the age of 18.


How many months of assistance can I receive?

Funds can be provided to pay for rent or mortgage payments that are past due as of March 1, 2020 until the maximum assistance of up to $10,000 or assistance, if needed, through the end of December 2020, whichever is greater. No assistance shall be provided beyond December 30, 2020.

Can this funding pay for past due Utilities?

Yes. Manatee CARES HAP Round 3 can assist with delinquent Rent or Mortgage payments and associated past due utility payments. This program cannot pay for only utilities.

What documentation is required?

Applicants will be required to upload electronic copies of the documents listed below into the Neighborly portal. If approved, the applicant and any household members over the age of 18 will be required to sign an Affidavit of Duplication of Benefit, Self-Certification of Income and Impact from COVID-19, Resident Income Certification, and a Release of Information Certificate. (PLEASE NOTE: the following documents must be legible)

1. Proof of US Citizenship or Residency for Applicant (One from below)
o US social security card
o US birth certificate
o Valid & current U.S. passport
o Certificate of Naturalization
o “Green card” INS forms I-151 or I-551.

2. Proof of Identification for all other household members (One from below for each household member)
o Current Driver’s License or State Identification
o Voter Identification Card
o Veterans Administration Identification
o School Record of Permanent Residence
o First Page of recent Tax Return that lists household members (this can be used for identification of multiple household members)
o US social security card
o US birth certificate
o Valid & current U.S. passport
o Certificate of Naturalization
o “Green card” INS forms I-151 or I-551

3. Proof of Qualifying COVID-19 Impact on or after March 1, 2020 (One from below)
o Layoff or furlough notice (e.g. letter/email from employer)
o Proof of reduction in hours (e.g. pay stub from pre-COVID and current pay stub)
o Loss of job due to COVID-19 (e.g. letter/email from employer)
o Application for unemployment
o Notice from employer of reduction in workforce by business
o Documentation that employer office/place of business has closed (e.g. Business Website shows closure or newspaper article)
o Documentation that childcare provider on company letterhead stating closure due to COVID-19 (letter from childcare provider, bank statements showing payment to childcare provider pre-COVID and non-payment during COVID, etc.)
o Letter from healthcare provider advising to self-quarantine due to COVID-19

4. A Formal Letter/Statement from Landlord with company name stating amount owed and months rent is due or most recent mortgage statement stating amount owed and months due

5. Utility bills showing amount owed (*Utilities can only be paid in conjunction with past due Rent or Mortgage assistance.)

6. Current lease and contact information for your landlord (Landlord must agree to participate)
o Lease pages must include the name of the landlord, name of applicant, address of the unit, amount owed each month and signature page

7. Proof of homeownership and contact information for your mortgage company/lender (Lender must agree to participate)


What information, other than the documents describe elsewhere in the FAQ, will I need to provide?

You will need to provide the following information on all household members, including the applicant:
• Household members name, including the applicant, name, birthdate, social security number, race, ethnicity, marital status, gender, disability status and veteran status
• Current employer Information: Name and address of employer(s), phone number and start date.
• Source and amount of Current Gross Annual Income and Assets for all members of the household
• Description of COVID-19 Impact that resulted in a reduction/loss of income

When will I find out if I was selected?

Assistance requests will be processed as quickly as possible. Due to the widespread impact of the pandemic on our local community, we anticipate a high volume of requests.

A member of the Manatee County Redevelopment and Economic Opportunity Department will contact you with the status of your application as the review process is conducted.


How long will it take to process my application and receive the funding?

Assistance requests will be processed as quickly as possible. Due to the widespread impact of the pandemic on our local community, we anticipate a high volume of requests. Applications are reviewed in the order that they were submitted.

Staff will contact you with the status of your request as the review process is conducted. Payments will be sent directly to the landlord or mortgage company and associated utility companies to which the individuals bills are due.

Processing time depends on the order the application was submitted, the completeness of applications and the response time from landlord or mortgage company. The average length is expected to be four weeks from eligibility determination until payment has been processed and sent to the landlord/mortgage/utility company.


Will receiving this assistance disqualify me from other types of state or federal Aid (i.e. unemployment)?

No, but you cannot use Manatee CARES: HAP Round 3 to pay for expenses that have already been paid for by any other source. There cannot be duplication of benefit. If you receive duplication of benefit after you receive Manatee CARES: HAP Round 3 assistance you will be required to repay Manatee CARES.

If I receive assistance through Manatee CARES: HAP Round 3 do I have to pay it back?

No, this assistance is a grant and does not have to be paid. If you receive duplication of benefit after you receive Manatee CARES: HAP Round 3 assistance you will be required to repay Manatee CARES.

What is the process?

1. Once you have submitted your application it will be placed in submission order to be assigned to a Manatee County staff person to review. Applications will be assigned on a first come/submitted basis. The staff person will review your application for completeness.
2. You will receive an email notification from neighborly if additional information is required and the staff person will complete the review.
3. If the application is complete and you are found to be eligible, you and all household members over the age of 18 will be contacted to complete and electronically sign the required documents through DocuSign. These documents include the Authorization of Release of Information, Self-Certification of Income and Impact from COVID-19 and Affidavit of Self-Employment (for any household member whose self-employed income was/is impacted by COVID-19).
4. Once all required documents have been electronically signed through DocuSign, the Manatee County staff person will complete a Resident Income Certification form for the entire household that you and all members over the age of 18 will electronically sign through DocuSign.
5. Once all documents have been electronically signed and returned, you will be emailed a Grant Award Notification letter.
6. Manatee County staff will then contact your landlord/lender for verification of months past due, amount due and invoicing and payment information. The landlord/lender must agree to participate in the program. Your landlord/lender must complete the Invoice and Wiring Transfer document and submit a W-9. Landlords must also complete, electronically sign and submit the Landlord Non-Eviction form.
7. You will be sent the Affidavit of Duplication of Benefit to electronically sign through DocuSign.
8. Funds will be wire transferred to your landlord/lender.

I own my trailer but rent my lot. Am I eligible?

Yes. You are eligible.

I am a homeowner and have been approved for forbearance. Am I eligible?

Maybe. You are eligible if you have been approved for forbearance through your lender but the missed payments will be due at the end of the forbearance period. You are not eligible if you have been approved for forbearance through your lender and the missed payments have been added onto the backend of your loan. If you have a forbearance agreement with your lender, please upload it with the application. If you are unsure, please apply and we will work with you and your lender to determine eligibility.

I am an immigrant in which my residency status has expired, but I’m in the process of renewal with Immigration; am I eligible?

Yes. Upload a copy of your expired Green Card/Residency card and your Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card or other communication with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services showing that the application/renewal is in process.

My employment is seasonal and was unable to work during the summer as I normally do. Am I eligible? What documentation do I need to provide?

Yes. You are eligible. In the application you will describe your circumstances. If you can obtain documentation from the seasonal employer that you would normally work with, please upload. If seasonal employers vary each year, please upload documentation that shows what you made in the previous year during the seasonal employment and documentation showing that you had a reduction in income or did not receive it this year. This can be shown with bank statements showing the reduction in income during the time period you were impacted by COVID and prior year tax returns, prior pay stubs, or previous year bank statements.

I usually have a side job, a second job, odd jobs, or secondary gig work during the summer. Due to COVID-19 I am/was unable to do this work. Am I eligible? What documentation do I need to provide?

Yes. You are eligible. In the application you will describe your circumstances. If you can obtain documentation from the secondary employer that you would normally work with, please upload. If secondary employers vary each year, please upload documentation that shows what your income was in the previous year with the secondary employment and documentation showing income that is a reduction in income during the time period you were impacted by COVID. Provide copies of income history, pay stub or bank statement showing pre-COVID employment income last year during the additional income and income history or bank statements showing the reduction in income during the time period you were impacted by COVID. This can also be shown with prior year tax returns, prior pay stubs, or previous year bank statements.

I am an Uber/Lyft driver? Due to COVID-19 I was unable to do this work. Am I eligible? What documentation do I need to provide?

Yes. You are eligible. In the application you will describe your circumstances. Provide copies of income history or bank statements showing pre-COVID employment income and income history or bank statements showing the reduction in income during the time period you were impacted by COVID.

I am on disability but am able to work part-time as a Uber/Lyft driver normally. Due to my disabling condition and vulnerability to COVID-19 I was unable to do this work and am not eligible for unemployment. Am I eligible? What documentation do I need to provide?

Yes. You are eligible. In the application you will describe your circumstances. If a healthcare provider recommended you self-quarantine you can provide this documentation. Or you can provide copies of income history or bank statements showing pre-COVID employment income and income history or bank statements showing the reduction in income during the time period you were impacted by COVID.

I live with another person who owns the house. I lost income due to COVID-19, not the homeowner. Are we eligible?

Yes. Eligibility is based upon the household and the impact from COVID-19 to the household. The homeowner will need to apply and be the applicant and you will be listed as the co-applicant in the application.

I rent a room not the entire housing unit. Am I eligible?

No. Room rentals are not eligible for assistance.

I live with roommates. I lost income due to the COVID-19, not the roommates. Are we eligible?

Yes. Eligibility is based upon the household and the impact from COVID-19 to the household. One of the individuals on the lease need to apply and be the applicant and if the individual impacted by COVID-19 is not the applicant that individual will be listed as the co-applicant in the application.

I am self-employed. Am I eligible? If so, how do I document loss of income?

Yes. You are eligible. In the application you will describe your circumstances. Provide copies of income history or bank statements showing pre-COVID employment income and income history or bank statements showing the reduction in income during the time period you were impacted by COVID. You will also be required to complete and sign an Affidavit of Self Employment if approved. 

I do not have access to the internet, how do I apply for Manatee CARES: HAP Round 3

If you do not have access to the internet you can visit the Library. Or you can visit Turning Points Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM-2:00 PM. Space is limited as social distancing is in place.

Who can I contact if I have a problem applying or have questions?
• Email ManateeCARES@mymanatee.org
• Call (941) 745-6270
Please do not call to check on the status of your request as this will slow down our process of approving and distributing assistance. You can log into the Neighborly portal and check the status of your application. Staff will contact you if any additional information is needed.


I have received notification of eviction or foreclosure during the COVID-19 crisis. Where can I find help?

Visit HUD’s Coronavirus Resources website or contact Gulf Coast Legal Services at (941) 746-6151 for more information.

Where did this funding come from?

These funds come from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act through the Florida Housing Finance Corporation’s Coronavirus Relief Fund.