September 2020
The latest news and updates
Governor DeSantis Extends Eviction Moratorium Related to Covid-19 with Executive Order 20-211
Written by Maria Machado.
On August 31, 2020 Governor Ron DeSantis once again extended the eviction moratorium related to covid-19. This time until October 1, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.

To view the full text of the Executive Order please, click here.
Housing Legal Assistance
Written by Maria Machado.
We provide legal assistance and advice to renters on a wide range of issues, including landlord-tenant disputes, unlawful detainers, ejectments, and more.
By offering our free legal services and expertise on these issues, we help Seminole County’s low income families, veterans, seniors, and other vulnerable members of our community stay in their homes and avoid homelessness.

If you are currently facing one of these issues, contact our office for further information and assistance. We can also assist you in complete your application for Seminole CARES individual grant, if needed

For more information, including helpful videos, please visit our website or click here.
Facebook Live Regarding Evictions
Written by Maria Machado.
On Thursday September 3, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. our staff attorneys will be hosting a Facebook live to provide some information regarding the end of the moratorium on evictions as well as to answer any questions the audience may have.

Everyone is welcomed to participate.

To join the webinar please visit our Facebook page.
Affordable Health Coverage in the
COVID-19 Pandemic
Written by Maria Machado.
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), if your projected household income for 2020 falls within the limits above, you may be eligible to enroll in affordable coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

You are currently uninsured:
Open Enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace is Nov.1 – Dec. 15, 2020 for 2021 coverage, but if you had a major life change, you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period.
For Health Insurance Marketplace eligibility, all unemployment benefits count as income, making it possible for someone with lower income to qualify for affordable coverage. For example, a single individual can count all pandemic unemployment payments along with any other 2020 work earnings to meet the required threshold amount of $12,760 and qualify for affordable health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Silver plan premiums may be as low as $12 per month.

You lost your job-based health insurance:
You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period in the Health Insurance Marketplace if you lost job-based health coverage in the past 60 days or you expect to lose coverage in the next 60 days. Job loss alone does not qualify you for this Special Enrollment Period - you must have lost health coverage to qualify.
If you qualified for a Special Enrollment Period but missed the deadline due to COVID- 19, you may be eligible for another Special Enrollment Period.

Your income is too low for affordable Marketplace coverage:
If your projected income is too low to qualify for affordable Marketplace coverage, you or your family members may be eligible for Medicaid, CHIP, or financial assistance. For Medicaid and CHIP eligibility, the $600/week federal pandemic unemployment compensation is excluded from income, but the $275/week of state unemployment compensation does count.
You or your family members can enroll in Medicaid, CHIP, or hospital financial assistance at any time.

If you want to enroll or get more information or advice on eligibility:
·       For more information on health coverage during the coronavirus pandemic: https://www.healthcare.gov/coronavirus/
·       See what Health Insurance Marketplace plans might be available for you: https://www.healthcare.gov/see-plans/#/
·       To enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace, contact Cynthia Durizil at 954-767- 5624 or durizil@BrowardHealth.org.
·       To apply for Medicaid: https://www.myflorida.com/accessflorida/


For more information please, click here.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (L.I.H.E.A.P.)
Written by Maria Machado.
What is LIHEAP?
LIHEAP is a Federally-funded program that helps low-income households with their home energy bills with three types of assistance.The City of Sanford administers the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for Seminole County residents. You may be eligible if you household size and income are not more that 150% of the federal poverty guidelines.

Office hours are Monday - Thursday, 7:00am to 5:30pm.
Services are by appointment only.
Appointments are made every Thursday between 9:00am to 10:00am for the following week. Our office contact number is 407.688.5166.

Applications can be emailed, faxed or mailed back to the LIHEAP Office. Upon receipt of the application LIHEAP staff will follow-up via phone or email to obtain any missing information. If you have any questions please contact Maria Garcia, LIHEAP Program Coordinator at 407-688-5167 or email at Liheap@sanfordfl.gov

The three types of assistance LIHEAP provides are:

Home Energy Assistance
  • Home Energy amount is base household’s income level as compared to the national poverty income level matrix. The income limit is 150% of the federal poverty guidelines. This takes into account both gross income and family size.
  • An emergency or crisis is not an eligibility requirement under this area of assistance. This area pays the matrix benefit amount, not the actual current home energy bill amount.

Crisis Assistance
  • Helps eligible households resolve or mitigate a home energy crisis.
  • No access, or being in immediate danger of losing access to needed home energy.
  • Crisis assistance is limited to once during the cooling season(April-September)and once during the heating season-(October-March).

Weather Related Assistance
  • Assistance to resolve or mitigate a home energy crisis caused by an emergency declared by the Secretary, Governor or President.

What information do I need to apply?
Income Eligibility
Annual income determined by two methods:
  • Total income for the year prior to the year of application or
  • Total income for the 12 months prior to the month of application.

The income received by all members of the household, must be totaled, annualized and measured against the income limit for the household’s size with the federal income matrix.

Residency Requirements 
  • Must reside in Seminole County.
  • Must be legal citizen of U.S. or registered alien eligible for federal benefits. 

To view the LIHEAP Application in English please, click here.
To view the LIHEAP Application in Spanish please, click here.
To view the Authorization Form please, click here.

To visit the website to view documentation needed please, click here.
Virtual Veteran's Clinic
Written by Denice Garza, FRP.
The United Way’s Mission United is collaborating with Seminole County Bar Association Legal Aid Society to provide Veterans with legal, education and employment services. The Clinic used to be held at the Seminole County Library in Casselberry, Florida on the second Thursday of every month. However, since the COVID-19 health crises began, the clinic has undergone some change and will now be held in a virtual manner. 
 
Our first Virtual Veterans Clinic will be held September 17, 2020. Veterans interested in meeting virtually with an attorney can sign up by clicking here, or they can call (407) 834-1660, extension 113, or email coordinator@scbalas.com for more information.
Seminole County Community Resources Information Hotline
Written by Maria Machado.
Seminole County believes in stimulating social and economic opportunities to improve the quality of life for Seminole County residents. They provide a hotline which residents can call to find out information regarding any questions they might have.

To reach the hotline information please see below:

Address: 534 West Lake Mary Blvd
Sanford, FL
To visit their website, please click here.
Phone: 407-665-2300
Hours of Operation: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday
United Way 211 Hotline
Written by Maria Machado.
United Way supports 211, a free and confidential service that helps people across North America find the local resources they need 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

211 is a free, confidential referral and information helpline and website that connects people of all ages and from all communities to the essential health and human services they need, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.211 can be accessed by phone or computer. A toll-free call to 211 connects you to a community resource specialist in your area who can put you in touch with local organizations that provide critical services.

The Alternate phone number for Heart of Florida United Way 211 Hotline is 407-839- To view other information concerning the hotline that corresponds with Seminole County please, click here.
Food Banks and Community Kitchens in Seminole County
Reemployment Assistance
Written by Maria Machado.
Governor DeSantis has directed DEO to continue waiving the work search, work registration requirements and waiting week requirement for claimants through September 5, 2020 for Reemployment Assistance Benefits.
Career Source Central Florida offers services that help with employment support, COVID-19 information, community resources, and more.

Their website also includes resources such as links for the CARES Act and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Information. At this time, individuals who apply for Reemployment Assistance whose employment was negatively impacted as a result of COVID-19 will follow the same application, review and payment process as all applicants for Reemployment Assistance in Florida.

The CARES Act includes the following programs:
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) – provides benefits to those not ordinarily eligible for Reemployment Assistance. This includes individuals who are self-employed or contract employees. PUA will provide individuals with up to $275 per week in benefits.
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) – provides up to an additional 13 weeks of benefits for individuals who have exhausted their Reemployment Assistance claim. This means claimants may collect unemployment benefits for a longer period of time than under normal circumstances. PEUC will provide individuals with up to $275 in weekly benefits.


To find out more information please, click here.
Extension of Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium in Connection with the Presidential-Declared COVID-19 National Emergency
Written by Maria Machado.
To help borrowers at risk of losing their home due to the coronavirus national emergency, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) will extend the moratoriums on single-family foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) evictions until at least December 31, 2020. The foreclosure moratorium applies to Enterprise-backed, single-family mortgages only. The REO eviction moratorium applies to properties that have been acquired by an Enterprise through foreclosure or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure transactions. The current moratoriums were set to expire on August 31, 2020.

FHA-insured Single Family mortgages, excluding vacant or abandoned properties, are subject to an extension to the moratorium on foreclosure through December 31, 2020. The moratorium applies to the initiation of foreclosures and to foreclosures in process. Separate from any eviction moratorium that was applicable to lessors under the CARES Act, evictions of persons from properties securing FHA-insured Single Family mortgages, excluding actions to evict occupants of legally vacant or abandoned properties, are also suspended through December 31, 2020.

Currently, FHFA projects additional expenses of $1.1 to 1.7 billion will be borne by the Enterprises due to the existing COVID-19 foreclosure moratorium and its extension. FHFA will continue to monitor the effect of coronavirus on the mortgage industry and update its policies as needed. To understand the protections and assistance offered by the government to those having trouble paying their mortgage, please click here to visit the joint Department of Housing and Urban Development, FHFA, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website.

Deadlines for the first legal action and reasonable diligence timelines are extended by 90 days from the date of expiration of this moratorium for FHA-insured Single Family mortgages, except for FHA-insured mortgages secured by vacant or abandoned properties.

To view the full document please, click here.
We Remember.
Upcoming Events

September 3, 2020: Facebook Live - Evictions

September 7, 2020: Labor Day

September 11, 2020: Patriot Day

September 15 to October 15, 2020: Hispanic Heritage Month

New Administrative Orders

In Re: Administrative Rules - Covid-19 Reopening Procedures - Transitioning From Phase 1 To Phase 2

In Re: Continuation Of Operations Based Upon Covid-19 Concerns

In Re: Comprehensive Covid-19 Emergency Measures For The Flore State Courts

Florida Supreme Court Administrative Order 20-32 3rd Amended
In Re: Covid-19 Public Health And Safety Precautions For Operational Phase Transitions

In Re: Limited Extensive of Mortgage Foreclosure and Eviction Relief

A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL FREE 1-800-435-7352, WITHIN THE STATE OR ONLINE AT WWW.FRESHFROMFLORIDA.COM. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. OUR REGISTRATION NUMBER IS 1944.