New program to help pay past due rent and utilities

Yesterday, Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Shevaun Harris announced the launch of OUR Florida, the Emergency Rental Assistance Program that will be funded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The “OUR” stands for “Opportunities for Utilities and Rental Assistance.”

Earlier this year, the Biden Administration issued $1.4 billion to Florida in emergency rental assistance funds, with approximately $529 million distributed directly by local governments with populations over 200,000. The remaining funds, over $800 million, will be disbursed by the state.

Instead of thanking the federal government for the help, DCF Secretary Harris praised her boss, Gov. Ron DeSantis, for his leadership–we guess, for how he is handing out the money Biden gave the state.

DCF hired Tidal Basin to administer the program. The consulting firm contributed $50,000 to Florida Republican Party for DeSantis’ inauguration celebration.

OUR Florida is now accepting applications for families in need of aid, regardless of their city of residence, at

The program focuses on low-income renters whose household income is at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI), which varies by county. DCF/Tidal Basin will prioritize renters with income at or below 50% AMI and/or families who have experienced unemployment within the past 90 days.

Floridians who rent their homes are eligible if they:

  • Earn an income at or below 80% of the AMI; and
  • Have qualified for unemployment, experienced a loss of income, incurred significant costs or faced financial hardships due to the recent public health emergency; and
  • Are at risk of losing their home or are living in unstable or unhealthy conditions.

To learn more about eligibility, required documentation, and how to apply, visit