HAND Program- COVID-19 Rental Assistance

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the HAND Program?

The Housing Assistance Network of Dade (HAND) Program is a multi-agency partnership with Miami-Dade County and local municipalities, led by Citrus Health Network. It was founded in 2009 following the recession to serve the community.

What is the purpose of the HAND Program?

The purpose of the HAND Program is to promote housing stability by providing temporary rental assistance for eligible individuals and families who are currently homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless.

How is the HAND Program helping during the COVID-19 public health emergency?

The HAND Program has been expanded to assist those who have lost their jobs, or have less income, due to the COVID-19 public health emergency and have received notice from their landlord of a plan to file for eviction.

An eligible household may receive COVID-19 rental assistance for past due rent, current rent due, and rent for upcoming months.

Who can apply for COVID-19 rental assistance through the HAND Program?

Individuals and families who have lost a job on or after March 1, 2020, or who have less income due to the COVID-19 public health emergency and have received written notice from their landlord that they may lose their housing because their rent is late.

The individual applying for COVID-19 rental assistance must be listed on the lease for the unit for which assistance is being requested.

What are the income qualifications to receive COVID-19 rental assistance?

Household income must be below 50 percent of the Area Medium Income, based on criteria below from the U.S. Department of Housing and Development.
Persons in Household Monthly Household Income
1 $2,666
2 $3,050
3 $3,429
4 $3,808
5 $4,116
6 $4,420
7 $4,725
8 $5,029

What are the rent requirements to receive COVID-19 rental assistance?

Household rent must be at or below 120% of the Fair Market Rent rates for Miami-Dade County, based on the criteria below from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Note: HUD includes the cost of utilities (e.g. electricity, water, gas) as part of the total rent.
Unit Bedrooms Monthly Rent Monthly Rent (excluding utilities)
Efficiency $1,301 $1,216
1 $1,542 $1,432
2 $1,950 $1,800
3 $2,597 $2,332
4 $3,145 $2,824

If I submit a HAND Screening Questionnaire and am eligible for COVID-19 rental assistance, am I guaranteed to receive funds?

No. Because funding for the program is limited, and need is expected to exceed available funding, a computerized lottery will determine the order in which eligible applicants can be assisted.  You will be notified via if you are selected in the lottery, and will be asked to submit additional required documentation and information.  Final determinations of assistance are based on successful completion of the application process and meeting all eligibility requirements.

How will I know if I “won” the lottery?

There will be no guaranteed “winners.” Once we have received all screening questionnaires, a computerized lottery will take place. That lottery will give every eligible person a number on a waitlist. The household that was assigned #1 will be contacted first, then #2, and so on.

Selection in the lottery does not guarantee assistance from the HAND Program.  Households must successfully meet all eligibility requirements and submit required documents for final determinations of assistance.

COVID-19 rental assistance will be based on household size, household income, and monthly rent, and will vary by applicant. Because of limited funding available, and difficulty in estimating the amount of funding for each household, we cannot say for certain how many households will receive assistance. You may check back on this website once the application period has closed to see what number is currently being served.

How is the HAND Program funded?

Miami-Dade County received an allocation of Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) funds from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The HAND Program is also funded by the State of Florida, the Miami Dade Homeless Trust, United Way of Miami-Dade’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP), the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs-SSVF Program, and the Cities of Miami, Hialeah and Miami Gardens. Partners participating in the network include: Citrus Health Network, Camillus House, Miami-Dade Community Action and Human Services sites, the Advocate Program and various shelter providers.