Dallas County starting program to help homeowners, renters, small businesses during COVID-19 pandemic

Dallas County is starting a rent and small business assistance program to help those impacted by the coronavirus.

Like the city of Dallas, the county received millions of dollars from the federal government to assist people in need.

Soon, a little more than $10 million will be available to county residents who live outside the city of Dallas.

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But those applying must meet specific requirements to be eligible.

“It'll be a lottery system, not everyone who applies will get assistance,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said.

Many people have been out of work or laid off because their job was not deemed essential.

Dallas County will be offering multiple types of assistance programs to help those in need.

The first is $5 million to help people pay their rent, mortgage, or utility bills.

“If you are an individual or household earning less than 80 percent of the Dallas area median income, you are eligible for a maximum amount of $1,500 per month for up to three months for this program, for rent, mortgage, or utilities,” Jenkins explained.

The median income for the Dallas area is a salary of about $55,000.

So those applying must make less than 80 percent of that.

Until the county identifies a bank to handle the program, officials said they will work with the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, Friendship West Baptist Church, and Jewish Family Services of Greater Dallas.

Judge Jenkins said these organizations already assist people with rent and can help identify those in need.

$5 million will also be made available for small businesses.

Jenkins said these funds are for businesses that have not received any federal assistance during the pandemic.

“These will be loans that will be forgivable. They are up to $15,000, and that is on a lottery basis,” Jenkins said. “You can’t just put the money in your pocket and furlough employees.“

There will also be micro grants for child care facilities.

$400,000 is set aside for that program.

Right now, the county does not have a start date for when people can start applying.

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