MIAMI (WSVN) – City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez announced Thursday morning that the city commission will be offering financial aid to residents struggling to pay mortgage and rental bills due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are accepting today $1.3 million,” he said.
Suarez made the announcement during a press conference with city commissioners by his side.
“Beyond a physical suffering, there is an economic suffering that our community is going through,” Miami Commissioner Ken Russell said.
“We’re going to pass this item,” said another commissioner.
The plan is to combine the money from the Local Housing Assistance Plan program with the $306,000 previously unused in the city budget and to get it out to the people most in need immediately.
“I suspect this money will go very, very fast, and hopefully we’ll send it out in the next week,” Suarez said.
Commissioner Russell said that the last time they implemented a financial assistance program like this, the money went quickly.
“We had over 40,000 qualified applicants within a couple days. The fund ran out and only about 3,000 of those people were made whole. The need is real,” he said.
“To the federal government, please send some more because Miami is really hurting,” Commissioner Manolo Reyes said.
Suarez said the enforcement of the mask rule has stepped up, with 115 tickets written over the last week. He also said that Miami is now down to 20 coronavirus cases per day. The highest point was 125.
This comes after the Florida Department of Health reported over 10,000 new cases of COVID-19 statewide, with more than 2,700 cases in Miami-Dade, over 1,200 in Broward County and 20 in Monroe County.
Florida saw a record for most deaths recorded in a day with 173 passing away due to the virus.
Meanwhile, a new drive-thru testing site opened at the Miami-Dade Auditorium, one of five new locations announced by the Florida Division of Emergency Management to test people over the next 10 days. You need to register online to make an appointment for the free test, and even if you don’t have any symptoms of COVID-19, you are welcome.
Testing at the Miami-Dade Auditorium ends at 6 p.m.
Four more testing locations will open Friday.
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