Housing Emergency Advocacy Response Team (HEART)

By Jon Pine

New program seeks to keep evicted Indian River County tenant in homes, reimburse landlords

A new partnership between Indian River County, the court system, the bar association, and a local philanthropic organization is making it possible for families facing eviction because of the COVID-19 pandemic to stay in their homes and pay up to $10,500 of their back rent. 

Since last September, the Housing Emergency Advocacy Response Team (HEART) program has arranged free legal representation for nearly 200 Indian River County families facing eviction because of the pandemic. The program is joint effort by the John’s Island Community Service League (JICSL), which provided $150,000 to pay for a program administrator, Florida Rural Legal Services (FRLS), and the Indian River County Bar Association (IRCBA), which arranged for volunteer lawyers to help residents wade through the legal quagmire of evictions and foreclosures.

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