Vienna residents and employees who are struggling to make housing and utility payments due to COVID-19 may be eligible for help.
Through its new CARES Fund, the Town of Vienna will provide $100,000 in assistance to residents and workers for up to one month of housing expenses and gas and electric bills. The program is first come, first served, and recipients do not need to repay the town, which will allocate the funds through direct payments.
“As the health crisis continues to linger, some families are finding it increasingly difficult to hold on financially,” Vienna Economic Development Manager Natalie Monkou said in a statement.
“The Town has been fortunate to have received CARES Act funding through Fairfax County that has helped us weather, to some degree, the financial impacts of the coronavirus pandemic,” Monkou said. “We want to share what we’ve received with those most in need and provide assistance to those who live and work in Vienna.”
The town may contribute up to 5% for administrative costs, making the entire appropriation worth up to $105,000. The Vienna Town Council approved an agreement establishing the fund on Nov. 2.
“We know the funding is limited, so we’re trying to target to help as many people as possible. That’s why it’s limited to up to one month for housing and utilities,” Monkou told the town council on Nov. 2.
The Vienna CARES Fund will be administered through Fairfax County, and the direct payments will be made by the Committee for Helping Others.
Although her office does not have a list, Monkou told the town council that staff “will be working to target residents and business workers who fit the eligibility criteria.”
Recipients must earn less than 60% of the area median income and must provide proof of income, mortgage or rental agreement, and utility billing.
Those who do not live in Vienna may be eligible if they live in Fairfax County and work for a business in Vienna with a valid business license.
The eligibility process could be quick, if applicants have the needed information on hand and can upload it, Monkou said, adding that for those who do not meet eligibility, there are other programs at the county level.
During the meeting, Mayor Linda Colbert told Monkou she was glad this program could work out.
“I know it’s not the end-all for the group of people we’re going to help, but I think it matters and it’s important that we’re doing this,” she said.
Interested Vienna residents and business employees must contact Fairfax County Coordinated Services Planning at (703) 222-0880 to be screened for eligibility before being referred to the Committee for Helping Others for assistance.
For more information about this program, email [email protected]