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Press Releases - County Council

Health and Human Services Committee and Joint Public Safety and Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee will meet virtually on April 8

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Also on April 8: Council public hearing to get input on community budget priorities is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The Health & Human Services Committee (HHS) will meet on Thursday, April 8 at 9:30 a.m. to discuss executive regulations on rental assistance, homelessness and nutrition.

The joint Public Safety (PS) and Planning, Housing & Economic Development (PHED) Committee will meet at 1:30 p.m. to discuss Bill 49-20, which is focused on mitigating discrimination and impediments to permanent housing, especially for homeless individuals. A Council public hearing on the County’s operating and capital budgets is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The members of the Health & Human Services (HHS) Committee include Chair and Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz and Councilmembers Evan Glass (Lead for Homelessness & Vulnerable Communities) and Craig Rice.

The members of the Planning, Housing & Economic Development (PHED) Committee include Chair Hans Riemer and Councilmembers Andrew Friedson (Lead for Parks) and Will Jawando.

The members of the Public Safety (PS) Committee include Chair Sidney Katz, Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz and Council President Tom Hucker.

Executive Regulation 18-20; Rental Assistance - Regulation - Requirements for the Rental Assistance Program

Discussion and vote expected: The HHS Committee is expected to review and make a recommendation on Executive Regulation 18-20, which would update eligibility for and participation in the County’s Rental Assistance Program (RAP) consistent with Bill 25-20, which was enacted into law in 2020.

RAP assists eligible low-income individuals and families with rental payments. Currently, the program has 953 enrolled households receiving benefits averaging between $200 to $400 per household per month.

The updates would change the age of eligibility for RAP from 62 to 55, clarify the definition of a person with a documented disability, remove the prohibition of eligibility for County residents without certain immigration documentation and provide that the specific benefit amount is established in regulation rather than law.

Those expected to attend and provide information include Amanda Harris, Chief, Services to End and Prevent Homelessness, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Leslie Frey, legislative analyst, Office of Intergovernmental Relations and DHHS.

Executive Regulation 19-20; Functions, Powers and Duties - Regulations - Fee Schedule

Discussion and vote expected: The Committee is expected to review and make a recommendation on Executive Regulation 19-20, which would amend the Code of Montgomery County Regulations to update program and department titles and fee schedules.

Specifically, the regulation reflects the change of name from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to the Maryland Department of Health and corrects numbering. It removes references to a statement of age card formerly issued and specific fees to be collected by the department.

Those expected to attend and provide information include Dr. Rolando Santiago, chief, Behavioral Health and Crisis Services, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and other DHHS staff.

Executive Regulation 20-20; Chief, Services to End and Prevent Homelessness

Discussion and vote expected: The Committee is expected to review and make a recommendation on Executive Regulation 20-20, which implements changes made in Bill 25-18E to modernize the definition of a position in the DHHS that addresses the needs of residents at risk of and experiencing homelessness. Bill 25-18E changed the title of the chief of the service area in DHSS from chief, Special Needs Housing to chief, Services to End and Prevent Homelessness.

Those expected to attend and provide information include Amanda Harris, chief, Services to End and Prevent Homelessness, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Leslie Frey, legislative analyst, Office of Intergovernmental Relations and DHHS.

Executive Regulation 21-20; Eating and Drinking Establishments Regulations – Nutrition Labeling

Discussion and vote expected: The Committee is expected to review and make a recommendation on Executive Regulation 21-20. This regulation amends the Code of Montgomery County Regulations to make formatting changes to existing Resolution 16-1194, which requires restaurants to post nutritional information for any standardized menu item.

Those expected to attend and provide information include Clark Beil, administrator, Licensure and Regulatory Services, DHHS and Leslie Frey, legislative analyst, Office of Intergovernmental Relations and DHHS.

Executive Regulation 22-20; Eating and Drinking Establishment Regulations - Food Service Facilities

Discussion and vote expected: The Committee is expected to make a recommendation on Executive Regulation 22-20, which would amend the Code of Montgomery County Regulations to update the names of state and local departments.

This regulation would replace the previous name of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to the current name, the Maryland Department of Health and make several other minor corrections.

Those expected to attend and provide information include Clark Beil, administrator, Licensure and Regulatory Services, DHHS and Leslie Frey, legislative analyst, Office of Intergovernmental Relations and DHHS.

Bill 49-20 - Human Rights and Civil Liberties - Discrimination in Rental Housing - Fair Criminal History and Credit Screenings (“Housing Justice Act”)

Discussion: The joint PS and PHED Committee will review Bill 49-20. The goal of the bill is to mitigate discrimination and impediments to permanent housing, especially for homeless individuals who might have histories of low-level misdemeanors.

The bill would prohibit a landlord from conducting a criminal record check of a prospective tenant until after a conditional offer of housing has been made. In addition, the bill would prohibit making housing decisions based upon arrests or misdemeanors such as a first conviction for disorderly conduct.

Councilmembers Glass and Katz are the lead sponsors of Bill 49-20. The cosponsors are Councilmembers Jawando, Rice, Navarro and Riemer.

Those expected to attend and provide information include James Stowe, director, Office of Human Rights and Aseem Nigam, director, Department of Housing and Community Development.

FY22 Operating Budget and additional Amendments to the FY21-26 Capital Improvements Program

Public hearing: The Council’s fourth public hearing to get input about community budget priorities is scheduled for April 8 at 7 p.m.

The Committee meeting schedule may change from time to time. The current Council and Committee agendas, Council staff reports and additional information on items scheduled for Council review can be viewed at: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/ondemand/index.html.

On the guidance of Health Officer and Chief of Public Health Services Dr. Travis Gayles, there is currently no public access to the Council Office Building. The virtual Council meeting will be streamed live on the Council’s web page via YouTube and on Facebook Live and can be watched on County Cable Montgomery on Xfinity/RCN 6 HD 996/1056, Fios 30, and on the CCM live streamRelease ID: 21-141
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926 , Benjamin Sky Brandt 240-777-7884