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Montgomery County Launches $59 Million COVID-19 Rent Relief Program: Applications for Third Phase Available Now

For Immediate Release: Thursday, April 15, 2021

Eligible Montgomery County renters can now apply for COVID-19 rent relief. The third phase of the program provides financial assistance for tenants who meet eligibility requirements. Administered by the County’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the program will accept applications on a rolling basis while funds remain available. 

Visit www.mc311.com/rentrelief to apply online, see frequently asked questions and get additional program details. People in households without internet access or who need assistance completing the application should call 311 (240-777-0311). 

The $59 million supplements the $21 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) act funding the County has already dedicated to the COVID Rent Relief Program. The funding is through the U.S. Department of Treasury and includes $31 million in direct allocation and $28 million from the State’s allocation. The first two phases of the program have provided more than $16 million to date to more than 4,000 County households.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted the economic wellbeing of our poorest and most vulnerable renters and we must do everything in our power to keep them in their homes,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. “This third phase of rental relief funds will help as we continue to make sure more money is on the way to these families. We are grateful to our Congressional Delegation and State Delegation, along with the federal and state governments, for their financial support and assistance.”

The Rent Relief Program provides rent support to low-income households that have experienced income loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. DHHS has continued to maintain an active waitlist, and the process for requesting assistance has been streamlined since the first phase was introduced last year. 

County renters who request assistance from the COVID-19 Rent Relief Program must certify that the household has income under a certain amount; has lost income due to COVID-19; is behind in payment of at least $1,000 in rent; and that they have been a resident of Montgomery County since August 2020. Households may have formal or informal lease arrangements and can reapply for funds even if they already received assistance in earlier versions of the program.

Approved households may receive up to $12,000 for rent arrears and a rent credit for future months, paid directly to the landlord. Final grant amounts will consider rental assistance already received from any local, state, or federal program. All assistance is based on the availability of funds. 

Households that have already received a COVID-19 Rent Relief Grant, a State Assisted Housing Relief Program grant (through their property) or are housing-voucher recipients are still eligible.

DHHS has developed a Homeless Prevention Index to evaluate all neighborhoods in relation to COVID-19 impact, housing stress, and social determinants. Applications will be prioritized based on areas of highest COVID-19 impact, with households in the initial “high-impact” neighborhoods (map available at bit.ly/mc-hpi-map) prioritized for processing. This will enable the program to ensure that an equity lens is utilized, recognizing that communities of color have been significantly impacted by COVID-19, disproportionately experience homelessness, and are more likely to get evicted.   

Renters facing an immediate loss of housing should also call 311 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to be connected with DHHS’ Housing Stabilization Services. 

For the latest COVID-19 updates, visit the County’s COVID-19 website, as well as the County’s data dashboard, or follow Montgomery County on Facebook @MontgomeryCountyInfo and Twitter @MontgomeryCoMD. 

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Release ID: 21-241
Media Contact: Mary Anderson 240-777-6507