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On August 4th, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball highlighted the $11.7 million in the Emergency Rental Assistance Program grant from the U.S. Treasury that is still available for residents in need. To date, Howard County partners have distributed $4 million in rental assistance funding to residents and landlords, keeping 1,259 residents from eviction.
“Our residents still have significant needs as they manage utility bills and rent payments during this challenging time,” said Ball. “We’re tackling this issue from all sides, eventually the federal eviction moratorium will end, and we want our residents to know support is available. We have rental assistance for residents and landlords available and need help in getting the word out to those possibly facing eviction.”
Howard County has also partnered with The United Way’s STEP (Strategic Targeted Eviction Prevention) program with $4.6M in rental assistance funds from the state. These funds are paid to landlords directly on behalf of tenants with past due rent balances. As of July 30, 16 landlords have signed up to participate and 89 tenant applications have been received for payment.
Rental Assistance
If residents received assistance with past due rent and utility bills previously, they may be eligible for additional assistance up to a total of 15 months. Funding is still available, and tenants impacted by COVID are encouraged to contact one of the County’s partner agencies to apply for assistance. If residents have already received assistance from one of the following partners, they should contact the same partner for additional assistance. Household income limits apply.
*Call or email for application – they are not accepted via the website portal
Preliminary application criteria:
  • Applicant must be a Howard County resident and provide proof of home address.
  • Applicant must provide evidence of loss of income due to COVID-related job loss, reduction in hours and/or medical illness.
“Since July 2020, Community Action Council of Howard County (CAC) has seen a 400% increase in demand of our housing assistance program. We have received more than 1,400 applications for from Howard County residents,” said CAC President Bita Dayhoff. “We continue to receive between 30 to 40 new applications for assistance each week. As the moratorium comes to an end, we know that the weeks and months ahead may become very challenging for many Howard County residents who are struggling to make ends meet. We want them to know that we are here and will continue to be here to lend a helping hand.”
“Rental assistance is a safety net that prevents more families affected by the pandemic from falling into homelessness caused by unemployment or illness,” said Grassroots Executive Director Mariana Izraelson. “With Emergency Rental Assistance funds, Grassroots is able to intervene and help families avoid eviction and stem the escalating crises that occur in already distressed families. We are grateful to Howard County Government for its leadership in providing this financial support to help families in need.”
“The crisis before us is not just about housing, precipitated by COVID,” said Luminus Executive Director and CEO Mike Mitchell. It is about employment, access to transportation, jobs, education, and the greater economic health of our community. Thanks to Dr. Ball and the Department of Housing, we are protecting families from eviction while also preventing the loss of these other basic needs. Their investment means protection and stability for many of the thousands of families that we serve.”
Mortgage Assistance
The County is assisting homeowners facing foreclosure with funds to pay up to 12 months of past-due mortgage payments. Since April 2021, funding has assisted 120 residents and prevented 42 foreclosures.
Homeowners unable to pay their mortgage, behind on their mortgage payments, or facing foreclosure due to COVID-19, can print out this application or use this fillable version and send it with all required backup documentation to foreclosureprevention@howardcountymd.gov. For additional information, please review frequently asked questions or dial (410) 313-6318 and select option 3.
For more information, visit www.howardcountymd.gov/DHCD-COVID

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Scott E

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