Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Announces $135 Million in Emergency Rental Assistance Funding Provided For Tenants and Landlords Affected By COVID-19 Pandemic
Programs Open and Available in All Maryland Jurisdictions
New Carrollton, Md. (September 30, 2021)—The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development today announced the Emergency Rental Assistance Program has approved $135 million to assist 15,000 renters affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Early projections show a continued positive trend with an estimated more than $50 million in assistance to be paid out in September.
“The basis of our program, which was built in consultation with a bipartisan workgroup, has been to ensure that rental assistance is provided in an equitable way, with low barriers and a local focus,” said Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “Our approach means that there is a long-term sustainability to the program, all while evictions are at record lows compared to before the pandemic.”
Emergency Rental Assistance Program Data. The distribution of assistance continues to rapidly accelerate: state program spending has increased by more than 60 percent from July to August. The $135 million in relief includes $65.7 million in state program spending and $69.4 million in direct relief by local jurisdictions. Six counties—Carroll, Cecil, Frederick, Howard, Prince George’s and Wicomico—have utilized approximately 50 percent or more of their allocated resources to help tenants and landlords.
In addition to funds allocated to counties directly by the federal government and the state, the Department reserved $20 million of funds in order to reallocate based on successful program implementation. The state will begin allocating those funds to the fastest-spending counties in October, based on spending data through September.
Rental Delinquency and Eviction Data. Rental delinquency data from a Maryland Multi-Housing Association survey of their membership shows that under 17 percent of rental households are currently behind on multiple months of rent, compared to 42 percent at the height of the pandemic. According to the District Court of Maryland, the vast majority of failure-to-pay rent cases were dismissed, with under 800 evictions occurring monthly—compared to an average of 1,800, in the 6 months prior to the pandemic.
To see complete program data, visit rentrelief.maryland.gov and click on “Data Dashboard.” Viewers of the dashboard can select information on specific county programs, see demographic information and get data on department marketing and outreach efforts. The dashboard is updated on a monthly basis to show progress.
In 2020, prior to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, more than $113 million in state, local and federal funds were allocated to rental assistance statewide to assist approximately 30,000 renters. Maryland will also receive an additional $352 million through a second phase of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program and plans for distribution are under development.
How to Apply: Tenants and landlords should visit rentrelief.maryland.gov or call 877-546-5595 to get connected to rental assistance programs. All jurisdictions in Maryland are currently accepting applications. In addition to local programs, tenants in eligible properties may qualify for DHCD’s Assisted Housing Relief Program, which serves rental units in multifamily projects financed by the department’s Community Development Administration using state funds or federal resources. Tenants in those properties should contact their property management company for application information.