The $20 million in funding from the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security or CARES act expands rental assistance and homelessness prevention to low-income households that have experienced a loss of income due to the COVID-19 health crisis. The County program was introduced by County Executive Marc Elrich and approved by the County Council in July.
More than $1 million in financial assistance was given to eligible households in the initial phase of the program. DHHS has continued to maintain an active waitlist and the process for requesting assistance has been streamlined since the first phase was introduced.
Eligible renters must certify that they have income under 60 percent of the average median income, which is $65,529 for a family of three; that they lost income due to COVID-19; that they are rent-burdened and behind on rent; and that they have been a resident of Montgomery County since February 2020. Households may have formal or informal lease arrangements.
Approved households may receive up to $4,000 for rent arrears and a rent credit for future months paid directly to the landlord when a formal lease agreement exists.