August 11, 2021

County Executive Elrich Announces COVID-19 Rent Relief Program Has Provided More Than 5,800 Households with More Than $32 Million in Rental Relief

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich was joined by local landlords and tenants this week in Rockville to provide an update on the COVID-19 Rent Relief Program. The program has provided more than $32 million in rental assistance to more than 5,800 households that are, or were, behind on their rent. More assistance is available for those who continue to be financially impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis.

The latest phase of the County’s rental relief program includes $59 million from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. That amount includes $31 million in direct allocation and $28 million from the State’s allocation.

“This is an important milestone for us and the Rental Relief Program, but more importantly, it is providing vital support to the more than 5,800 households that we have provided assistance to,” said County Executive Elrich. “I want to thank our staff for their tireless work over the last few months. They have been working long hours working going through thousands of applications and have been laser-focused on trying to find a way to help people. It has been tough, but their great work has got us to this point. I want to thank our Federal delegation, Congress members Jamie Raskin, John Sarbanes and David Trone, as well as Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin. Our congressional team has been amazing in ensuring that Montgomery County, and its residents, get the Federal support it needs to successfully recover from the pandemic. I really appreciate all they do on our behalf and their work is a big part of why we have been able to help so many families.”

The County’s Rent Relief Program provides up to $12,000 (or 15 months) of assistance to eligible households that are behind on rent due to COVID-19-related income loss. The County has processed approximately 40 percent of the applications it has received for rental assistance and approximately 60 percent of the applications are awaiting processing.

The COVID-19 Rent Relief Program, managed by the County's Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), works with tenants who are below 30 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) and may be eligible for additional financial help. The funds that are awarded take into consideration other local, State or Federal assistance received to pay rent.

Applications for the program are not processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Instead, they are processed based on criteria such as location, employment status and eviction status. DHHS developed a Homeless Prevention Index to evaluate all neighborhoods in relation to COVID-19 impact, housing stress and social determinants. The index is used to prioritize assignment of applications for processing. Households that have a member who has been unemployed for the previous 90 days, or households with current eviction notices or judgments from the District Court, are prioritized.

“We want residents to know that there is still time to apply,” said DHHS Director Raymond Crowel. “I encourage people who need assistance and think they qualify to contact us for more information. We want to help as many people as we can and don’t want them to believe the myth that it is too late to apply.”

The County’s Rental Relief Program is now in its third phase. In order to participate, tenants must meet the following minimum eligibility requirements:
  • Have experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19.
  • Gross household income from previous 30 days at or below 50 percent of AMI.
  • Have been a Montgomery County resident since at least August 2020.
  • Owe $1,000 or more to current landlord.
To learn more about the County’s Rental Relief program, visit the COVID-19 website. Visit the Rent Relief website 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).