More than 5,800 households in Montgomery County received rental assistance so far during the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders shared during a press conference Thursday.
$32 million has been distributed and Phase 3 of the county’s Rent Relief Program offers an additional $59 million. Tenants who are interested must meet the following criteria, according to the county:
- 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; and
- Owe at least $1,000 or more to current landlord.
The program is not first-come-first-served, and funds are given out based on criteria such as location, and employment and eviction status. Residents can apply online and those who need help or do not have Internet can call 311 (240-777-0311).
About 40% of applications have been processed. County Executive Marc Elrich said the Sheriff’s Office now tells the county which households are facing eviction, which will help to prioritize applications and figure out who still needs to apply for rent relief.
The county is doing targeted outreach to those residents, said Amanda Harris, Chief of Services to End and Prevent Homelessness for County Health and Human Services.
“So, if you got a red and white — that eviction notice that’s been posted on your door, don’t be surprised if one of our partner agencies comes knocking. They are there to help you, not hurt you.”
Harris said the outreach is helping. When the county first began receiving the data, only about 25% of households facing eviction had applied for the rent relief program. That number has gone up to 40%, she said.
Apply for rental assistance here.
El Ejecutivo del condado @MontCoExec brinda actualizaciones sobre el Programa de Alivio de Alquiler COVID-19. Hasta el momento, 5.845 hogares han recibido ayuda para pagar el alquiler. @mymcmedia https://t.co/wsRm7GhbHJ
— Andrea Sarralde (@asarralde) August 12, 2021