Montgomery County’s COVID-19 Rent Relief Program will close applications Friday.
Tenants have through midnight on Friday to apply, County Executive Marc Elrich said during a media briefing Thursday. The program provides rental assistance to tenants in the county who experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19 and are behind on rent payments, with income restrictions.
According to the county, the fourth phase of the program will close because the current pool of applicants is expected to use up remaining funds.
Elrich said the program was funded with federal money that is no longer being renewed, so the county is spending out the last of the funds. While the county is reaching the end of its federal money, Elrich said there are some funds the county continues to have, like eviction prevention services.
He said he felt the program was a success, but wishes more could have been done.
“We only scratched the surface of potential recipients of these funds,” he said. Elrich hopes the incoming governor or federal government will look at the situation and might consider additional federal relief.
The rent program is managed by the county’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Under phase four of the program, DHHS has approved assistance for about 1,500 households and processed more than 3,300 applications, according to the county.
More than $93 million in assistance has been provided since the program started.
Eligibility requirements for the Rent Relief Program are as follows:
- Experienced COVID-19-related financial hardship
- Have a household gross income from 2020 or 2021 tax return, or from the previous 30 days, that is at or below 50% area median income (AMI)
- Lived in Montgomery County since August 2021 or earlier
- Have a formal or informal obligation to pay rent
- Are behind on rent payment by at least two months as of June 30
Eligible residents should apply online at www.mc311.com/rentrelief. Applicants will need an email address. Those who do not have one are encouraged to create one or connect with their property manager or landlord who can apply for them. Residents who need help can call 311 for assistance.