2021 | Government

Nearly $2.3 million distributed in rental assistance

County has received more than 6,600 applications

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County has received more than 6,600 applications

Montgomery County has now distributed $2.29 million in rental relief assistance, out of its latest round of federal funds of about $31.4 million.

County Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz told reporters at a news briefing that as of Thursday, Department of Health and Human Services officials are currently reviewing 2,230 applications for rental relief. In total, the county has received more than 6,600 applications. 

Initially, officials were slow to distribute the latest round of funding they received. They announced the current round of funding in April, but didn’t send out the first checks until late May.

DHHS officials who head the rental assistance program previously said that changing guidelines from the U.S. Treasury and state, creating a new online portal and other reasons led to the delay.

Through June 14, about $1.5 million had been distributed. Officials hope they can distribute much more than $1 million a week in the coming weeks and months.

The update comes as Gov. Larry Hogan recently announced the end of the state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic, effective July 1. The eviction moratorium remains in place until Aug. 15, Albornoz and County Council President Tom Hucker said.

If residents hear from their landlords about possible evictions or other similar matters, they should call 311, the county’s general information line, Albornoz said.

But he added that if tenants get a court summons, they should attend that court hearing, so they can get assistance via the local Legal Aid division, which provides legal services for lower-income residents.

Eligible tenants can receive up to $12,000 under the county’s rental assistance program. Those earning less than 30% of the median area income could receive more.

To apply, residents must prove they have been financially affected due to the coronavirus, owe at least $1,000 to their landlord, and have lived in Montgomery County since at least August of last year. 

Residents must show they have earned 50% or less than the area median income during the past 30 days. They do not need to prove citizenship or provide a Social Security number, but they must have:

  • Photo identification
  • Proof of residency
  • Income verification

Residents can apply for rental assistance at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/HHS-Program/SNHS/rent-relief.html or by calling 240-777-0311.

Steve Bohnel can be reached at steve.bohnel@bethesdamagazine.com