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Hogan announces $30 million in eviction prevention assistance

Gov. Larry Hogan today announced the commitment of $30 million in new funding to prevent evictions and help Marylanders affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development press release.

"Too many Marylanders have faced undue financial hardships during this unprecedented crisis, including the inability to pay their rent," Hogan (R) said in the press release. "While our eviction moratorium has helped families remain in safe and stable housing through the pandemic, we are also maximizing federal resources to help as many renters as possible."

This critical funding is available through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act. On Wednesday, the governor announced the commitment of more than $45.6 million in education funding through the CARES Act for K-12 technology improvements, community college workforce development programs, rural broadband initiatives and other priorities.

Since the governor declared a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 5, 20% of all residential rental units have fallen into delinquency, according to the release. While eviction moratoriums have provided time for federal stimulus funds and federal and state unemployment benefits to take effect, many Marylanders are still struggling to pay their rent. As a result of increased demand for local rental assistance programs, the Department of Housing and Community Development intends to deploy $20 million in expected federal Community Development Block Grant program funding across all 24 jurisdictions in the state to help address eviction prevention needs.

The residential rental industry is experiencing a reduction in rental payments combined with increased maintenance costs. Approximately 9,000 of the 45,000 state-financed rental units in Maryland are currently delinquent at an estimated cost of $3 million per month, according to the release. The Assisted Housing Relief Program — which will get the other $10 million — is intended to help bring rental delinquencies current for those units and provide real relief for the tenants through direct payments to the eligible property management company. Once a payment for back rent from the Assisted Housing Relief Program is received by a landlord, tenants will have their rental debt eliminated and no longer face the threat of eviction.

The program will include rental units in multi-family projects financed by DHCD's Community Development Administration using state funds or federal resources, such as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program where the unit rent is controlled.

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