In the latest step to support housing stability amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski Jr. on Thursday announced, under the second phase of the County’s eviction prevention program, that the County will provide up to $2 million in rental assistance for residents who have lost income as a result of the pandemic and are at risk of losing their housing.
The County will begin accepting applications on October 6, 2020.
“We have to do all we can to help families across Baltimore County who are struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring that our neighbors can keep their housing is a critical part of that process,” Olszewski said. “I’m proud of the work we have already done to prevent evictions and I’m thankful to all our community partners for their support as we begin the next step in these efforts.”
The County has partnered with community-based organizations to administer phase two of the program, which is funded by Community Development Block Grant–Corona Virus (CDBG-CV) funds.
Following an RFP announced in July, the County will enter into grant agreements with seven organizations:
- Associated Catholic Charities
- Baltimore County Department of Social Services
- Community Assistance Network*
- Episcopal Housing Corporation
- House of Ruth
- Jewish Community Services
- St. Vincent de Paul
Applicants should apply through Baltimore County’s application portal and will be contacted directly by one of the County’s approved partner organizations listed above to complete application processing and eligibility review.
Completed applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis and are subject to available funding.
In order to qualify for assistance through this programs, applicants must be:
- A Baltimore County resident with a valid lease agreement.
- At risk of losing rental housing due to COVID-19 income loss.
- At or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income.
- Household cannot have received an eviction order prior to March 16, 2020.
Residents who have already received an eviction notice and/or have a court date can contact the District Court Self-Help Resource Centers, which provide free limited legal services for individuals who are not represented by an attorney in civil cases.
The Centers can be reached on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. by calling 410-260-1392 or through an online chat.
During the first phase of the eviction prevention program, the County distributed over $1.2 million in rental assistance to almost 500 households.
Funding came from the County’s allocation of federal Coronavirus Relief Funds and Emergency Assistance to Families with Children through the Department of Social Services.
In addition to providing financial support to residents, the County has partnered with the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition's Fair Housing Action Center to provide financial coaching and counseling, including assistance negotiating with landlords; referral to supportive services, including legal assistance; and renters’ tax credit applications and assistance.
The eviction prevention initiative is a key part of Baltimore County’s efforts to strengthen the safety net for families suffering economic losses as a result of the pandemic.
Baltimore County Government and Baltimore County Public Schools have provided more than six million meals for County residents. Information about food resources is available at www.BaltimoreCountyMD.gov/FoodHelp.
For more information about these initiatives and other efforts to respond to the pandemic, visit www.BaltimoreCountyMD.gov/Coronavirus.
*Six of the seven grants were approved during the County’s 14-day grant notification process. Funding for the Community Assistance Network is subject to County Council approval during its October 5 legislative session.