ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County has received an additional $7.7 million in grant funding from the U.S. Treasury’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) for rent relief and utility assistance. County Executive Calvin Ball announced in March an initial $9.7 million in grants from the program, which has already been distributed to 719 households in need as of October 1. Howard County is one of seven Maryland jurisdictions to receive a second round of funding from ERAP.
This second round of funding is a testament to Howard County’s efficiency in distributing funding to our community. The initial ERAP grant has already helped more than 719 households, and with this additional funding we can continue to support our neighbors who have significant needs as they manage past-due rents and utilities. This progress would not be possible without our extraordinary non-profit partners, who have strong community ties and are able to engage and identify those in need.
Assistance is available for residents experiencing a loss of income, reduction in earnings, medical illness or had to care for family due to COVID-19. The funding can be used to pay past due rent and utility expenses for up to 18 months. Residents that have received assistance previously are eligible to apply for additional assistance from this funding up to a total of 18 months assistance. The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is encouraging all residents with COVID-related household income losses to contact one of the non-profit providers as soon as possible to bring rent and utility accounts current and avoid eviction. To apply, please click here.
While this additional funding supports rental and utility assistance, last month, County Executive announced $2 million in American Rescue Plan funding to assist struggling homeowners and prevent foreclosures in Howard County. Homeowners that have fallen behind on their mortgage payments can visit the Department of Housing and Community Development’s COVID-19 webpage and complete an application today.
Through the combined efforts of county, state, and federal funding, Howard County has supported more than 1600 households with rent and utility assistance and foreclosure prevention. As of October 1st, Howard County has distributed more than $13 million in housing assistance through the DHCD and its non-profit partners.
The County appreciates the confidence of our federal partners to invest additional funds in Howard County. The housing department team is committed to supporting our nonprofit partners as they provide assistance to as many struggling residents as possible. We developed an online platform to allow applications from a resident’s mobile phone and online payment processing so landlords are paid quickly, and evictions are prevented. This additional funding will also allow us to continue working with the school system to help families with school age children stay safely housed.