ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Today, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced the County has distributed 51% of its funding for County managed assistance programs. With this funding, Howard County has supported 1,849 households with rent and utility assistance and foreclosure prevention, through the combined efforts of county, state, and federal funding. As of December 1st, Howard County has distributed more than $15 million in housing assistance through the DHCD and its non-profit partners.
Since our first round of CARES Act Funding in 2020, our team has worked diligently to get funding into the hands of our most vulnerable residents. Our distribution method is one of the most efficient and effective in the nation – and most importantly, more of our residents are able to stay safely housed during a pandemic. If you or someone you know needs help with housing costs, funding is still available to pay rent and utility expenses.
In October, the County 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 Ball announced in March an initial $9.7 million in grants from the program, which has been distributed to 785 households in need as of December 1. Howard County is one of seven Maryland jurisdictions to receive a second round of funding from ERAP.
We are grateful to our non-profit partners for helping so many of our neighbors stay in their homes. In addition to paying rent and utility bills, they are providing case management and credit counseling to help residents maintain or improve their housing situation.
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.
In September, County Executive Ball announced $2 million in American Rescue Plan funding to assist struggling homeowners and prevent foreclosures in Howard County. As of December 1st, 65 homeowners have been supported by the Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) program. Homeowners that have fallen behind on their mortgage payments can visit the DHCD’s COVID-19 webpage and complete an application today.