July 2, 2020 

Media Contact: 

Scott Peterson, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 202-277-9412 


ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Beginning Monday, July 6th, Howard County residents may apply for financial assistance to pay past due rent payments to prevent eviction. The $​1.5 million in housing ​payment relief is being allocated through local non-profit partnerships. Applicants must be Howard County residents, provide proof of home address, and provide evidence of loss of income due to COVID-related job loss, reduction in hours, and/or medical illness. The maximum assistance per household is three months of housing expense. 

“With more than 23,000 renters in the county, the need for housing payment assistance and eviction prevention will likely exceed ​the $770,356 we received in federal relief, which is why we allocated an additional $800k,” said Ball. “Our local non-profits will be ​accepting applications and providing funding assistance directly to residents to ensure that they receive the support they need to stay safely housed. As we continue to battle this virus, we must provide the necessary relief and services to make sure no one falls through the cracks.” 

Residents may contact one of the participating providers for an application: 

Community Action Council, cac-hc.org, 410-313-6440 

The United Way, uwcm.org, 211 

Grassroots, grassrootcrisis.org, evictionprevention@grassrootscrisis.org, 410-531-6677 

Family and Children’s Services, fcsmd.org, lspivey@fcsmd.org, 443-864-0379 

Foreign-Born Information and Referral Network (FIRN), firnonline.org, housinghelp@firnonline.org, 443-276-3166 

Applicants must also meet maximum household income limits, which are based on 80% of the Howard County area median income.  

Family Size                     Amount  

One Person                        $64,723  

Two Person                         $73,969  

Three Persons                     $83,215  

Four Persons                       $92,461  

Five Persons                        $99,858  

Six Persons                         $107,255  

Seven Persons                    $114,651  

Eight Persons                     $122,048  

Partnership with Making Change

In County Executive Ball’s continued commitment to financial literary, Howard County is partnering with Making Change, Inc. to provide free financial counseling to residents affected by a loss of income due to COVID-19. The counseling will include budget preparation and contacting creditors for assistance. The request form is available at makingchangecenter.org or by emailing info@makingchangecenter.org

Special Exceptions Update 

If you rent a unit in a property owned by the Howard County Housing Commission, you may be eligible for rental assistance from the Howard County Housing Commission. Residents should contact the property managers in their buildings to apply. 


No Doctor’s Orders Needed for Columbia Drive-Through Testing  

Starting today, the Columbia VEIP Testing Site will no longer requires a doctor’s order to schedule an appointment. Residents may visit https://health.maryland.gov/covidtest/Pages/Home.aspx to schedule an appointment directly. Residents who have been to or around someone who has recently been in a large gathering, who may have come into contact with COVID-19, or those who may or may not be showing symptoms are all encouraged to be tested for COVID-19.  

The Columbia VEIP station is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. For a full list of testing sites in Howard County please click here


Emergency Health Enrollment 

Today, County Executive Ball shared an informative video explaining how to enroll for emergency health coverage with the approaching July 15th deadline.

For many residents who have lost insurance coverage due to COVID-related circumstances, this is an important opportunity to gain coverage. Maryland Health Connection’s special enrollment period for uninsured Marylanders to enroll in private health plans through July 15, and coverage will start July 1, 2020.  

To enroll, visit MarylandHealthConnection.gov or download the free “Enroll MHC” mobile app. When enrolling, you should request or select “Coronavirus Emergency Special Enrollment Period.” Trained navigators and brokers can help you enroll by phone. This enrollment period is for new enrollments of uninsured Marylanders who are eligible, not an opportunity for currently enrolled consumers to change plans.

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