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In Focus: Pandemic Rental Assistance Ahead of End of Eviction Moratorium Approaches

Posted: 5:30 AM, Jul 27, 2021
Updated: 2021-07-27 18:20:45-04
Maryland Daily Life

BALTIMORE — This morning, the Environment and Transportation Committee in the Maryland House of Delegates discussed COVID-19 Rental Assistance.

The 10 a.m. meeting can be viewed here.

Committee members, over the course of four hours, heard an update on how this emergency money is being rolled out from Department of Housing and Community Development Assistant Secretary Carol Gilbert, as well as presentations from several other groups.

This comes as the August 15th end of the eviction moratorium approaches.

But Stuart Campbell, the Director of Community Services Programs, says that's won't be the end of rental assistance.

"There's absolutely still money," he says, adding, "Folks should right now be applying for the funding to make sure that their applications being getting processed, and that they can get the support they need."

If you are in need of rental assistance, the website can be found here.

Delegate Dana Stein, of District 11, worries that money might not get out to people quickly enough.

"If we're seeing that tenant assistance is not getting out fast enough, so that there's still a fair amount of money to be distributed to tenants who are behind in the rent, and but they may not be able to get to get that assistance until well after August 15," says Delegate Stein. "Should that deadline for that affirmative [eviction] defense be extended?"

WMAR-2 News has reached out to the Governor's office to see if Gov. Hogan plans to reconsider ending the eviction moratorium on the 15th, but we have not yet heard back.

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development sent us the latest numbers Monday night:

As of July 26th, the state had distributed $10.6 million from the first Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

This is an increase in $7 million from the previous figures from June 30th.

Maryland's working on allocating another $25 million next month.

The amount distributed thus far is less than 10% of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program 1 funds given to the state of Maryland, but the pace seems to be picking up.

Here's a breakdown of money by county: