As Federal Eviction Relief Funds Dwindle, Calls For Maryland To Establish Its Own Rental Assistance Program Grow

Gov. Larry Hogan takes the podium at his 2019 inauguration. Photo by Maryland National Guard via Flickr.

What’s happening?

A coalition of housing advocates, politicians, and nonprofit organizations sent a letter on Tuesday urging Gov. Larry Hogan and other top state lawmakers to establish a first-of-its-kind state-funded emergency rental assistance program in 2023, Giacomo Bologna reports for the Baltimore Sun.  The program would aim to mitigate the potential loss of federal eviction relief dollars awarded during the pandemic.

Maryland received about $750 million in federal emergency rental relief funding and distributed it among 82,000 households as of June 30, according to state data. However, the current funds are beginning to run out, and the federal government has not yet announced a renewal in 2023. 

What are the specifics of the letter?

In the letter—signed by the executives of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Howard, and Montgomery counties, as well as Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott—the coalition warned state leaders that without the federal rental assistance program, tens of thousands of Marylanders could be evicted next year. The coalition recommended the state set aside $175 million for rental assistance to prevent the evictions of an estimated 17,000 households. 

“We have been anticipating the wind-down of these federal funds for quite some time, which is why officials from the Department of Housing and Community Development have reached out to local jurisdictions to talk through various funding options that would leverage other federal relief programs,” said Hogan’s spokesman, Michael Ricci.

Ricci did not indicate whether the governor plans to intervene with state funding. If lawmakers agree to the proposal, Maryland would be the first state to establish its own eviction relief fund. 

Anything else I should know? 

Baltimore City distributes most of its federal rental assistance money through the Baltimore City Community Action Partnership in the mayor’s office. For many tenants, the application process and receipt of funds can take up to six months, pushing them farther behind in their rent and increasing financial pressure on landlords to evict, according to Jack BeVier, a partner at Baltimore-based property development firm Dominion Group.

You can read more here.

12 thoughts on “As Federal Eviction Relief Funds Dwindle, Calls For Maryland To Establish Its Own Rental Assistance Program Grow”

  1. It’s sad very sad. Put the judge’s mother there or his relatives so he will know what the Elderly and Disable people r going through. It’s all about the money they care about no one but the almighty dollar bill. Another judge needs to step in and I see some elderly people are sleeping outside. That’s to show u what kind of judge he is. Sad very sad. PROTEST PLEASE PROTEST

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