A U.S. Treasury Department report finds that Maryland lags behind other states in getting rent relief funds to residents.
What are the local governments doing?
To prevent evictions, state and local governments are supposed to distribute funds from the department’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program to tenants and landlords.
But, despite Maryland’s eight largest jurisdictions receiving a combined $143,498,208 million in ERAP1 funding directly from the treasury, they’ve only distributed $38.54 million in ERAP funding to 5,458 households statewide so far.
Ilana Branda, the Deputy Chief of Montgomery County’s Services to End and Prevent Homelessness, cites ever-changing federal guidelines, a burdensome auditing process, and the lengthy application process as reasons for the delay. “Each time, we are trying to make sure that we are adapting and ensuring that our program continues to comply with Treasury guidance,” she said.
Anything else I should know?
One possible solution to streamline the process is bundling eligible tenants’ information rather than having them apply individually. This method, which is being used by the United Way of Central Maryland in Baltimore County, and being expanded to Baltimore City.
As the federal moratorium on evictions expired last Saturday, and the Maryland state moratorium set to expire on Aug. 15, many residents are vulnerable to what local leaders call a potential “tsunami” of evictions.
Read more here.