TOWSON, MD—Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski on Tuesday announced a new initiative to assist county residents who are in danger of eviction due to a COVID-19 related financial crisis. The program’s initial phase will provide $1 million in rental assistance to households at risk of losing their current housing when the state moratorium on evictions is lifted.
“We are here to support families that are struggling financially as a result of this pandemic. This initiative will help families avoid homelessness and provide a bridge while they get back on their feet,” Olszewski said. “This is just a first step, but an important one—and Baltimore County will continue to look for ways to provide resources that help our families weather this storm.”
County residents who have lost income due to COVID-19, are at risk of losing their housing, and meet other program criteria including income limits, may be eligible to receive assistance towards past due rent accrued during the state of emergency. County officials anticipate the average award will cover approximately two months of rent per household.
Funding for this phase will come from Baltimore County’s allocation of federal Coronavirus Relief Funds and Emergency Assistance to Families with Children through the Department of Social Services.
County residents can apply on the Baltimore County website, where eligibility details and a list of required documentation can be found. The application will open today, Tuesday, June 9 at 10 a.m. Completed applications must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, June 12. Applications will be reviewed on a first-come first-served basis and are subject to the availability of funds.
In recognition of the fact that financial support addresses only some of the issues impacting renters, Baltimore County is partnering with the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition’s Fair Housing Action Center (FHAC) to provide the following services to applicants:
- Financial coaching and counseling, including assistance negotiating with landlords
- Referral to supportive services, including legal assistance
- Renters’ tax credit applications and assistance
“We are excited to embark on this new partnership with Baltimore County, as it expands and deepens the work FHAC has been doing successfully for the benefit of Maryland residents and comes at a critical time to provide additional support for Baltimore County residents. We commend County Executive Johnny Olszewski for his commitment to support renters throughout the County,” said Marceline White, Executive Director, Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition.
The eviction prevention initiative is the latest effort by Baltimore County to strengthen the safety net for families suffering economic losses as a result of the pandemic.