Business, Health, Politics

Olszewski commits additional funds for eviction prevention

BALTIMORE COUNTY, MD—After significant response from residents applying for assistance from Phase One of Baltimore County’s Eviction Prevention Program, County Executive Johnny Olszewski has allocated an additional $1 million to support residents who are struggling to pay their rent and other housing-related expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This new funding will supplement the County’s previous $1 million allocation to assist households at risk of losing their current housing when the state moratorium on evictions is lifted.

In addition, the County has allocated an additional $2 million in Community Development Block Grant–Corona Virus (CDBG-CV) funds for Phase Two of its eviction prevention efforts. The County in June issued an RFP to enter into grant agreements with eligible community-based organizations to address homelessness and expand eviction prevention efforts through subsistence payments and security deposits.

Phase Two will enable partnering organizations to tackle the issue of eviction prevention in a more comprehensive manner and will focus on the County residents impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

“Families across Baltimore County are facing significant financial challenges as a result of the pandemic, and it’s critical that we help as many of those families as we can. These additional funds will help more families avoid homelessness and provide a bridge while they get back on their feet,” Olszewski said. “We will continue to identify ways to provide resources that help our families weather this storm.”

Applications for Phase One of the Eviction Prevention Program have closed. The additional funding will enable the County to provide support to more of the families who have already applied prior to the announced deadline. The County expects that at least 800 households will receive assistance.

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The original $1 million for this phase of the Eviction Prevention Program came from the County’s allocation of federal Coronavirus Relief Funds and Emergency Assistance to Families with Children through the Department of Social Services. The additional funds will come from the County’s allocation of federal Coronavirus Relief Funds.

In addition to financial support for residents, the County has partnered with the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition’s Fair Housing Action Center (FHAC) to provide the following services:

  • Financial coaching and counseling, including assistance negotiating with landlords
  • Referral to supportive services, including legal assistance
  • Renters’ tax credit applications and assistance

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. Baltimore County government and Baltimore County Public Schools have provided more than three million meals for County residents. Information about food resources is available at www.BaltimoreCountyMD.gov/FoodHelp.

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