Business, Family, Politics

Olszewski announces $1.1 million in additional federal funding for eviction prevention

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TOWSON, MD—County Executive Johnny Olszewski on Thursday announced that Baltimore County will receive an additional $1.1 million dollars in rental assistance funding from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, through its reallocation of federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program funds.

Baltimore County was one of only three jurisdictions statewide to receive reallocation funding – obtaining the largest reallocation of federal dollars in the state.

“We should do everything possible to help families who have fallen on hard times stay in their homes,” said Olszewski. “We are grateful to our federal partners for these reallocated funds, which will help nearly 100 of the most vulnerable households in Baltimore County avoid eviction and potential homelessness as they work to stabilize their finances — and their futures.”

Since June 2020, the County and its nonprofit partners have invested more than $116 million in housing stability initiatives since the beginning of the pandemic, helping over 8,500 County families avoid eviction. These new funds will allow the County and its partners to serve approximately 90 additional households.

The funding will be distributed through the County’s Eviction Prevention Program (EPP). This program works directly with residents through local nonprofit organizations to help stabilize residents and avoid eviction. These additional funds will allow the program to process already submitted applications.

“Every Marylander deserves a secure place to call home. That’s why we fought to deliver emergency rental funds to our communities throughout the pandemic and worked to extend these funds so families can continue to use this lifeline to avoid eviction while they get back on their feet. These federal dollars will help more Baltimore County residents working to make ends meet live securely in their homes,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen.

“Every family deserves a safe place to call home,” said Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger. “When families don’t have to worry about making rent, they can focus on finding and keeping jobs, putting healthy food on the table and purchasing life-saving medications. I am proud to have supported this federal funding and thank Baltimore County for delivering this vital lifeline to struggling families.”

In addition, the County continues to ensure access to legal counsel for tenants, investing nearly $1.5 million since 2021 for free housing-related legal services through tenant hotlines, community clinics, and scheduled or day-of court legal representation. Residents who require housing-related legal services may contact Maryland Legal Aid, Pro Bono Resource Center, St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center, or the District Court Self-Help Resource Centers. The District Court Self-Help Centers provide free limited legal services for individuals who are not represented by an attorney in civil cases on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. by calling 410-260-1392, or through an online chat.

In addition to rental assistance and access to legal counsel, Baltimore County is investing an additional $3 million over the next two years in a host of services to support housing stability efforts, including case management, employment assistance services, housing navigation, benefits screening, financial navigation such as credit repair and budgeting, tenant/landlord advocacy, and tenant and landlord mediation.

“The US Treasury provided this additional funding to jurisdictions based on their proven ability to effectively and efficiently assist households in preventing the loss of stable housing due to ongoing economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Terry Hickey, Director of Baltimore County’s Department of Housing and Community Development. “We are proud that Baltimore County’s Eviction Prevention Program is again receiving recognition for being a national model, and feel fortunate that we will have the opportunity to continue serving Baltimore County’s most vulnerable residents.”

The County continues to support its Coordinated Entry system to serve as an access point for anyone experiencing housing instability or homelessness, in which the above supportive efforts will be integrated. For those currently experiencing homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless, call Coordinated Entry at 410-887-8463.

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