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Rental Assistance in Maryland: Everything You Need to Know

Many people experienced financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The good news is that you may still be able to get help with current or past due rental payments through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) in Maryland. This article will help guide you in applying for Maryland rental assistance.

What is the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)?

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program is a federal emergency rental funding program administered through each state’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). The program is designed to help lower-income residents who have difficulty making current or past-due rental payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Maryland, ERAP is administered through the Maryland Eviction Partnership program, and funding goes directly to property management on behalf of tenants and local jurisdictions in Maryland. Residents of eligible properties are encouraged to speak with their property manager to apply on their behalf.

Who qualifies for rental assistance in Maryland?

Tenants residing in eligible multifamily rental properties that have received state or federal funds from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (MDHCD) may be eligible for the Assisted Housing Relief Program. Property owners, landlords, property managers, and tenants whose landlords will not apply for funding on their behalf can apply.

Household income is limited to a maximum of 80 percent of the state-wide area median income (AMI) for Maryland, as defined by HUD.

What does ERAP cover?

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program can provide financial assistance with things like:

  • Past due rent
  • Utility arrears
  • First month’s rent and security deposit for a new residence
  • Rental application fees
  • Late costs and court fees if eviction is imminent

Each household may be eligible for up to 15-18 months of total assistance under ERAP. Since local jurisdictions operate rental assistance programs independently, contact your county of residence directly for specific information and instructions.

NOTE: The Emergency Rental Assistance Program does not cover mortgage payments or other housing expenses. ERAP will also not pay for rental or utility costs that have been or will be covered under another funding source.

Applying for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program in Maryland

Property managers must apply for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program through the Application Portal.

Although the documentation required by each county varies, the following information is required to demonstrate financial hardship:

  • Proof of rental delinquencies,
  • Valid current lease identifying primary tenant as leaseholder and identifying household size
  • Income verification,
  • Tenant Worksheet, and
  • Tenant Certification.

NOTE: Submission of an application does not guarantee ERAP assistance. Eligibility requirements must be met, and applications are subject to availability of funds at time of processing.

DHCD staff will review your application and if additional information is needed, they will contact you. Once your request has been approved, a non-negotiable rental assistance agreement between DHCD and the property owner will be issued. After the agreement is fully executed, weekly payments will be issued directly to the property, landlord, or court

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get approved?

As long as there are available funds, DHCD will prioritize applications for ERAP assistance for these two groups first:

  1. Households with annual income at or below 50% of the area median income (AMI).
  2. Households with one or more individuals who are unemployed at the time of ERAP application AND have not been employed during the last 90 days.

For bulk tenant rent relief programs using ERAP funds through the State of Maryland, assistance is prioritized for tenants in properties that provide income-based housing and/or have a high proportion of tenants with income under 50% AMI. These properties include:

  • Housing developments that have received assistance from DHCD.
  • Programs operated by Public Housing Authorities.
  • Class C & D multifamily housing properties in census tracts that have been identified as a high priority for rental assistance by the Urban Institute.

How much does rental assistance pay?

The amount of rental assistance you may receive depends on available funds at the time of the application review, county of residence, household earnings, and whether any previous or current local, state, or federal COVID-related assistance was received.

Still have questions?

For more information, click here or submit your questions on how to apply for rental assistance to dhcd.rentrelief@maryland.gov. You may also call the Maryland Emergency Rental Assistance Call Center at 877-546-5595 Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 7 PM and Saturdays from 9 AM to 4 PM.

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