- The Biden Administration has extended the temporary halt in residential evictions through the end of June 2021.
- Tenants can learn about their eviction and debt collection rights and how to get help with housing costs at www.consumerfinance.gov/renters.
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is taking complaints from tenants about problems with debt collectors, including attorneys seeking to evict tenants in violation of the CDC eviction moratorium. Consumers can submit a complaint at www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/ or by calling (855) 411-2372.
Mortgage and rent payment relief
- If you’re concerned about how to pay your mortgage or rent due to COVID-19, visit cfpb.gov/housing for information on what to do now, and what your options are for mortgage and rent payment relief.
- If the COVID19 pandemic has affected your ability to pay your mortgage and your loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you may be eligible to delay making your monthly mortgage payments for a temporary period, during which you won’t incur late fees and foreclosure/other legal proceedings will be suspended.
- To find out if your loan is owned by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, use the "loan lookup" tools:
Emergency Rental Assistance Program
- The Treasury Department continues to administer the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) to assist households that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the passage of the American Rescue Plan, an additional $21.5 billion is available, almost doubling in size the scale and reach of this program and providing greater relief to our most vulnerable households. Renters and landlords seeking access to rental assistance should apply directly to the local program in their area. Click here for information about ERAP in the State of Maryland.
- More information on ERAP, including eligibility requirements, can be found here. The Treasury Department recently issued updated guidance on the ERAP, providing grantees greater flexibility in determining renter eligibility.
- The Department of House and Urban Development (HUD) will continue its responsibilities in upholding the Fair Housing Act and will monitor and address circumstances where landlords are evicting tenants because of race, color, religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), disability, familial status, or national origin. If tenants feel like they have experienced discriminatory treatment, they can contact HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (Relay). Tenants can also file discrimination complaints online at hud.gov/fairhousing.
Click here for guidance for rental assistance from the State of Maryland.
- The State's moratorium on evictions remains in effect. On March 16, 2020, Governor Hogan issued an emergency order prohibiting Maryland courts from ordering the eviction of any tenant who can show that their failure to pay rent was the result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Examples include losing employment, needing to care for a school-aged child,or being diagnosed with COVID-19.
- An additional emergency order prohibits electric, gas, water, sewage, phone, cable TV, and internet service provider companies from shutting off any residential customer’s service or charging any late fees. For additional assistance with housing needs, utility shutoffs, family or financial issues, tenants should contact Maryland 2-1-1 by calling 211 or visiting 211md.org.
- In addition to 2-1-1, renters whose landlord is not abiding by the moratorium can contact the relevant federal agency that administers your housing program or Maryland Legal Aid here.
- Governor Hogan enacted an executive order that stops lenders from initiating the mortgage foreclosure process. Nearly 70 of Maryland’s largest banks, credit unions, mortgage lenders, state agencies, and other financial entities have collaborated to provide additional flexibility to borrowers. Learn more.
Emergency Rental Assistance Program
- Click here for the most up to date information about the State of Maryland's Emergency Renatl Assistance Program.
- The State of Maryland is currently preparing to deploy federal COVID-19 relief funds as rental assistance. If coronavirus has affected a tenant or their family’s ability to pay rent in a timely fashion, they may be eligible for assistance. This assistance can be used for rent, utilities, home energy costs, arrears, and other rental housing expenses resulting from the pandemic.
- Some of this federal assistance was provided directly to eight local jurisdictions with populations over 200,000 that will administer their own rental assistance programs - Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George’s Counties, as well as Baltimore City. All local programs are expected to be open for tenants and landlords no later than May 1, 2021, and some local jurisdictions are currently accepting applications.
- The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development will administer funding directly to jurisdictions through the Maryland Eviction Partnership program to support local rental assistance efforts. The department will also provide assistance to tenants residing in affordable rental properties that received federal or state financing through the Assisted Housing Relief Program.
Assisted Housing Relief Program
The Assisted Housing Relief Program is only available to tenants residing in multifamily rental communities that have received state funds or federal resources from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. To be eligible, a tenant must reside in one of the communities listed at: Assisted Housing Relief Program Eligible Properties Search. If a tenant is eligible, they should contact their property management company for application information. Tenant applications will be collected and compiled by the property management company and submitted to the department as one single program application for the property. Property managers will receive direct payments from the department to bring up to nine months of rental delinquencies current.
Energy Assistance for Low Income Families
The Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP) provides bill assistance to low-income households in the State of Maryland to make their energy costs more affordable and to help with the prevention of loss and the restoration of home energy service. Energy assistance will not reduce the amount of any other public assistance benefits you receive, such as TCA or Food Stamps. Nor will it reduce Social Security benefits. OHEP provides four separate grants:
The Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) provides financial assistance with home heating bills. Payments are made to the fuel supplier and utility company on the customer’s behalf.
The Electric Universal Service Program (EUSP) provides financial assistance with electric bills. Eligible customers receive help that pays a portion of their current electric bills. Customers who receive EUSP are placed on a budget billing plan with their utility company. Budget Billing is a tool that utility companies provide to help spread out year annual utility bills into even monthly payments to avoid spikes in your bill caused by seasonal fluctuations in energy use. Please check with your utility company on eligibility requirements and budget billing policy.
Arrearage Retirement Assistance helps customers with large, past due electric and gas bills. If eligible, customers may receive forgiveness of up to $2,000 towards their past due bill. Customers must have a past due bill of $300 or greater to be considered eligible. Customers may only receive an arrearage grant once every seven years, with certain exceptions.
Other OHEP resources:
The Utility Service Protection Program (USPP) is designed to protect low-income families from utility turn-offs during the heating season. All MEAP eligible customers may participate in USPP. Participation also requires a year-round even monthly budget billing. Failure to make consecutive payments may result in removal from USPP.
Weatherization and Energy Efficiency Services customer information is referred to the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) for programs that can provide improvements and repairs to homes at no cost. These improvements can help lower utility bills and make the home more comfortable. DHCD’s energy efficiency and weatherization programs support the EmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Act. For more information, call 1-855-583-8976 or visit dhcd.maryland.gov/Pages/EnergyEfficiency
Maryland Eviction Prevention Partnership / Local Rental Assistance
Local jurisdictions will operate rental assistance programs. All programs are expected to open by May 1, 2021. Please check back here for more information.