Montgomery County – Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

Health and Human Services Department

COVID-19 Rent Assistance Program

APPLY NOW!

Please watch the following video lessons for assistance in properly completing an application:

Tenancy Application

Application for Landlords

If you need to modify any of the information that we have on file for you or if your eviction status has changed since you submitted your application, please send an email to HSS@montgomerycountymd.gov. Also, if your application was denied, please send an email to HSS@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Households that have fallen behind on their rent payments as a direct result of facing financial difficulties as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible for the COVID-19 Rent Relief Program and are therefore entitled to receive short-term rental assistance under this program. The Emergency Rental Assistance Program of the Department of the Treasury provides funding for the operations of the program, which are managed by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) of the County, which also receives funding for its operations from that program.

If funds are still available, the program may grant qualified households up to $12,000 per up to 18 months (including assistance received during Round 3) to pay for back rent that has been accumulated. This would be the case only if funds are still available. Households whose annual incomes are less than thirty percent of the region’s median income may be eligible for additional financial help over and above the initial twelve thousand dollars (AMI). This assistance can include up to two thousand dollars in help with paying utility bills. When determining how much money you donate, we will take into account any additional assistance with rent payments that were obtained from the local government, state government, or federal government.

Questions That Are Frequently Asked:

*On April 28, 2022, the most current revision of this information was made*

  • Rent payment is a challenge for me. Is there a way to receive assistance?

If you are overdue on your rent owing to a COVID-related financial problem, assistance may be available. Please complete the online application located HERE. If you are unable to complete the online application on your own or with the assistance of a property/landlord staff, please phone 311 (2407770311). A County employee or a partner agency will call you to assist you in completing the application.

  • How do I go about submitting my application?

You can apply online at the COVID Rent Relief website, www.mc311.com/rentrelief. You will be asked about the effects of COVID on your household, as well as the members of your household, income, and rent. Please be prepared to upload supporting documents and have your landlord’s contact information on hand. Please keep in mind that you must have an email account in order to submit the application. If you don’t have an email address, get one or contact your property manager/landlord or anyone else who can assist you.

  • I don’t have internet access, and I can’t receive help from my property manager or landlord to complete the application. How do I go about submitting my application?

If you do not have an internet connection or need additional accommodations to complete the application, call MC 311 (2407770311) and a County official or partner will contact you to assist you. MC311 will collect basic information from you, and a program representative will call you to assist you in completing the application.

  • Is there a deadline for submitting my application?

Yes, once the site is open, applications will be accepted for 45 days. Please keep in mind that only entries from households earning 50% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI) will be considered for funding. Applications from higher-income households will be denied. Furthermore, due to funding constraints, we cannot guarantee that all applications will be funded.

  • Who can benefit from COVID’s Round 4 Rent Relief Program?

Households must meet the minimum eligibility requirements listed below. Members of the family must:

    • Have faced financial hardship as a result of COVID19,
    • Have a household gross income of 50% or less of AMI from your 2020 or 2021 tax return or the previous 30 days,
    • You’ve lived in Montgomery County since at least August 2021.
    • Have a legal or informal obligation to pay rent, and
    • Be at least two months behind on rent payments
  • Is citizenship in the United States required? Is a Social Security Number required to apply?

No, you are not required to provide documentation of your legal status. The funding for this program was included in the coronavirus stimulus bill passed by Congress. Because this is emergency assistance, no documentation of home legal status is required. Social security numbers are not necessary either.

  • What exactly do you mean by “financial difficulty”?

Covid19 can cause or result in a number of financial difficulties. You could have lost your job or had your working hours curtailed, for example. Alternatively, you may have needed to take time off work to care for children, sick family members, or yourself while in the hospital. The application includes room for you to describe how Covid19 has affected you and your family.

  • What exactly is AMI, and how can I tell if my income is less than 50% of AMI?

AMI is an abbreviation for Area Median Income. It is calculated by taking the “middle” income of all households in the area. The table below shows the maximum annual and monthly gross revenue amounts.

Family Size Max. Monthly Gross
Household Income
50% AMI
Max. Annual Gross
Household Income
50% AMI
1 $4,154 $49,850
2 $4,746 $56,950
3 $5,338 $64,050
4 $5,929 $71,150
5 $6,404 $76,850
6 $6,879 $82,550
7 $7,354 $88,250
8 $7,829 $93,950

 

  • What kind of income do I need to disclose, and what documentation do I need to provide to substantiate it?

Applicants must submit an accurate count of all household members, as well as the income earned by all household members 18 and older who are not full-time students.

The gross income of the household as it appears on your 2020 or 2021 tax return, as well as gross (pre-tax or deductions) income from the previous 30 days, should be reported/documented. Wages, social security, benefits or pensions, public assistance, unemployment, interest income, and/or child support are all types of income that must be recorded. Pay stubs, bank statements, employer letters, or a self-attestation form can all be used to demonstrate the income from the previous 30 days.

  • Can I still apply if I’ve had to relocate since August 2021?

Yes, if you haven’t missed a rent payment and have been a resident of Montgomery County since August 2021 or earlier. Even if you relocated inside Montgomery County after that date, you can apply for assistance at your current Montgomery County address as long as you have a rent commitment.

  • I have an agreement with a friend or family member to cover some of my living expenses, but I do not have my own lease. Is it still feasible for me to seek assistance?

Even if you have an informal lease, if you have rent due, you are eligible for assistance. Whoever you’ve agreed to pay your rent to must confirm in writing how much you’ve meant to pay monthly and how much you’ve already paid/owe. We will not be able to assist you in paying your rent if you are related to your landlord by birth or marriage and that person owns the property.

  • Is it okay if I get rent help through a housing subsidy program (Housing Choice Voucher, Rental Assistance Program, etc.)?

Yes. You can still apply, but assistance will only be provided for the percentage of the rent for which you are responsible. We strongly recommend that you notify your subsidy provider of any income changes so that your rent due can be adjusted.

  • What is the most money I can receive?

Based on available funds at the time of application approval, households earning 30 percent or less of Area Median Income are eligible for funding up to their whole rental debt and up to $2,000 to address utility debt for a total of 18 months, including any CRRP Round 3 aid. Households earning 31 percent to 50 percent of Area Median Income may be given the lesser of 1) a total of $12,000 or 2) 18 months of aid, including CRRP Round 3 support. The funds are only for rent, and they include any previous COVID Rent Relief money as well as any other municipal, state, or federal funds utilized for COVID-related rent assistance. Applications from households with earnings that exceed 50% of the AMI will be refused.

  • I had assistance in prior rounds of the CRRP, but I’m still falling behind. Is there anything else I can help you with?

Yes. Even if you have previously received COVID Rent Relief Program funding in past rounds, you are eligible to apply for additional funds up to the program ceiling. If you have previously received funding for the current cycle, you may not reapply (4).

  • How will you handle application processing? Is there a first-come, first-served policy?

No, applications are not handled in the order they are received. Instead, submissions will be prioritized based on their significance. When selecting applications to assess, the computer will take into account any eviction court actions, household income, and geographic area.

  • Will I be able to receive my funds immediately away?

The grant is usually applied as a credit against your rent bill by the property owner/landlord. If we are unable to reach an agreement with your landlord, the money may be transferred to you directly.

  • What documentation will I need?

You will need the following documents to complete your application.

    • Photo Identification: A copy of a driver’s license, passport, or other valid photo ID is required for each adult member.
    • Verification of Residency/Address: You must provide confirmation that you live at the address for which you are asking assistance. A bank statement, official letter, utility bill, or other document proving your address would suffice.
    • Income Verification: You will be expected to provide papers and/or self-certification demonstrating that your gross household income is within the program’s household size limitations. This might be your 2020 or 2021 tax return, pay stubs, an employer letter, an unemployment letter, or self-attestation/certification. A self-certification template/form is available on the program’s website. You will also be asked to provide recent bank statements for any family members’ accounts.
    • Rent Confirmation: You must produce documentation proving your rent liability, payment history, and outstanding balance. This can be accomplished by using a rent ledger, a lease, or other documents that provide the necessary information either alone or in combination.
    • Landlord Proof: Your landlord must register with the County’s vendor registration system and produce evidence confirming the tenancy and rent information, including the monthly rent and the amount owed.
    • Tenant Income and Eligibility Certification (available on the website and in the application)
  • I don’t have a letter from my supervisor, I work for myself, or I don’t work regular hours. What need I do to get my earnings confirmed?You will be able to upload a self-certification declaration to the application portal. This should cover your previous employment/income history as well as your current employment/income history. Visit our self-certification form/template for further information.
  • Is this money anything I need to report on my taxes?No, the grant is normally given to your landlord as a credit against your rent bill. Landlords must disclose rental revenue as a rental payment.
  • I’m not sure how I’ll know whether I’ve been paid.When a case worker starts working on your application, they will contact you via phone, email, and/or letter. If your money application is approved, the caseworker will update the status of your application, which you may view by logging into your application account. Typically, the funds are transferred straight to the landlord. A final award letter with the amount provided will be mailed to you and your landlord.
  • Will I have to refund this sum of money?Don’t get your hopes up because this isn’t a loan. You will not have to repay the County.
  • My landlord has informed me that if I am unable to pay in full, I must evacuate the premises immediately. I’m not sure where I should go.A sheriff can only evict you with a court order. If you believe your landlord is improperly evicting you, please contact Montgomery County Landlord and Tenant Affairs at 2407770311 or the Montgomery County Police Department non-emergency line at 3012798000. More information is available on the Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) COVID19 website.
  • What should I do if I receive a summons to appear in court for an eviction hearing?Please attend your hearing in person and advise the court that you have requested Covid Rent Relief. You can also find information on the Department of Housing and Community Affairs’ COVID19 website (DHCA).
  • What information should my Covid impact statement include?This must be a detailed explanation of how COVID19 created financial hardship in your household. Please detail your household’s loss of income if you encountered significant costs or other financial issues as a result of the outbreak. If you don’t have income proof, include your pre-pandemic earnings as well as your current wage.
  • I forgot to attach the paperwork to my application before submitting it. Is it possible for me to make alterations?No, you will not be allowed to change your application once it has been filed. Unless your eviction status has changed or you need to update your contact information, it is best to wait until a caseworker contacts you. If your status has changed or your contact information needs to be updated, please send the updated information to hss@montgomerycountymd.gov.
  • May I add more months for which I owe rent after I submit my application?No, you cannot make changes to your application after it has been submitted; however, you may provide new information when your caseworker reviews it.
  • I have moved since submitting my application. Is it still possible for me to attend?If you have lived in Montgomery County since at least August 2021, you meet the local residence condition. However, we can only pay off your rental bill if you share our address. If you have moved since completing your application, we will not be able to pay any rent owed from the previous address. Furthermore, you will only be eligible if you owe your present landlord at least $1,000.
  • I need assistance paying my utility bills. Are you able to help?Yes, if you meet the requirements for the covid rent reduction program, you may be eligible for up to $2,000 in utility debt relief. The amount you receive, on the other hand, is determined by your gross household income, utility bill balance, and the number of months you are eligible for assistance. We also encourage you to apply for utility assistance through our Office of Home Energy Programs if you meet the eligibility requirements.
  • I require relocation but am unable to do so. Are you able to help?If you meet the program’s eligibility requirements, you can use CRRP funds to help cover your security deposit and up to three months’ rent. If you have previously applied for CRRP funds, please coordinate your move with your case worker.We may be able to assist with moving and storage costs, as well as the security deposit and first month’s rent if you do not qualify for CRRP money. If you need to move for reasons other than COVID or if you need to move quickly, call 311 and request security deposit/moving assistance.
  • My caseworker reached out to me. Is it required that I respond?Yes, please respond to your caseworker as soon as possible. If you do not respond, your application may be denied. Caseworkers want to process applications as quickly as possible, so communicating with them can help them make a decision on your application more quickly. If a caseworker is assigned to your case, you should expect to hear from them via email or phone, depending on the contact information you supplied.
  • My landlord is eager to help me with my application. What are their options?Your landlord might be able to help you gather documents, scan them, and fill out the application. Your landlord may also file an application in support of your case. They can apply at any time by going to www.mc311.com/rentrelief.
  • Is it possible for a landlord to seek rent relief funds for a tenant who refuses to complete the tenant component of the application or who has already vacated?No, unfortunately. While we can handle applications without the involvement of a landlord, we must need supporting documentation from a tenant in order to assist. Furthermore, the tenant must still be a resident of the flat at the time of help.
  • What is the login method for my application?To begin your application, go to www.mc311.com/rentrelief.
  • What should I do if the webpage does not load properly?Check to determine whether you’re using Google Chrome instead of Internet Explorer. Microsoft Edge and Firefox are also options.

View further rent assistance resources.

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