State Allocates $19M to Local Governments to Prevent Evictions

    Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) announced more than $19 million in eviction prevention funding for local governments on Monday as Marylanders struggle to keep up with rent amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The $19.3 million of federal money, part of the state’s Eviction Prevention Partnership program, is being divvied up between the following 17 Maryland jurisdictions:

    • Allegany County – $39,000

    • Anne Arundel County – $1,200,000

    • Baltimore City – $2,000,000

    • Baltimore County – $3,000,000

    • Calvert County – $600,000

    • Carroll County – $529,592

    • Cecil County – $475,000

    • Charles County – $750,000

    • Dorchester County – $100,000

    • Garrett County – $350,000

    • Howard County –  $2,000,000

    • Montgomery County –  $3,473,228

    • Prince George’s County – $2,672,725

    • St. Mary’s County – $700,000

    • Somerset County – $210,000

    • Wicomico County –  $900,000

    • Worcester County – $336,000

    “These grants will help ensure our citizens can remain safe and secure in their homes as we continue to respond to this global pandemic,” Hogan said in a news release.

    The grants, which are drawn from federal Community Development Block Grant funding, are expected to help more than 3,600 households across the state. Eligible tenants can’t make more than 80% of their area’s median income, and additional requirements may vary between jurisdictions.

    The state’s Assisted Housing Relief Program, which provides more direct funding for tenants behind on rent, has reportedly made more than 4,500 rental payments across the state – totaling more than $8 million.

    According to recent estimates from the Chicago-based consulting firm Stout, between 194,000 and 244,000 households in Maryland are currently at risk of eviction, and their combined rent shortfall is more than $300 million.

    Despite a Centers for Disease Control stay, and Hogan’s own moratorium on certain evictions, Marylanders are still losing their housing as landlords terminate leases. Some advocates and lawyers have warned that, without additional money to curb evictions, the state could soon see a housing crisis.

    State officials allocated $30 million toward eviction prevention and rental relief in the early days of the pandemic, and say their hands are tied in terms of allocating more money: An attempt to secure more federal funding for eviction prevention was rejected by FEMA.

    The Eviction Prevention Partnership previously allocated $2.3 million to eight rural jurisdictions in July. Local governments used federal relief funding to set up their own rental assistance programs with varied success, and some of those programs were reportedly overwhelmed with applications when they launched.

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    Bennett Leckrone
    Leckrone is a December 2019 graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. He has interned at The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Columbus Dispatch, PennLive.com, The Dayton Daily News and The Troy Daily News. Leckrone is a Report for America corps member.