County Executive Steuart Pittman Expands Eviction Prevention Initiatives
Increases funding for financial assistance; Exploring legal counsel for tenants
Annapolis, Md (July 24, 2020) - Today Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman announced the county will pursue additional protections for families facing evictions and homelessness in the form of legal assistance to individuals and by expanding the county’s Eviction Prevention Program.
In April, Anne Arundel County became the first county in Maryland to provide temporary assistance to low-income households through an initial funding grant of $1 million. Today that funding has been increased to a total of $4.5 million. The funding comes from the direct aid to the County through the federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund.
This month the county launched the Excluded Worker Humanitarian Fund which provides cash assistance to up to 4,000 laid off workers who do not have access to state unemployment benefits. While 80,000 county residents have managed to navigate the state Unemployment Insurance program since March 1, thousands more have either been left out due to bureaucratic failure or ineligibility.
“We must provide assurances to our county residents as they struggle through this pandemic that they will not lose their homes,” said County Executive Pittman. “While I have repeatedly called on Governor Hogan and the federal government to do more, we are prepared to act now. Providing legal help and conflict resolution services will be a lifeline to renters fighting to stay in their homes. I would also like to thank our County Council for unanimously passing Resolution 30-20 to request that Governor Hogan extend the state moratorium and continue offering state resources.”
The county is currently working to enhance its Eviction Prevention Program. In addition to the $4.5 million in financial assistance the County has made available to help renters affected by COVID-19 stay current with their payments, there are many households that may be facing eviction when the Courts reopen. Therefore, the County Executive will complement the Eviction Prevention Program by providing support for legal representation to renters affected by COVID-19 who may need an advocate during court or mediation proceedings.
Governor Larry Hogan announced today that the State eviction protections order remains in place during the state of emergency. The District Court of Maryland has delayed any hearings on failure to pay rent cases until August 31.
“As the County’s lead agency for creating and supporting affordable housing opportunities, I am so pleased that County Executive Steuart Pittman is prioritizing the needs of families who may be struggling with paying their rent during these extremely challenging times,” said Kathleen Koch, Executive Director, Arundel Community Development Services, Inc. “At this time we have processed more than 1,200 applications. These additional resources for legal assistance will enhance our ability and our non-profit and community partners’ ability to help families facing financial challenges due to COVID-19.”
“The impending evictions crisis has highlighted the importance of the Human Relations Commission’s mission to promote the fair and equal treatment of Anne Arundel County residents,” said Georgia Noone-Sherrod, Acting Chair, Human Relations Commission. “I speak for all the commissioners when I say we are actively engaged in supporting this initiative, doing our part to prevent homelessness.”
To apply for assistance, go to: https://acdsinc.org/housing/resources/renters/acds-eviction-prevention-program/ and complete an intake form. For more information about the Department of Social Services Eviction Prevention Program, call 410-421-8410.
The Excluded Worker program is managed by Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation Individuals can sign up and find more information at http://www.aawdc.org/relief.
General county and community resources are available on the county’s coronavirus website: www.aacounty.org/coronavirus/