County Officials Encourage Landlords and Tenants to Seek Available Emergency Rental Assistance Funds to Keep Tenants Housed
Annapolis, Md. (April 6, 2021) County Executive Steuart Pittman and Kathleen Koch, Executive Director, Arundel Community Development Services, Inc. (ACDS) lauded the extension of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) federal moratorium on evictions for Failure to Pay Rent through June 30, 2021, and they urge tenants and landlords to use this additional time to take advantage of the County’s Emergency Eviction Program. They asked that landlords refrain from evicting tenants for other reasons, such as failure to renew leases in the meantime.
“Anne Arundel County has an outstanding team of counselors and lawyers working with landlords, tenants, and recently released state and federal funds to keep people in their homes,” said County Executive Pittman. “We are optimistic the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) funds now available to Anne Arundel County will be adequate to cover the arrears of eligible Anne Arundel County households, as well as help struggling households with payment of future rent as well,” he continued.
“Although there has been much media attention given to moratoria on evictions, the media has been much less vocal about the availability of new ERAP funds to compensate landlords. As the moratorium on evictions continues, it’s more important than ever that both landlords and tenants are aware of the financial help that’s available,” said Kathleen Koch.
In addition to the approximately $6 million in local and federal funds previously made available by the Pittman administration to stand up the State’s first Eviction Prevention Program in response to COVID-19, Anne Arundel County has been allocated approximately $17 million in federal ERAP funds directly from the U.S. Treasury for its efforts to help renters. The County also expects to receive over $5.4 million in ERAP funds from the State of Maryland to continue providing eviction prevention assistance.
ERAP funds are available through ACDS and its community partners and are specifically designated to pay the rental arrears of tenants who are behind on their rent payments or are struggling to pay their ongoing rent as a direct or indirect result of the COVID-19 crisis. It is critically important for landlords to know, before they evict a tenant, that these funds are available. Once a tenant has been evicted from a property, or if payment of arrears doesn’t ensure continued housing at that property, the tenant is no longer eligible for assistance for rent due at that property.
“We’re finding many landlords don’t know what is available to their tenants,” Ms. Koch said. “My team is working with landlords and property managers now to make them aware of the County’s eviction prevention resources as best we can in an effort to keep landlords from evicting their tenants before they have time to access our program, but it’s been a struggle.” Some landlords are resorting to evicting their tenants for nonrenewal of leases, a reason not covered by the current moratorium; when they do that, the tenant is no longer eligible for ERAP funds to pay their arrears. “We need them to know help is on the way, if they can just hang on.”
To view the CDC Order extending the CDC Moratorium to June 30, 2021, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/pdf/CDC-Eviction-Moratorium-03292021.pdf
For more information about Anne Arundel County’s Eviction Prevention Program and to apply for ERAP funds visit: https://acdsinc.org/housing-resources/renters/acds-eviction-prevention-program/