D.C. residents who are behind in their rent amid the coronavirus pandemic have options, city officials say.

Renters who cannot meet their housing payments are encouraged to reach out to their housing provider or landlord, DHCD network of housing counseling organizations, or the Office of the Tenant Advocate, according to the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and the D.C. Mayor’s Office.

To help those in need, the Department of Housing and Community Development has developed a $1.5 million program funded by federal dollars to offer tenant-based rental assistance to low-income renters. The fund is estimated to assist 400 households for a minimum of six months and up to two years based on financial need and available funds. Community-based nonprofit organizations will work with renters to manage and disperse funds.

D.C. residents cannot be evicted or charged late fees for the duration of the public health emergency, according to a city mandate that protects the rights of renters during the pandemic. In addition, rent increases are also prohibited during this time.

To read a summary of all tenant rights and resources during the COVID-19 public health emergency, go to the Office of the Tenant Advocate’s website.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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