Financial assistance is available for Virginia and Maryland residents who are suffering from housing woes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In Virginia, Virginia Housing offers relief to COVID-19 pandemic victims through its Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program (RMRP). The program distributes funds to tenants who have been behind on rent since April 1. The landlord component of the RMRP can be utilized by owners of Virginia rental properties with leases to qualifying tenants. To qualify for the program, tenants must have:

– A valid lease in their name;

– Household total rent payments at or below 150 percent fair market rate;

– The household total gross income is equal to or less than 80 percent area median income for location; and

*The household has experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19 due to layoffs, workplace shutdown, reduction in hours, loss ofspousal/child support, inability to find work due to COVID-19 or other coronavirusrelated circumstances such as staying at home due to childcare responsibilities and workplace amenability to the virus.

The household cannot receive rental assistance from other sources, including but not limited to federal, state and local rental assistance programs.

Documentation such as pay stubs, bank statements, letter from employer, Social Security and pension documents, leases and mortgage statements showing housing status are must accompany the application.

Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 30. For more information, call 1-877-VHDA-123.

In Maryland, residents impacted by the pandemic and grappling with housing concerns can go to the Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD). DHCD has a $20 million Assisted Housing Relief Program intended to help bring rental delinquencies current for those units and provide direct payments to eligible property management companies.

The program will allow tenants in eligible properties to be credited with up to a nine-month rent rebate which will eliminate their rental debt and eviction threat. Eligibility for the program consists of:

– Leaseholder in an eligible property.

– Not receiving other forms of rental assistance.

– Delinquency exists on rental payments due between April 1-Dec. 31, 2020.

– Delinquency due to COVID-19.

For more information, call 301-429-7400.

James Wright Jr.

James Wright Jr. is the D.C. political reporter for the Washington Informer Newspaper. He has worked for the Washington AFRO-American Newspaper as a reporter, city editor and freelance writer and The Washington...

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