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D.C. Residents Reminded of Protections, Rental Assistance Programs, Housing Stability During Pandemic

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser reminded residents Thursday of rental assistance and eviction prevention programs to support those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The programs are funded as part of $40 million in federal relief funding from the CARES Act awarded to the District from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to the mayor’s office.

“As the District continues to respond to and recover from this public health emergency, we will continue to prioritize protections and supports to meet the housing needs of residents,” Bowser said. “We encourage residents, particularly our income-renters, to take advantage of these innovative programs.”

With several programs are available to support rental assistance and housing stability, the Department of Housing and Community Development is overseeing the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program, a $6.2 million program for low-income renters that can provide up to three months of rent arrears retroactive to April.

In addition, two weeks ago, Bowser and DHCD awarded $1.5M across 30 nonprofit organizations to assist with COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts and services, such as housing counseling and legal support. Additional awards will be made to qualifying nonprofits in the coming weeks.

“When we surveyed our portfolio of affordable housing providers back in June, rental assistance for tenants affected by COVID-19 was the top policy proposal suggested as a response to the crisis,” DHCD Director Polly Donaldson said in a statement. “Our rental assistance resources remain available and we are grateful to our nonprofit housing and community development organizations for spreading the word and conducting intake for these vital programs. We now need credible messengers in the community to share the word with their neighbors in need and help us ensure the most vulnerable among us are seeking assistance.”

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