Anne Arundel coronavirus eviction protection program will be funded by Md. slot machines

Evictions are on hold temporarily in Maryland due to the coronavirus crisis. As rent and mortgages will eventually come due, Anne Arundel County has announced a temporary program that aims to help residents stay in their homes.

The program is funded by proceeds from video slot machines at Live! Casino.

“While Maryland courts have suspended evictions and foreclosures for the time being during this crisis, many renters will still owe rent at the end of the day and many landlords will still owe mortgage payments,” said County Executive Steuart Pittman, in a news release.

“This program will help people stay on track so that when the moratorium is lifted, they do not have a bigger problem with months of arrears and late fees.”

Live! Casino and Hotel at Arundel Mills — one of six casinos in Maryland — has been closed since March, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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The casino closure affects more than just frustrated gamblers.

“Much of the County’s workforce, including retail workers and hospitality staff from around Arundel Mills Mall and Live! Casino and Hotel are now out of work,” said Karen McJunkin, chair of the Local Development Council, which provides guidance to the county executive on how to spend money generated from video lottery terminal proceeds.

To qualify, a family must demonstrate a household income up to 80% of area median income adjusted for household size — approximately $76,000 for a family of four.

Beginning Monday, April 20, interested residents can apply to the Eviction Prevention Program and access the free confidential financial and foreclosure prevention counseling services by the nonprofit housing agency Arundel Community Development Services, at 410-222-7600 (then dial zero).

Working remotely, case managers will assist homeowners and renters in contacting landlords and mortgage companies to develop a plan to prevent eviction or foreclosure once the stay on evictions is lifted.

Participants will need to provide documentation that shows their income was disrupted in the wake of the coronavirus, a letter from their landlord or mortgage company that they are behind on payments, plus household income documentation.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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