DC reaches rental assistance milestone ahead of use-it-or-lose-it deadline

D.C. has reached a national milestone for rent relief ahead of a use-it-or-lose-it deadline, ensuring more funds will be available for renters and landlords in the District, the mayor’s office announced Friday.

So far, the District has provided nearly $143 million available in rent and utility assistance to residents through the Stronger Together by Assisting You (STAY DC) program and other initiatives such as Rapid Rehousing, utilizing federal Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Funds.

The Treasury Department set a requirement that 65% of ERA funds made available must be used by Sept. 30, 2021, or the remainder of the funds would be forfeited. D.C. received a $200 million initial allocation, meaning the District had to use at least $120 million ahead of the deadline.

By meeting the deadline, the District will be eligible to get future rental assistance funds.

According to the mayor’s office, the District is among the first jurisdiction’s in the country to meet the milestone.

“We have the backs of every Washingtonian that needs help paying their rent and utilities,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement. “Today’s milestone not only means we’re making progress on this commitment, but we’ll soon be able to help even more people in need.”

STAY DC provides grant funding to renters and housing providers to cover past and future rental payments, as well as utilities. The mayor’s office said more than 15,000 D.C. residents have been helped through the program. The average amount of rent covered under the grants was $6,704, according to Bowser’s office.

Renters and landlords can apply for grant funding through STAY DC’s website.

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Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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