Montgomery County considers new financial assistance for renters

The Montgomery County Council is considering a $2 million “special appropriation” to the county budget in order to create a program that would provide financial assistance to renters who need it most.

Though there is a moratorium on evictions in Maryland, Montgomery County Council member Evan Glass said renters who do not have formal leases could still be at risk.

Plus, he said some renters don’t qualify for any current state or federal assistance.

“They’re fearful of having to pay rent, given some of them have lost their jobs,” Glass said Tuesday. “The last thing we want anyone to worry about is losing their home.”

The council plans to approve the program during a meeting next week.

It would be a short-term rental subsidy program for low- and moderate-income households.

“People will continue having concerns and problems maintaining their homes,” Glass said.

Glass and other council members said that the county has received increased requests for housing assistance, particularly from people who have never asked for help before.

In addition to the special appropriation legislation, council members sent a letter to County Executive Marc Elrich, urging him to loosen the rules and make it easier for county residents to qualify for rental assistance programs.

They also want Elrich to work with landlords to create a special transition period that would make it easier for renters to meet their financial obligations when social distancing measures are eventually lifted.

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Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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