Eviction pauses are in place, but for renters who are behind, the clock is still ticking.
One Maryland group that helps people apply for rent relief payments says renters should hang in there.
“These applications are taking a long time to process,” said Mary Hunter, director of the housing counseling program with the nonprofit Housing Initiative Partnership, which has been helping renters in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties apply for rental assistance.
“Some of the portals have been open since April, and people are still waiting for a determination and getting really nervous,” she said.
But things are changing as the programs begin to hit their stride.
“We are seeing things move. More approvals are happening; rent is being paid to the landlords. Every day it’s increasing,” Hunter said.
In the meantime, “the important thing to do is to keep the communication lines open, but not to give up hope,” she said.
She also said to not ignore a summons to appear in court related to an eviction and that legal assistance is available at court.
Renters in Montgomery County can find help through the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services or the county Department of Housing and Community Affairs.
In Prince George’s County, residents can get help through the Department of Housing and Community Development.
Housing Initiative Partnership also hosts information sessions on Tuesday nights. The group can be reached at (301) 699-3835 in Prince George’s County and (301) 916-5946 in Montgomery County.