The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has developed the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program (CHAP), a $6.2 million program funded by the federal Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), to provide rental assistance to low-income renters who are in arrears due to the impact of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Step 1: Determine If You Are Eligible
- Tenants must be District residents who have resided in their unit since February 29, 2020.
- Tenant must demonstrate they are delinquent on rent.
- Tenants must earn 80% of the Median Family Income (MFI) or below based on the COVID-19 Income & Rent Schedule.*
- Tenant must demonstrate that they have been impacted by COVID-19.
* The 2020 Rent Limits are not yet in effect for the CDBG Program and may change at any time.
- Financial assistance will be based on income and household size.
- Assistance can be applied for rent from April 2020 onward for up to 3 months of overdue rent depending on available funds —eligible applicants may be able to apply for an additional 3 months for a total of 6 months of rental assistance.
Step 2: Prepare Your Documents
Proof of income will be collected on all residents of a unit who are 18 years and older using the following documents:
- Bank statements for January 2020 and February 2020.
- All earned wage income documents for two months per wage earner, prior to March 13, 2020; and
- If a resident is 18 years or older and a full-time student, proof of current enrollment will be needed, and special rules will apply for their income calculation; or
- In the absence of source income documentation, applicant shall provide a statement that includes all income, including any unemployment or emergency benefits received by the applicant as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with a certification that the information provided is complete and accurate.
Other documents that will be requested:
- Copy of current lease
- Proof of COVID-19 related impact—notice of rent delinquency
- Proof of request for a rental payment plan from unit owner due to COVID-19 related financial hardship
Step 3: How to Apply
Interested applicants are asked to fill out intake information by going to the central intake portal for emergency rental assistance. Applicants will then be routed to one of the following three community-based organizations (CBOs) – the Greater Washington Urban League, Housing Counseling Services and United Planning Organization. The CBOs will take applications, certify income and make payments to approved applicants by appointment only. Please contact any organization with questions on the program and application process.