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DHCD Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Program

DHCD Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Program

The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has developed a $1.5 million program funded by the federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program to offer tenant-based rental assistance to low-income renters. DHCD’s HOME funds are typically used to support affordable housing projects and for home purchase assistance programs. DHCD is redirecting these funds to help low-income renters, in affordable housing communities, that have lost income during the COVID-19 public health emergency. This will ensure that low-income renters are supported while ensuring the long-term stability of the District’s affordable housing projects that operate on tight margins. DHCD expects the fund to assist approximately 200-400 households for a minimum of six months based on financial need and available funds. Community Based Non-Profit Organizations (CBOs) will administer the program and work with renters to manage and disperse funds.

Step 1: Determine If Are You Eligible






Tenants must be District residents who have resided in their unit since February 29, 2020.

Must live in a rental property of 50 units or less—applicants from Limited Equity Cooperatives will be considered eligible.


Tenant must demonstrate they are delinquent on rent or are unable to pay rent.

Units in buildings built prior to 1978 will need to pass a visual inspection to be cleared for Lead-Based Paint if there are children living in the unit under 6.


Tenants must earn 60% of the Median Family Income (MFI) or below based on the COVID-19 Income Schedule.*



Financial assistance will be based on income and number of bedrooms.

Property owners will be contacted about the financial condition of the property.


Financial assistance is tenant-based, allowing the tenant the option to move to another property 30 days after the COVID-19 public health emergency has ended.

Rental payments will go directly to the property owner/management company on behalf of an income-eligible tenant.

Eligible Uses

Assistance can be applied for rent from April 2020 onward for at least 6 months depending on available funds.


* The 2020 Rent Limits are not yet in effect for the HOME Program and may change at any time.

Step 2: Prepare Your Documents

  • Proof of income will be collected on all residents of a unit who are 18 years and older.
    • Bank statements for the preceding two months.
    • 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.

Step 3: Contact a Community Based Organization

Program funding has been split evenly between Housing Counseling Services and Latino Economic Development Center to administer the application intake process, conduct income certification, and complete payment disbursement. You may contact either organization to express interest in applying to the program and ask questions and they will conduct intake accordingly.

  • Housing Counseling Services – (202) 667-7713
  • Latino Economic Development Center – (202) 588-5102 or (202) 540-7401