Eviction Prevention Resource Tool
Residents cannot be evicted during the public health emergency or within 60 days after the public health emergency has lifted. However, it is important the District prepares for the end of the public health emergency and subsequent end to the eviction moratorium.
Under Mayor Muriel Bowser’s leadership, the District is working hard to ensure residents have access to resources to help them stay in their homes. To streamline these resources, the Bowser Administration is launching an online Eviction Prevention Resource Tool later this month. After answering a few basic questions, this clearinghouse will refer residents to resources to assist with back rent, legal protections, and landlord and mortgage assistance that best fit their needs and circumstances.
Residents who cannot fill the tool online can simply call the COVID Referral Hotline at 1-888-349-8323 Monday-Friday from 7:00 am-7:00 pm to speak with staff who can help.
This referral tool is meant to assist:
- DC renters seeking assistance with their rent due to hardships experienced during the public health emergency.
- DC renters seeking legal assistance with housing issues.
- Homeowners seeking mortgage assistance due to hardships experienced during the public health emergency.
This referral tool is designed to help identify the right resource for residents but does NOT automatically qualify residents for those services. Upon submitting the form, residents will receive information regarding the resource that might be best suited to meet their needs, as well as information on how to apply for those services.
This referral tool offers information about the following programs and services/programs:
- Office of Tenant Advocates
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- The Utility Discount Program (UDP)
- The Clean Rivers Impervious Area Charge (CRIAC) Residential Relief Program
- DC MAP (Mortgage Assistance Program)
- D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center’s Landlord Tenant Resource Network
- DHCD network of housing counseling organizations
- Shelter Hotline
Rent Resources and Information
Residents cannot be evicted for the duration of the public health emergency plus sixty days; nor can they be charged late fees for the duration of the public health emergency. Renters are encouraged, to the best of their ability, to stay current on rent. Rent increases are also prohibited during the COVID-19 public health emergency plus 60 days.
- To read a summary of all tenant rights and resources during the COVID-19 public health emergency, follow this link to the Office of the Tenant Advocate’s website.
- If you cannot make rent, reach out to your housing provider or landlord, DHCD network of housing counseling organizations, or the Office of the Tenant Advocate.
- DC Government also has a free affordable housing listing and search engine dchousingserch.org, where you can find everything from accessible homes to affordable rental and for-sale homes. Users can also find helpful resources such as renter's rights information, assistance programs, and an affordability calculator.
COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program (CHAP)
The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has developed the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program (CHAP) offering rental assistance to low-income renters who are in arrears. Tenants must earn 80% of the Median Family Income (MFI) or below based on the COVID-19 Income & Rent Schedule. Financial assistance will be based on income and household size. Assistance can be applied for rent from April 2020 onward for up to six months of overdue rent depending on available funds. Interested applicants are asked to fill out intake information on the online portal here. Landlords are also able to refer their tenants for assistance here.
DHCD Rental Assistance
The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has developed a $1.5 million program funded by federal HOME dollars to offer tenant-based rental assistance to low-income renters. Rental assistance will allow tenants to remain current with monthly rent payments and can be used retroactively to pay April and May rent. The fund is estimated to assist 400 households for a minimum of six months and up to two years based on financial need and available funds. Community-based non-profit organizations will work with renters to manage and disperse funds.
- Click here to read more about the DHCD Rental Assistance program
- Rental Assistance for District Residents Impacted by COVID19
Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)
The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) helps District residents earning less than 40% of the Area Median Income (AMI) who are facing housing emergencies by providing funding for overdue rent including late fees and court costs if a qualified household is facing eviction. The program also supports security deposits and first month’s rent for residents moving into new apartments. The amount paid on behalf of eligible households depends on a household’s income and available resources, and is subject to certain limitations. District residents earning above the 40% AMI are connected to a local nonprofit to be evaluated for the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program (CHAP).
Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP)
HPP supports eligible families (30% of Medium Family Income or below) to prevent episodes of homelessness through case management, mediation, financial assistance (including up to 4 months of rent arrears), and connection to housing resources. Since its launch, the program has prevented more than 7,000 unique families (83% of referrals) from entering shelter. In FY21, HPP has a budget of $4.1 million.
Families are assessed for HPP eligibility when completing intake at the Virginia Williams Family Resource Center (VWFRC), the central intake for DC’s coordinated homelessness assistance system for families with children.
Currently, VWFRC is conducting Assessments for Homeless Services via phone. The Center is closed for in-person interviews throughout the public health emergency. Families and individuals seeking access to homeless services may call the DC Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 from 8 am-12 am, Monday-Sunday, or call 311 after hours.
DC MAP (Mortgage Assistance Program) COVID-19
The District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA) recognized an opportunity to provide financial assistance to those impacted by the effects of COVID-19. Through the DC MAP (Mortgage Assistance Program) COVID-19, qualified borrowers can receive a loan up to $5,000 monthly toward their mortgage for up to six months. Borrowers must be applying for financial assistance for their primary residence, which must be located in the District of Columbia. DC MAP COVID-19 relief commences with April 1, 2020 payments associated with monthly mortgages. Interested applicants are asked to take the survey on DCHFA’s website to confirm if they’re eligible to apply. Click here to review the full list of borrower qualifications and to apply to the program.
Mortgage Resources and Information
On April 7, 2020, DC Council passed emergency legislation creating a mandatory 90-day mortgage deferment program for residential and commercial mortgage holders who request one. No late fees or penalties would accrue, and repayment of the deferred amount may be done via payment plan, not through a lump payment. This program requires landlords to pass along proportionate savings to their tenants if they receive a deferment. Click below FAQ for more information or contact the DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking.
- FAQs and Guidance: Residential Mortgage and Commercial Mortgage Deferment Program
- What Banks Are Doing to Support Homeowners
- Foreclosure Prevention During Coronavirus
The Department on Energy and Environment (DOEE) assists income-eligible District households with heating and cooling energy costs through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Eligible households may receive energy bill assistance between $250 and $1,800 as a one-time regular energy assistance benefit. This benefit is based on household size, total household income, heating source, and type of dwelling.
For more information, visit https://doee.dc.gov/liheap.
Utility Disconnections Prohibited: The COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 passed on March 17, 2020 prohibits electric, gas, and water from being disconnected for non-payment during the declared public health emergency.
Pepco is waiving new late fees and suspending service disconnections through at least May 1 and will be working with customers on a case-by-case basis to establish payment arrangements and identify energy assistance options. Customers who may be experiencing challenges paying their Pepco bill should contact Pepco Customer Care at (202) 833-7500.
The Utility Discount Program (UDP) assists low-income District residents reduce their utility costs. Eligible customers may receive a discount of up to $475 per year on their electric bill ($300 per year if non-electric heat). District residents can visit the Department of Energy and the Environment website at doee.dc.gov to apply online or calling 3-1-1 to schedule an in-person appointment.
The Greater Washington Urban League provides up to $500 in assistance to eligible customers facing disconnection. Customers can call 202-265-8200 or visit www.gwul.org.
Housing Stabilization Grants
Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (“DMPED”) launched the Housing Stabilization Grants program in November 2020 with $10 million from the federal CARES Act to provide COVID-19 related relief to District housing providers, with $1 million set aside specifically for small housing providers. The application period has closed, but the program was made available to two groups:
- DC Housing Finance Agency (“DCHFA”) served housing providers in the city’s portfolio of affordable housing projects (including those affordable housing owners with 20 or fewer units), financed by the Housing Production Trust Fund, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, or other local and federal affordable housing funds.
- The Department of Housing and Community Development (“DHCD”) served small housing providers with 20 units or fewer not in the District of Columbia’s portfolio of affordable housing projects.
Rent arrears from April 1, 2020 through November 30, 2020 were paid by the city to housing providers in an 80:20 split with the District contributing 80% of the rent, up to $2,000 per unit per month, and the housing provider forgiving the rest. Approximately 4,500 households, a majority of which are low-income and reside in the District’s portfolio of affordable housing, were assisted with $11.5 million from the Housing Stabilization Grants program. The District contributed 80% to those owing back rent between April and November 2020, with their housing provider forgiving the rest. Over 2,700 households, or 60%, were located in Wards 7 and 8.
Tenant Based Rental Assistance Programs
Application period closed in December 2020. Approximately 450 low-income District households received $1.5 million from the Tenant Based Rental Assistance Program (TBRA). The annual income for most of the program’s recipients was less than $37,000.
Washington Wizards All-Star guard John Wall, in collaboration with the John Wall Family Foundation (JWFF), launched the “202 Assist” program in late May. 202 Assist aimed at providing rent assistance to Ward 8 residents impacted most by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications closed in January 2021, and approximately 550 low-income District households received a one-time payment of $1,000 for a total assistance provided by the program of over $550,000.