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.
COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program (CHAP)
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 (CDBG) 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 three 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. Interested applicants are asked to fill out intake information by going to the central intake portal for emergency rental assistance. Click here to apply and read more about this program.
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 this program,
Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)
ERAP, administered by the Department of Human Services, helps income-eligible District residents (up to 125% of the Federal Poverty Level) facing housing emergencies by providing funding for overdue rent if a qualified household is facing eviction (including late costs and court fees). The program also supports security deposits and first month’s rent for residents moving to 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. ERAP may provide up to 5 months of rent arrears or $4,250, whichever is less. Eligible households may only apply one time a year. In FY21, ERAP has $14 million in funding.
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.
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 is aimed at providing rent assistance to Ward 8 residents impacted most by the COVID-19 pandemic. The foundation is working with Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, the DC Department of Housing and Community Development, Lydia’s House and Housing Counseling Services to identify qualifying applicants and disperse rent relief. Applications opened on June 1 at www.lh4us.org/forms.
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.
- 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.