Housing Stabilization Grants
Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (“DMPED”) launched new Housing Stabilization Grants 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 program will be available to two groups:
Group A, to be administered by the DC Housing Finance Agency (“DCHFA”), will include 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.
Group B, to be administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development (“DHCD”), will include 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, will be 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. Applications will open on December 1 and close on December 11.
|Group A||Group B|
|Eligibility||Units in city portfolio of affordable housing projects (i.e., projects financed by HPTF, LIHTC, HOME, CDBG, or other funds)||Units owned by landlords with ownership interests in 20 units or fewer in the District of Columbia (not in the city’s portfolio of affordable housing projects)|
|Unit Rent Limits||$2,500 a month or less||No limit|
|Arrears Assistance||80% of rent, up to $2,000 a month||Same|
|Housing Provider Contribution||Housing provider forgiveness of all rent arrears dating back to April 1||Same|
|Restrictions||Can't be receiving other forms of rental assistance for units seeking back rent, only for units occupied on April 1, 2020 and continuously until November 30 by the same tenant.||Same|
Group A housing providers (with units in city portfolio of affordable housing projects, including those affordable housing owners with 20 or fewer units) should visit the DC Housing Finance Agency’s website for application information. If you have questions about your application, you can contact the DCHFA by emailing [email protected].
Group B housing providers (with ownership interests in 20 or fewer units not in the city’s portfolio of affordable housing projects) may submit applications here. If you have questions about your application, you can contact the Department of Housing and Community Development by emailing [email protected].
Beginning in January, housing providers may apply on behalf of eligible tenants to the District’s Coronavirus Housing Assistance Program (CHAP). To learn more about CHAP, please visit coronavirus.dc.gov/rent.
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 Governmet 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), 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 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) and provides rent assistance to residents who are facing housing emergencies to stabilize housing, re-establish housing and prevent eviction. The program supports payments for overdue rent (at least 30 days), security deposit and/or first month's rent for a new residence. 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 40% of the 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.
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.
- 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.