DHCD: Guidance on Procedural Waivers During COVID-19 Response

March 20, 2020

To: MD Continuum of Care Lead Agencies

From: MD Department of Housing & Community Development

RE: Guidance on Procedural Waivers During COVID-19 Response

In response to the unprecedented and dynamic situation regarding COVID-19, the MD Department of Housing & Community Development (the Department) announces the following guidance to all Continuums of Care and their subgrantees.

1)    In lieu of client signatures on homeless program-related documents, verbal consent is authorized provided it is documented in a client’s record and in HMIS.

2)    Utilization of homelessness prevention funds are permitted with written documentation by a client’s property manager or owner in lieu of a court ordered eviction notice or lease termination notification. Written documentation by a property manager or owner must indicate the following:

a.     Client’s monthly rent amount;
b.     Statement that the client is at least one month or more behind on rent;
c.     The total amount of rental arrears, and;
d.     That without payment, eviction proceedings against the client will be initiated upon lifting of the eviction moratorium currently in effect per Executive Order by Governor Hogan.

This guidance remains in effect for the duration of Maryland’s State of Emergency or until such time as additional guidance is provided, whichever occurs first.

The Department continues to examine other ways that homeless program rules and regulations can be amended to allow our local partners to respond to the changing needs within communities across the state during this time of crisis.