(Maryland DHCD) Community Services Connection Newsletter - COVID-19 Resources and Updates

COVID-19 Resources and Updates
DHCD will continue to update its COVID-19 resource page that can be found here.

CY21 Maryland Housing Counseling Fund Application Round Open

The CY21 Maryland Housing Counseling Fund application round is now open. Copies of the application forms are available on our MHCF web page.
  • There are separate forms for housing counseling services, legal services and support services. You should only complete the application for services provided by your agency.
  • Applications must be submitted via the DHCD Project Portal
  • An application training webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, August 11 at 12:30 PMClick here to register for the webinar.
  • Applications are due by Friday, September 11 at 5:00 PM.
State and Regional Updates
Funding Available for 501(c)(6) nonprofits in Maryland

Beginning August 17, the Department of Commerce will be making a new round of emergency relief funding available to assist local 501(c)(6) nonprofit associations that have been negatively impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Maryland.  

The Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund for 501(C)(6) Nonprofits will allow applicants to receive up to $10,000 in grant funding for quarterly operating expenses. Applications will be available on the Maryland OneStop portal beginning August 17 and will be accepted through Monday, August 24 at 5:00 PM

New Registration Requirement for Shelter Providers Serving Unaccompanied Minors
Effective July 1, 2020, any public or private nonprofit organization that provides shelter or supportive services to minors in need of shelter must register with the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. There is no cost associated with registering with the state; however, there are several assurances that must be met in order to meet statutory requirements. The text of the statute can be located here. Use this link to access the registration form

Unclaimed Economic Impact Payment 

October 15, 2020 is the filing deadline to claim the Economic Impact Payment (EIP) or federal stimulus payments. People may not have received their payment yet for a variety of reasons, and may need help registering with the IRS to obtain their payment. Once they register, they will also be eligible to receive any new stimulus payments that might be approved by Congress in the future.

The CASH Campaign of Maryland offer instructions (in English and Spanish) on how you can help get the word out and direct the people you are serving to the right resources to receive the EIP, free tax preparation, navigation assistance to register with the IRS to receive payments, and legal services if there has been any garnishment of their EIP. 

Financial Relief Guide for Marylanders

The Maryland Department of Labor was created a Financial Relief Guide for Marylanders to provide information on certain COVID-19 related financial relief programs and consumer protections, with links to more information and resources. 

2020 Maryland Census

Overall, 67.1% of Maryland households have completed the 2020 Census. The top five Maryland counties for Census response rates are: 
  • Carroll County 
  • Howard County
  • Harford County
  • Frederick County
  • Montgomery County
View the interactive response dashboard to see how other counties rank and learn more about the importance of your Census response for your community.
National and Federal Updates
Multifamily Property Owners in Forbearance Now Required to Inform Tenants of Eviction Suspension and Tenant Protections

To increase awareness of available tenant protections, the Federal Housing Finance Agency has announced that multifamily property owners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac who enter into a new or modified forbearance agreement must inform tenants in writing about tenant protections during the multifamily property owner's forbearance and repayment periods. Click here for more details. 

Recent CSBG Scams
In the recent weeks, states have received reports of scams where individuals are contacted either via social media, text, e-mail, and phone and are notified that they are eligible to receive a CSBG Grant. The scammers instruct that the person just needs to pay a fee or tax in order to receive the CSBG Grant. Please remember that OCS does not provide direct CSBG grants to individuals, nor do they initiate contact with individuals by phone, email, text messages, or social media channels to request personal or financial information.

If you are made aware of or receive any communication offering a CSBG grant or requesting a fee in exchange for additional funding, please report it to the Health and Human Services Fraud Hotline at 1-800-447-8477. Review OCS CSBG-DCL-2019-14 for more information.
Community Partner Spotlight
Eviction Prevention Partnership Keeps Prince George's Residents Housed

Prince George's County has devised an innovative pilot program in partnership with landlords to prevent a wave of evictions and homelessness associated with COVID-19.  Working with a cohort of property owners and managers who have evictions scheduled with the Sheriff's office and have filed writs with the courts, Prince George's County DSS negotiated one month of rent forgiveness of pre-COVID back rent to match with one month of rent payment for 
when the COVID eviction moratorium was in effect, with April 2020 being the first
month. This provides landlords with a 50% recovery of lost rent, as well as prevents landlords from incurring costs associated with eviction, such as unit turnover costs and legal costs, making it attractive to help tenants remain stable in housing. 

Due to this pilot the County is down from 1,452 writs to fewer than 115 writs, with hopes of decreasing it down to less than 40 writs for eviction. This program has reduced an anticipated wave of homelessness to a mere ripple and shows creative and thoughtful deployment of homelessness prevention resources and strong private sector partnership development.
Network Job Announcement
Community Developer IV, Homeless Programs and Activities Coordinator

Prince George's County is seeking qualified applicants to fill a Community Developer IV, Homeless Programs and Activities Coordinator position, grade G-27, within its Community Services Division. This is an advanced level management and administrative position that serves as a member of the leadership team and manages the Homeless Continuum of Care (CoC) and other related Human Service Programs. For more information or to apply visit the County website
Please email CSConnection.dhcd@maryland.gov  if you would like us to include news, events or job openings related to your organization in our upcoming newsletter.