DHCD will continue to update its COVID-19 resource page that can be found here.
DHCD UPDATES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Digital Equity & Inclusion Funding Applications Now Being Accepted
The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development is administering two separate Digital Equity & Inclusion grant opportunities with a total of $7 million in funding:
Connected Communities Grant Program: This grant program is designed to assist local community-based organizations, non-profits, and anchor institutions in creating Gap Networks and Community Networks. These networks are designed to address the affordability challenge many low-to-moderate income household's face in subscribing to the internet.
Digital Inclusion Grant Program: The Digital Inclusion grant provides funding to local jurisdictions, 501(c) entities, and community-based anchor institutions to further the state's digital inclusion efforts. This grant opportunity will fund projects directed around digital inclusion planning and implementation.
The deadline for both grant applications is Tuesday, March 15, 2022, at 11:59 PM. However, the submission may be closed earlier if and when applications exceed the total funding available.
DHCD is hiring!
DHCD is currently hiring for the following positions:
Project Manager - Poverty Solutions Team: This position will administer Division of Neighborhood Revitalization Federal and State grants to local governments and nonprofit organizations with a primary focus on addressing poverty, homelessness, or serving low-income individuals. Read the full job description and information on how to apply here.
Grants Manager: This position manages, coordinates, and documents financial details and provides fiscal analysis for the Division of Neighborhood Revitalization's Community Services and Homeless Initiatives Programs' general, special and federal funded grant, loan, and tax credit programs. Read the full job description and information on how to apply here.
STATE AND REGIONAL UPDATES
RFP for Collaborative Workforce Solutions to Address Homelessness
The Maryland Department of Labor, in partnership with the Maryland Interagency Council on Homelessness, announced that it is accepting proposals to help organizations develop and implement innovative strategies that integrate workforce and housing resources to support job seekers experiencing homelessness or in need of eviction prevention. A Pre-Proposal Conference will be held virtually on March 2, 2022, at 10:00 AM. For more information about the initiative and for a link to the Solicitation for Demonstration Grant Proposals, please visit: Maryland's Workforce Development Response to Homelessness Across the State webpage.
NATIONAL AND FEDERAL UPDATES
CDC Outlines Masking Guidance
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its masking guidance. CDC recommends that people should wear masks in the following scenarios:
When indoors in public, if in areas of high local transmission or if not up to date on COVID-19 vaccines
When outdoors in close contact with other people (in areas of high local transmission), especially considering people with weakened immune systems or increased risk of disease or not up to date on COVID-19 vaccines
If a person has a weakened immune system, even if up to date on COVID-19 vaccines
On any form of public transportation
Tax Credit Information for HUD Assisted Individuals and Families
The Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) are large tax refund payments that people can receive when they file a tax return. The 2021 American Rescue Plan (ARP) expanded who can receive these payments and increased the amount of money available to many families and individuals. These tax credits are not income. Receiving these benefits will not impact eligibility for other federal benefits. The best way to receive these benefits is to file a tax return before April 18, 2022.
Service providers can support their clients in receiving these tax credits by:
Connecting clients to free tax filing support online or via IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program centers.
Child Tax Credit
The CTC was increased and expanded in 2021 by the ARP, and most families are eligible to receive the credit for their children. For families with children, the 2021 CTC is $3,000-$3,600 per kid, based on their age. Many families received about ½ of their CTC in monthly payments in 2021. Families will get the rest of the CTC they are owed by filing taxes this year.
Even people who didn't earn enough to be required to file taxes are eligible for the CTC and potentially thousands of additional dollars in benefits by filing a 2021 tax return. Help spread the word by telling your friends, family, clients, colleagues, and neighbors to visit ChildTaxCredit.gov to learn more on how to get the CTC and/or EITC.
Registration Open: HAF Training Webinar
HUD's Office of Housing Counseling will be joined by Treasury, FHA, and CFPB to discuss the Homeowner Assistance Fund, the status of implementation, and how it can be used to address the needs of homeowners. Housing counselors and other service providers working with homeowners are encouraged to attend. This session will also feature a panel discussion including the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA). The webinar will be held on March 1, 2022 at 3:00 PM. Registration and additional information on the webinar can be found here.
HHS Report Highlights ARP Role in Reduced Poverty in 2021
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a new report that highlights the economic impact of the American Rescue Plan (ARP), specifically the role ARP played in reducing poverty.
People can vote without a permanent address and homeless services providers can help through nonpartisan registration and get-out-the-vote efforts.
NASCSP Winter Training Program
The National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP) is hosting their 2022 Winter Training Conference beginning February 28, 2022. The conference offers valuable opportunities for professionals from around the country to come together and discuss strategies for meeting new challenges in improved performance, innovation, and accountability in the fight to change the face of poverty across the nation. More information can be found here.
Please email CSConnection.email@example.com if you would like us to include news, events, or job openings related to your organization in our upcoming newsletter.
Unless otherwise indicated, events and external links listed are for informational purposes only and not a guarantee of the validity or accuracy of the information contained therein, nor constitutes an endorsement on the part of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development of any products or services that may be offered.