Howard County Executive Calvin Ball has designated $200,000 in relief funds to the Community Action Council (CAC) for food assistance in Howard County. The funds are part of the initial $500,000 Disaster Relief and Recovery Initiative in his proposed fiscal 2021 operating budget and are subject to the approval of the County Council.
Howard County has also allocated $800,000 in county funding for rental assistance and eviction relief for low- and moderate-income families, with $300K coming from the Disaster Relief and Recovery Initiative in the proposed budget and $500k coming from Moderate Income Housing Unit (MIHU) fee-in-lieu revenue sources. These funds will be in addition to the anticipated $770,000 in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) program funds received directly from the federal government under the CARES Act.
“As we continue to battle this virus, we must put into place adequate support programs and infrastructure to make sure no one falls through the cracks,” said Ball. “With more than 23,000 renters in the county, the need for rental assistance and eviction prevention will likely exceed what we’ve received in federal relief, which is why we’re allocating an additional $800,000. Moreover, we’ve seen nearly 23,000 residents file for unemployment since March making food insecurity a critical issue for our residents, this relief funding will provide much-needed support to our local food bank working on the front line.”
To satisfy the statutory requirements of the CDBG program to distribute the federal funds, the county will be submitting a substantial amendment to its fiscal 2019 Annual Action Plan and will host a series of public hearings via WebEx identifying the immediate needs, discuss potential actions to meet these needs and provide instructions on how to apply for CDBG funds under the CARES Act. The application deadline is May 22. Details on the grants can be found at www.howardcountymd.gov/housing_grants.
“Our nonprofit partners are telling us that the county’s low- and moderate-income families are struggling. If they are not able to work, they are not able to pay their rent” said Kelly Cimino, Department of Housing Director. “When the emergency order is lifted, many families could be facing homelessness. We want to do what we can to help families pay their rent and stay in their existing homes.”