BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The battle continues to keep a roof over the heads of many Marylanders struggling to pay their rent amidst the ongoing pandemic now that the federal funds have ceased and state funds have an expiration date of mid-August.

Each jurisdiction has its own plan – at the county level, funds are being distributed to landlords who need to be paid. And in the city, local nonprofits are stepping up but said they’re using all donations and grants.

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The goal is to keep Marylanders in their homes despite the end of a U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention moratorium on evictions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is issuing a new, “temporary” moratorium on evictions, CBS News reported Tuesday evening. The new moratorium, which CBS News confirmed earlier Tuesday would be announced, will be separate from the CDC’s prior eviction moratorium that expired over the weekend.

The new order, which expires on October 3, covers counties experiencing “substantial” or “high” levels of COVID-19 spread. One source familiar with the moratorium said that currently includes about 80% of U.S. counties, or 90% of the U.S. population.

“We have a homelessness issue. It’s only going to get worse if we won’t be able to get these funds out and help these people not be evicted,” said Nichole Battle, CEO of the Govans Ecumenical Developmental Center, also known as GEDCO.

The federal moratorium on evictions ended July 31. In our state, it’s set to end on Aug. 15. But some counties are now trying to figure out how to keep that from happening.

“If you are behind on your rent, you’ll get information here about how to contact the program, and please stay in your apartment,” said Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman.

In Anne Arundel County, Pittman said the Arundel Community Development Services is getting money into the hands of landlords so people can stay in their homes., There is an application process, but the money is there.

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“We feel we have enough dollars available to make sure we get assistance to everyone who is eligible,” said Kathleen Koch, executive director of ACDS.

In Baltimore County, $19.5 million in county money is being used to pay landlords and utility companies for families who apply and are eligible. In Baltimore City, Battle said that money isn’t getting out fast enough.

“It’s really important to try to figure out ways to get the money out on the street. There are millions of dollars probably sitting at the State House and at the city because of process,” she said.

GEDCO is funded entirely through grants and donations, but officials said they could help Baltimore City distribute needed funds. WJZ reached out to the city for comment, but we have not heard back.

Again, each county and city has its own way of handling eviction prevention, so reach out to your local jurisdiction if you need help. Many of them have partnered with nonprofits to help renters get help.

The CDC partially reinstated the eviction moratorium late Tuesday but only in counties with particularly high rates of COVID-19 transmission.

 

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Rachael Cardin