LANHAM, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland has allocated $135 million in emergency rent assistance to 14,860 households through the end of August, according to new data from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.

Of that, $92.1 million has already been disbursed to tenants and landlords to pay for rent and $38.7 million in payments are still in progress–representing applications that have been approved and will be paid out the following month, the agency said.

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The housing department has received 38,894 applications for relief.

“The basis of our program, which was built in consultation with a bipartisan workgroup, has been to ensure that rental assistance is provided in an equitable way, with low barriers and a local focus,” said Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “Our approach means that there is a long-term sustainability to the program, all while evictions are at record lows compared to before the pandemic.”

The $135 million represents roughly one-third of the $401.6 million earmarked for the first round of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The stage agency is administering $258 million through the program, and an additional $143 million is set aside for jurisdictions with populations over 200,000.

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According to state data, the disbursement of funds increased by $3 million from July to August, going from $29 million to $32 million. During that same period, the number of households served per month increased to 5,100 from 4,400.

Six counties—Carroll, Cecil, Frederick, Howard, Prince George’s and Wicomico—have already distributed 50% of their allocations. The housing department said it set aside $20 million for the fastest-spending jurisdictions and will begin allocating those reserve funds in October.

A survey from the Maryland Multi-Housing Association found that 17% of renters are behind on multiple months of rent, compared with a high of 42% at the height of the pandemic, the agency said.

In 2020, prior to the launch of the the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, the state distributed $113 million in state, local and federal funds to 30,000 renters.

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Tenants and landlords can apply for assistance by visiting or calling 877-546-5595

CBS Baltimore Staff