August 1, 2021, 7:50 AM
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Throughout the pandemic, the federal government has relied on states and local jurisdictions to quickly get rent relief to tenants — but some local leaders in Maryland have had to get creative to work around red tape and other legal requirements slowing down that process.
It’s difficult to quantify exactly how much rent relief funding has gone to tenants in Maryland since the onset of the pandemic: A slew of federal relief efforts, from the CARES Act last year to the more recent American Rescue Plan Act, have earmarked funding for rent relief, and local jurisdictions have adopted a variety of methods to distribute that funding.
A recent U.S. Treasury report on Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERA1) funding from the Consolidated Appropriations Act found that Maryland’s state government lagged behind others in terms of distributing funding, although the state and local governments have picked up the pace in recent months. That report doesn’t account for other funding sources, such as state and local funds or other congressional stimulus packages, but signifies that just because rent relief funding is allocated doesn’t mean it will immediately head toward tenants and landlords to prevent evictions.