More rental assistance funding coming to Somerset County

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PRINCESS ANNE — A fourth round of emergency rental assistance funding is available to Somerset County to help renters failing behind in payments due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

With County Commissioner approval on March 30, an application was submitted requesting the release of $1,841,274 from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) through a second Emergency Rental Assistance Program which was authorized by Congress in March. Of this amount $73,650 will be set aside for grant administration.

Somerset County received $100,000 this past summer to assist renters and another $210,000 was received in November with special intent to hold off evictions. Another $50,000 with fewer restrictions was accepted by the county in December.

Out of the $360,000 the county has received so far, as of the end of March it had paid out $135,000 with $10,000 set aside for grant administration. The Somerset County Department of Technical and Community Services administrates the program.

The deadline to spend the latest round is Sept. 30, 2022. Because previous grants had different deadlines DHCD requested the county use the newest grant first. Gary Pusey, director of Technical and Community Services, said if earlier allotments are not used for rental assistance they may be used for other eligible programs, or returned to the state.