Wicomico County receives grant for housing assistance
SALISBURY, MD. – Housing stability has become a serious concern as the pandemic left many unemployed and some even without a place to call home.
“So many families have exhausted their savings, they’ve cleaned out their 401k just to stay current with their rent and so many folks are still suffering,” said Habitat for Humanity of Wicomico County’s Molly Hilligoss.
Habitat for Humanity of Wicomico County says that’s where funding like the Emergency Rental Assistance Program Grant is stepping in, with the county receiving a grant for over $7 million. Executive Director Molly Hilligoss says the money will play a crucial role in helping to bring stability back into community members lives.
The grant is state funded, providing rental assistance and help with utilities and other housing expenses. “It could be thousands of dollars and we can help that person clear all that away and get caught up. That is amazing!,” said Hilligoss.
Funds can be used for payments going back to March 2020 and going forward for the next 15 months. Acting Wicomico County Executive John Psota says the main focus right now is getting it into the hands of those that need it. “Those are the ones that are suffering and need this relief. So the idea is that once we get it, we’re trying to get it out the door as fast as we can,” said Psota.
Applicants are urged to act quickly as it could be in high demand. Applications can be done from home or you can set an appointment at a local office.
Ultimately, Hilligoss says this funding opportunity isn’t just about the money involved because part of getting people back on their feet – is making sure they have a roof over their heads. “Really help people put a plan together so that they can be self-sufficient for when they get back to work,” said Hilligoss.
Another unique feature of the program is that landlords and property managers can apply on behalf of their tenants. Funding will start June 1st and qualification requirements and the applications are available at www.wicomicocounty.org.