$350M Fund Launched To Help D.C. Residents With Rent, Utilities

“There is a kind of tension that says, ‘Well, I have time, because there’s a moratorium. I’ll deal with it later,” Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said at a press conference announcing the launch of a new rent assistance program. “What we don’t want people to do is wait.” 

To help residents pay past due rent and utility bills and future ones, the city is launching the Stronger Together by Assisting You (STAY DC) program. 

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, millions of Americans have faced eviction as many households were unable to make rent or mortgage payments. According to The Washington Post, the $350 million STAY DC program will be funded by money from The American Rescue Plan passed in March. 

Mayor Bowser said the purpose of the program is to provide D.C. residents assistance so they can stay in their homes after the pandemic ends. Bowser imposed a city-wide eviction moratorium for up to 60 days after the public health emergency she instituted ends. The public health emergency was recently extended to May 21. 

Under the program, D.C. residents can qualify for 18 months of grant assistance that can be used to cover missed payments as far back as April 1, 2020 and future bills. There are some income threshold limits based on guidelines put in place by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

“The biggest thing is we are encouraging our residents to apply today,” Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio said. “It does take getting some documentation together and uploading that on the portal. But we hope they’ll apply now and then get their eligibility set. Once we know what they are eligible for, we can determine what benefits they can get,” he added. 

To learn more about the program, click here

Photo: Getty Images

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