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District Unveils $350 Million of Rent and Utility Assistance for Residents in Need

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The District of Columbia is offering a total of $350 million in federal funds to provide rent and utility support for tenants struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic under a program called Stay DC.

Stressing the importance of safe and stable housing as part of a “strong recovery,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement:

“This is about getting Washingtonians the money they need to pay their bills now so that they can stay in their homes once the public health emergency ends. We are grateful that the Biden Administration recognized the need for this investment and delivered on providing the resources necessary to address unprecedented levels of housing instability.”

Renters and housing providers in the city may apply for Stay DC if they are at risk — or have a tenant who is at risk — of not paying rent or utilities in a residential unit. Also applicants’ annual household income in 2020 must be below designated levels according to household size. (For more detailed information on eligibility, click here.)

Up to 12 months of financial support will be provided to eligible households going back to April 1, 2020. In addition, there will be three months of help at a time for future payments, which may be available for up to 18 months.

“Since the beginning of this pandemic, the District has prioritized meeting the needs of our neighbors who have been negatively impacted by our public health emergency,” Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio was quoted as saying in Bowser’s release. “STAY DC will help us prevent housing instability by ensuring District residents can keep a roof over their heads and their utilities on, without sacrificing other basic needs.”

Applications may be submitted at stay.dc.gov and applicants can call the STAY DC Call Center at 833-4-STAYDC for support throughout the process Monday through Friday from 7 am to 7pm. Community Based Organizations may also help residents apply for the program.

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