HIP is OPEN for business and serving clients in-person and remotely. Let us help you!

Given the continuing health risks of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we are taking precautions to protect the health and safety of our clients, staff, and community-at-large. Our counseling staff is conducting counseling services and meetings in-person and remotely – via phone, email, and video. We recommend scheduling meetings with counselors by appointment; however, should clients need access to our offices to drop off documents or use the computer or printer, staff are available Monday – Friday in the Hyattsville and Germantown offices.

HIP is a HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Agency.

We provide free, one-on-one counseling. Maryland Residents experiencing financial difficulties are encouraged to reach out to our bilingual housing counselors.

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY OFFICE:    301-699-3835
MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE:         301-916-5946

Here’s How HIP’s Housing Counselors Can Help During COVID-19

Homeowners

  • HIP can assess your mortgage refinance options

  • HIP can negotiate with your lender to prevent mortgage default

  • HIP can provide accurate information regarding foreclosure suspension

  • HIP can assist with applying for Maryland’s Homeowner’s Tax Credit Program (Feb – Oct)

  • HIP can help you apply for the Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF), through the state of Maryland.

Renters

  • HIP can provide accurate information regarding the eviction process and refer you to legal assistance

  • HIP can connect you to Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) programs to help cover housing costs and prevent evictions

  • HIP can minimize effects of loss of income on household budget by prioritizing your expenses

  • HIP can assist you in applying for Maryland’s Renter’s Tax Credit Program

Household Finances

  • HIP can help you negotiate with creditors

  • HIP can help you access emergency assistance programs for utilities and other essential services during the state of emergency

  • HIP can help you with tools and resources to stay afloat if you have lost income or employment

MARYLAND Homeowner Assistance Fund – HAF
HIP Counseling Flyer, English
Flyer for Homeowners, English
HIP Counseling Flyer, Spanish
Flyer for Homeowners, Spanish

RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO MARYLAND RESIDENTS

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY

FOR HOMEOWNERS:

HAF – Homeowner Assistance Fund Homeowners who are experiencing a financial hardship during the Covid pandemic may be eligible for assistance to avoid eviction and foreclosure from the Maryland Dept. of Housing & Community Development.

The HAF grant offers assistance up to $20,000 and does not require repayment. Meanwhile, the HAF loan offers assistance up to $40,000 and will require repayment. Homeowners must live in the home as their primary residence.

Please contact HIP’s bilingual, certified housing counselors at 301-699-3835.

We can check your eligibility to apply, and help you with contacting your mortgage servicer.

FOR RENTERS:

Covid Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

The Phase 3 application period closed on December 15 @ 3:00 pm. Applications submitted prior to the deadline continue to be processed.

  • To check status of your application, please LOGIN
  • For questions, call the Covid Relief HOTLINE at (301) 883-6504 and Press 9
  • The Prince George’s County Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will offer relief to landlords on behalf of renters, and tenants applying directly who are experiencing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Prince George’s County residents who are late on their rent because of Covid-related income reduction or job loss may be eligible to receive up to 6 months of late rent and/or utility assistance if their landlord does not apply for them.
  • Only late rent will be paid, no late fees or interest charges. The delinquency must have occurred on or after April 1, 2020. Checks are made out to the landlord/property owner in most situations.
  • HIP’s Certified Housing Counselors can help you apply – Please contact us at 301-699-3538.

 

ALL CDC EVICTION PROTECTION ORDERS EXPIRED – Know Your Rights as a Tenant

  • CDC Eviction Protection Orders have expired.

  • Please attend all scheduled hearings in Landlord-Tenant Court. We can refer you to an attorney for free.
  • If you receive a Red & White notice on your door from the County Sheriff, please call the ERA HOTLINE immediately.

COVID VACCINATION PROCESS

Prince George’s County Health Department is encouraging ALL residents ages 5 and over to be vaccinated and boosted, where eligible. Masks are required to be worn indoors regardless of vaccination status.

 

COVID TESTING SITES

Daily updates about the county’s response is available:

FEMA BURIAL ASSISTANCE REIMBURSEMENT PROGRAM

The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) has begun providing up to $9,000 reimbursement for funeral, interment & cremation expenses for COVID-19 related deaths that occurred after Jan. 20, 2020.

Eligibility guidelines for COVID-19 funeral assistance:

  • The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
  • The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.
  • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified immigrant who incurred funeral expenses after Jan 20, 2020.
  • There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified immigrant.

The assistance is limited to a maximum of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application. To apply, call the FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line at 844-684-6333 (toll free) Mon – Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Visit FEMA’s website

PUBLIC SCHOOLS –-

Prince George’s County Public Schools have welcomed most students back to classrooms for full-time, in-person learning during 2021-22. However, please do check updates for school closings and reimplementation of virtual learning during 2022 as the Omicron cases evolve.

Critical Services are also available to help your family through the pandemic:

Public Libraries and Senior Centers have Reopened —

Prince George’s County has announced the reopening of several libraries and senior centers for limited hours and public access. Masks are required. Click here for a list of locations and their status.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

FOR HOMEOWNERS:

HAF – Homeowner Assistance FundHomeowners who are experiencing a financial hardship during the Covid pandemic may be eligible for assistance to avoid eviction and foreclosure from the Maryland Dept. of Housing & Community Development.

The HAF grant offers assistance up to $20,000 and does not require repayment. Meanwhile, the HAF loan offers assistance up to $40,000 and will require repayment. Homeowners must live in the home as their primary residence.

Please contact HIP’s bilingual, certified housing counselors at 301-916-5946

We can check your eligibility to apply, and help you with contacting your mortgage servicer.

FOR RENTERS:

Covid Rent Relief Program, Round 4 – Montgomery County’s Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) portal has reopened for applications as of Monday, May 16, for 45 days.

  • Montgomery County residents may be eligible for assistance up to $12,000 – minus any previous Covid Relief awarded during Phase 1 or Phase 2 during 2020.
  • Having a social security number is not required. You will not be asked about your status.

Click the links below:

YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE IF YOU:

  • have experienced COVID‐19-related financial hardship,
  • have a household gross income at or below 50% of Area Median Income, based on either your 2020 or 2021 tax return or the previous 30 days,
  • have resided in Montgomery County since at least August 2021,
  • have an obligation to pay rent, formally or informally, and
  • are behind on your rental obligation by at least two months.

HIP’s certified housing counselors can assist you in submitting your documents and completing the application either in-person or virtually – Please call HIP at 301-916-5946 to schedule an appointment.

EVICTION PREVENTION – Know Your Rights as a Tenant

  • The Covid Rent Relief funds will be prioritized based on need.
  • Please attend all scheduled hearings in Landlord-Tenant Court. We can refer you to an attorney for free assistance.
  • If you receive a Red & White notice on your door from the County Sheriff, please call 3-1-1 immediately to be connected to DHHS.

 

DHHS Emergency Eviction-Relocation Assistance – If you are have received an eviction notice on your door from the Montgomery County Sheriff, please dial 3-1-1 and ask for the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS). Help may be available to cover relocation expenses and first month’s rent/deposit.

FEMA BURIAL ASSISTANCE REIMBURSEMENT PROGRAM

  • Burial Assistance Program – Grants to help pay for burial costs are available through Housing Stabilization Services. Household income must be below 60% of Area Median Income, and must meet additional eligibility criteria to receive a grant of $650. Please contact the Department of Health & Human Services by dialing 3-1-1.
  • FEMA is also offering a federal Burial Assistance Reimbursement Program that provides up to $9K reimbursement for funeral, interment & cremation expenses for COVID-19 related deaths that occurred after Jan. 20, 2020.

COVID VACCINATION PROCESS

Montgomery County is encouraging all residents ages 5 and over to be vaccinated and boosted, where eligible. Masks and face coverings are required to be worn indoors regardless of vaccination status.

For the latest info about vaccinations, click below:

COVID TESTING SITES

For a list of Testing Sites, please call the Testing Helpline at 240-777-1755 – Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., seven days a week.

Daily updates about the county’s response is available:

PUBLIC SCHOOLS —

Montgomery County Public Schools – MCPS Schools will be open 5 Days a Week for In-person learning for the 2021-2022 School Year, which began on Monday, Aug 30 for traditional schools. Learn more

Critical services are also available to help your family through the pandemic:

  • Montgomery County Food Council – Provides information on the location, hours, and eligibility guidelines of more than 100 sites where residents can access food and benefits application assistance.
  • Manna Food Center – County residency eligibility applies, call 301-424-1130. Manna can arrange drop-off service for seniors and residents with disabilities who are not able to pick up food items at their food pantry sites.

Public Libraries and Senior Centers have Reopened —

Montgomery County has announced the reopening of several libraries and senior centers across the county for limited hours and public access. Masks are required. Click here for a list of locations and their status.

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REGIONAL FOOD ASSISTANCE

  • Capital Area Food BankTo locate a food bank in your neighborhood, call the Hunger Lifeline at 202-644-9807. Bring a valid ID.

UTILITY ASSISTANCE

The State of Maryland’s moratorium on electric, gas and water shutoffs has ended, however, if you are behind on your utility bills there is still help available. Residential customers who owe money to their utility provider will have 45 days from receipt of a notice to work out a payment plan or to apply for energy assistance programs with the County or State of Maryland. WSSC has said they will not be shutting off service, but are asking customers to contact them to set up a payment plan. Please call HIP’s counselors for assistance in navigating this process. We can help you submit the necessary applications.

CHILDCARE ASSISTANCE

Childcare for Essential Personnel: The State of Maryland has been working with local YMCAs, Boys and Girls Clubs, Recreation Centers, and other facilities to provide capacity for more than 1,200 children of essential safety and healthcare personnel to receive childcare. The State is hoping to increase this capacity to 2,500 children. Essential personnel can call the State’s LOCATE Hotline to register for childcare at 1-877-261-0060.

HEALTHCARE ASSISTANCE

MENTAL HEALTH ASSISTANCE

Experiencing a Mental Health Crisis?

In the event of a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1.

If you or a loved one are experiencing thoughts of suicide or having a mental health crisis, Mental Health specialists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide immediate assistance and referrals for long-term support.

  • In Prince George’s County – Contact the Crisis Response System @ 301-429-2185
    They can provide a comprehensive set of on-site and off-site mental health crisis response services and resources in Prince George’s County. For online resources, Click Here.
  • In Montgomery County – Contact the Montgomery County Crisis Center @ 240-777-4000 or the Suicide Prevention Lifeline @ 1-800-273-8255. For online resources, Click Here.
  • Listen to children and promote mutual respect and trust as part of building resiliency. Contact Children’s Mental Health Matters @ 443-901-1550.

STATE SERVICES

  • NOTE: Maryland Governor Larry Hogan officially lifted the State of Emergency in Maryland effective on July 1, 2021.
  • Maryland SNAP Benefits – For new applicants, please apply online at the MyDHR portal for the quickest turnaround, or call Maryland Hunger Solutions at 866-821-5552. You can check the status of an application at 1-800-332-6347. Current SNAP participants automatically received the maximum benefit allowed for your household size during April and May.
  • Unemployment Claims – You can start your Maryland claim online or by phone. The Maryland Division of Unemployment Insurance has call center hours from 7:30 am – 3:30 pm at 410-949-0022. Click here for helpful Q&A. Please call HIP’s counselors if you need HELP completing the online forms. Please NOTE: There is an additional $300.00 weekly federal benefit provided through Covid Relief funding.
  • State Income Taxes – Deadline for filing your Maryland state taxes is extended to July 15, 2022.

FEDERAL SERVICES

  • Centers for Disease Control (CDC)All CDC eviction moratoriums and tenant protections have EXPIRED. If you receive a court summons to appear in Landlord-Tenant Court please plan to attend your hearing. Contact HIP for a referral to a probono legal service provider. There is help available.
  • FEMA Disaster Assistance – The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) has begun providing up to $9,000 reimbursement for funeral, interment & cremation expenses for COVID-19 related deaths that occurred after Jan. 20, 2020. To apply, call the FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line at 844-684-6333 (toll free) Mon – Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Visit FEMA’s website
  • Federal/State Income Taxes – Income Tax filing deadline is April 15, 2022. The IRS is offering tax help to taxpayers affected by COVID-19. There are additional providers who can assist – please call HIP’s counselors for a list.
  • Small Businesses Assistance
  • Social Security Administration Services
  • CARES Act, Coronavirus Relief Checks – IRS has launched an App and website for consumers to track their $1,400 Stimulus payment and provide direct deposit info. Make sure you have your ID and income tax info available.

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