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

Given the 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. While HIP is no longer hosting face-to-face meetings with clients or partners, staff continues to conduct counseling services and meetings remotely – via phone, email, and video.

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 to apply for Maryland’s Homeowner’s Tax Credit Program

Renters

  • HIP can help you complete the CDC Declaration Form to temporarily prevent eviction due to Covid-related income loss

  • HIP can provide accurate information regarding the eviction process during Maryland’s state of emergency

  • 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

Financial Relief Guide for Marylanders
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

PLEASE NOTE

  • 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.
  • The ERAP application will be open on a rolling basis until funds are allocated, so PLEASE APPLY EARLY.
  • HIP’s Certified Housing Counselors can help you apply – Please contact us at 301-699-3538.

COVID VACCINATION PROCESS

Prince George’s County Health Department is requiring ALL residents and employees to pre-register for the COVID-19 vaccine, and you will be contacted when eligible to schedule an appointment. It takes only a few minutes. Please NOTE: Each household member needs to register separately.

Please help your family members and neighbors register if they do not have access to computers and email!

COVID TESTING SITES

  • COVID-19 Screening Facilities are open to cars and walkers –Prince George’s County’s Coronavirus testing sites are available for drive-up or on foot testing, free of charge, Monday – Friday. NO APPOINTMENT OR DOCTORS NOTE IS NEEDED.
  • Please call 3-1-1 for directions, or call the Dept of Social Services Hotline at 301-883-6627 for other related questions. Critical services are available to help your entire family through this pandemic.

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

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

Public Libraries Reopening —

Prince George’s County has announced the reopening of certain libraries for limited hours and access.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE IF YOU:

  • HAVE EXPERIENCED A COVID-19 RELATED LOSS OF INCOME
  • OWE AT LEAST $1,000 OR MORE TO CURRENT LANDLORD
  • HAVE A GROSS HOUSEHOLD INCOME AT OR BELOW 50% OF AREA MEDIAN INCOME FOR THE LAST 30 DAYS
  • HAVE LIVED IN MONTGOMERY CO SINCE AT LEAST AUGUST 2020

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

  • COVID Rent Relief Program, DHHS – Phase 2, October-December 2020 – Montgomery County DHHS launched Phase 2 of its Rent Assistance for residents who certified Covid related loss of income or other impacts. The application period closed in December 2, 2020 and DHHS has processed those applications. Households who qualified received up to $4,000 toward their rental arrears and future expenses. Checks were made out to the landlord.

DHHS Emergency Eviction 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 Dept of Health & Human Services (DHHS). Help may be available to cover relocation expenses and first month’s rent/deposit.

  • CDC Extends Temporary Moratorium on Evictions During COVID – The Center’s for Disease Control halts evictions for qualifying renters through June 30, 2021 to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. Renters must certify income loss due to Covid. NOTE: Arrears and late fees will accumulate. Contact HIP’s counselors to see if you meet CDC criteria – We can help you complete the required Declaration Form – Click Here.
  • 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.

COVID VACCINATION PROCESS

Montgomery County has opened its vaccination pre-registration for all residents age 16 and over. Please pre-register now! For the latest info about vaccinations, click below:

COVID TESTING SITES

Drive-up and walk up testing is available Monday – Friday for residents, with or without symptoms, and no Doctor’s note is needed. No Government ID is required! Appointments are not required but recommended to reduce wait times.

Call the Testing Helpline at 240-777-1755 – Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., seven days a week.

If you are mildly symptomatic and need testing, county officials recommend you use these clinics:

  • Gaithersburg: CDC Mobile Testing Trailer at Lakeforest Mall
  • Germantown: Parking garage behind Regal Cinema
  • Silver Spring: CDC Mobile Testing Trailer at Recreation Department Admin Building

Daily updates about the county’s response is available:

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

  • Montgomery County Public Schools – MCPS began the 2020-21 school year on Monday, August 31, 2020 with virtual learning through the 1st & 2nd semesters. Students have begun to phase back into in-person learning as of April 2021.
  • 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.

Free Outdoor Wi-Fi available at 10 Public Libraries

Montgomery County in March leveraged federal COVID-19 funding to install outdoor public Wi-Fi, available 24 hours, at the following 10 MCPL locations: Aspen Hill, Davis (N. Bethesda), Gaithersburg, Germantown, Maggie Nightingale (Poolesville), Marilyn Praisner (Burtonsville), Rockville Memorial, Twinbrook, Wheaton, and White Oak branches; and in front of the Silver Spring Civic Building at Veterans Plaza.

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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

  • 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 state taxes has been extended to July 15th. Federal taxes are extended to May 17, 2021.

FEDERAL SERVICES

LOCAL NEWS UPDATES