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) and mortgage assistance 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

  • Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), Phase II – On October 27, the Prince George’s County Dept of Housing & Community Development relaunched its COVID rent relief program by allowing landlords to apply for relief on behalf of their tenants who are experiencing financial difficulties due to Covid-19 factors. The rent delinquency must have occurred on or after April 1, and only rent will be covered – no late fees, interest, etc. Property owners, landlords and property managers of multifamily, single family, condo or coop properties are eligible to apply for up to $1,800 a month in arears, for up to 6 months. Delinquent tenants must meet eligibility criteria. NOTE: The deadline to apply for Phase II funding was Nov 10, 2020 – all available funds have been allocated and distributed.
  • Emergency Rental & Utility Assistance, Phase I – During May, Prince George’s County launched its program for tenants impacted by COVID-19 to provide temporary help with rent or utility payments, up to 3 months. For eligible households, payment for arrears up to $1,800 a month, for up to 3 months, were made directly to the landlord. The County has distributed more than $2.1 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds to residents since May. NOTE: Phase I applications submitted in May have been processed and all funding has been allocated.

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.

The current vaccine priority is Group 1A & 1B and includes: essential healthcare workers, adults age 75+, congregate living communities, teachers and childcare providers. Please help your family members and neighbors register if they do not have access to computers and email! Residents and employees in Group 1C are now encouraged to pre-register.

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 DOCTOR 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:
Cheverly Health Center Mon thru Thurs 9:00 am – 3:30 pm
D. Leonard Dyer Regional Health Center Mon thru Fri 9:00 am – 3:30 pm

For a list of Partner Testing sites and Pop-up sites, click here.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

  • COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance – Montgomery County reopened its short-term Emergency Rental Assistance Program during August for tenants who were at least one month delinquent on their rent due to COVID-related impact. The Housing Opportunities Commission is providing up to $600 a month for 3 months, for a total of $1,800 per household – See the FAQ. THE APPLICATION PORTAL IS CLOSED. Applications have been processed and funds disbursed. Please contact HOC at 240-627-9606.
  • CDC Extends Temporary Moratorium on Evictions During COVID – The Center’s for Disease Control halts evictions for qualifying renters through March 31, 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.
  • 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 is currently prioritizing front-line healthcare workers, nursing home staff and residents, first responders, and adults age 75+.

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 and Lunch Locations – MCPS began the 2020-21 school year on Monday, August 31 with virtual learning through the first semester. No in-person classes are currently being held.
  • 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 has 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. 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: The $600.00 additional weekly payment provided by the Cares Act ended on July 31. Congress has not extended this Federal benefit. However, the State of Maryland announced will make available the extra $300 benefit payment authorized in late August by Executive Order, with certain restrictions.
  • Election Day – Presidential General Election is Tuesday, Nov 3 – Voting in Maryland is being conducted by mail-in ballot and in-person. Early voting has also begun in Montgomery and Prince George’s County at several sites from, Monday, Oct. 26 thru Monday, Nov 2 from 7am – 8pm. #Vote2020 | For in-person locations, call the Prince George’s County Board of Elections at 301-341-7300, or the Montgomery County Board of Elections at 301-
  • State Income Taxes – The MD state income tax filing deadline was extended until July 15th.

FEDERAL SERVICES

UNITED STATES CENSUS

The 2020 Census deadline was extended through October 15th for online completion and door-to-door census takers, and is now officially closed.

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