Rental Allowance Program Fact Sheet

​ Purpose of Program

The purpose of the Rental Allowance Program is to provide grants to local governments to provide flat rent subsidies to low-income families who either are homeless or have an emergency housing need. The goal of the program is to enable these households to move from homelessness or temporary emergency housing into more permanent housing and to return to self-sufficiency.

Eligible Types of Housing

Eligible housing can include rooms, boarding house rooms, other single-room occupancy arrangements, apartments, group homes, transitional housing (provided it is not temporary emergency housing), single-family houses, and mobile homes. Kitchen and bathroom facilities may be in common, shared, or independent. Motel and hotel rooms without access to kitchen facilities may be permitted if not other more cost-effective and suitable housing is available. Living facilities may be shared with other person​s, including other program recipients. Housing may be furnished or unfurnished.

Eligible Applicants

Counties, Baltimore City, and Annapolis may apply directly to the Community Development Administration for program funds and may administer the processing of applications made by eligible residents for rent subsidies. The Community Development Administrationmay administer the program directly where no local government is administering the program.

Low-income families may apply directly to the local administering agency for rent subsidies.

Eligible Residents

Eligible residents are low-income families who are homeless, in danger of becoming homeless, or in need of emergency housing. Incomes of assisted households cannot exceed 30 percent of the statewide or area median income, whichever is higher.

Subsidy Term

This is a rent subsidy program. Local government administering agencies sign a contract with eligible residents to provide a monthly rental allowance payment for up to 12 months. Local programs may also provide additional services such as housing counseling, credit counseling, individual case management programs, etc. to help the family maintain housing stability.

The amount of monthly rental allowance payments is based on family size and area of the state. The payment amount may be increased or decreased by up to 10 percent in the exercise of reasonable discretion by a local jurisdiction.

* - Includes Annapolis City, Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George's Counties.

** - Includes Baltimore City, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Harford, Queen Anne's, St. Mary's and Talbot Counties.

*** - Includes Allegany, Caroline, Dorchester, Garrett, Kent, Somerset, Washington, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties.

Local Government Involvement

County governments, Baltimore City, and Annpolis administer the Rental Allowance Program by accepting applications from eligible residents, coordinating the program with other social services administered by the county, and providing staff links with the Community Development Administration to ensure program requirements are being met. The Rental Allowance Programis usually administered by the local social services office, the Section 8 agency (public housing authority), or is contracted by the county to a private nonprofit organization for administration.

For More Information, Contact:

Your Local Administering Agency