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Mayor Bowser Announces the District is Among the First Jurisdictions to Achieve Federal Milestone for Emergency Rental Assistance

Friday, August 27, 2021
Having Achieved Federal Spend Requirement More Than a Month Before Deadline, the Mayor Encourages Residents and Housing Providers to Apply Today

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the District has provided nearly $143 million in rent and utility assistance to District residents using federal Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Funds. Through spending on the Stronger Together by Assisting You (STAY DC) program and other eligible uses like Rapid Rehousing, the District has met the United States Department of Treasury requirement to spend 65% of the District’s initial $200 million allocation (amounting to $130 million) of ERA funds by September 30, 2021. Having successfully met the deadline, the District will avoid having any remaining funds swept and reallocated, making the District eligible for more rental assistance funding in the future.

“We have the backs of every Washingtonian that needs help paying their rent and utilities,” said Mayor Bowser. “Today’s milestone not only means we’re making progress on this commitment, but we’ll soon be able to help even more people in need. We also thank President Biden, Congressional leaders, and federal partners for providing this once in a lifetime resource, and we encourage residents and housing providers to apply today at stay.dc.gov.”

Through STAY DC, renters and housing providers can apply for grant funding to cover past and future rental payments in addition to utilities like water and electricity. Through STAY DC alone, the District has helped over 15,000 District residents with nearly $97 million in rent and utility assistance. According to data provided by the United States Department of Treasury through the end of July, the District is #1 per capita among all states administering ERA for amount of funds disbursed. The District is #3 among all states after Texas and Virginia in percent of allocation spent. Average amounts of assistance payments made to tenants through STAY DC follow:

  • Average rent: $6,074
  • Average water: $935
  • Average electric: $852
  • Average gas: $472

“We applaud the tireless efforts of our team members, community partners, and advocates who have encouraged the residents who need us most to apply for this resource and focus on their family’s comeback from the pandemic and its economic impacts,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. “This also is a reminder to residents that Mayor Bowser has your back.”

Since launching STAY DC, the District has made several enhancements to the program and website to make it easier for applicants. Those include regular updates to tenants on the status of their application, adding calendar of events where residents can find in-person application support in their neighborhood and adding functionality to the applications for applicants to easily provide self-attestation. The District also opened daily in-person application resource centers at the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and the Mayor’s Office of Latino Affairs for Spanish language applicants. Residents have also worked with Community Based Organizations (CBO) to submit paper applications. Advertisements for STAY DC are also running across over 15 different digital, print, television and radio outlets.

“Achieving this milestone, a month ahead of schedule is not an accident” said DHCD Director Polly Donaldson. “Our aggressive outreach and communication strategy helped get people in the door, and efficient administration of the program got money out.”

To qualify for STAY DC, you must be a renter or housing provider in the District who is at risk, or has a tenant at risk, of not paying rent or utilities on a residential dwelling. An applicant’s total 2020 annual household income, as set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, may not exceed designated levels according to household size. For example, a family of four must make less than $82,300. Eligible households may receive assistance going back to April 1, 2020, and 3 months of assistance for future payments at a time for a total of 18 months of assistance.

"The safety and stability of all residents is among our shared values in the District, including housing and housing stability, so we're extremely grateful for the resources to be able to support households in crisis during this difficult time," said DHS Director Laura Zeilinger. "We urge those who need rental or utility assistance to apply without delay knowing that there are community-based services to help with applications when needed."

Renters and housing providers can still submit applications for rental and utility assistance today at stay.dc.gov or in-person at several pop-up events and application clinics throughout the city listed at stay.dc.gov/dcevents. Applicants can call the STAY DC Call Center at 833-4-STAYDC for support throughout their application process, Monday through Friday from 7 am to 7 pm. The STAY DC program is administered by the Department of Human Services (DHS) in collaboration with the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services (DMHHS), and the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).

More information, including eligibility requirements, can be found at stay.dc.gov.

ERA Spend (as of August 25, 2021)

Program Amount
STAY DC Rental Assistance $94,803,778
STAY DC Utility Assistance $2,954,196
Family Rehousing Stabilization Program $40,617,525
COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program $4,518,272
Total $142,893,771