Rent assistance program is given award of merit

Real Estate Watch

September 14, 1997

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development's Rental Allowance Program (RAP) has been recognized with a national award of merit from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials.

NAHRO is an organization of housing and community development officials throughout the United States.

The award of merit is given to programs of outstanding achievement and was presented to Raymond A. Skinner, deputy secretary of the Maryland department.

RAP provides temporary rental assistance to individuals and families with an emergency or critical housing need, according to Skinner. Last year the program, which has been in existence since 1988, helped about 1,500 Maryland households at a cost of about $5.5 million.

"Our goal is to help families regain rental self-sufficiency and to prevent homelessness," Skinner said.

RAP works with local governments by providing state funds to local jurisdictions that administer the program. Applicants apply for assistance with local housing or community development agencies, which in turn verify the applicant's income and housing situation.

Once a person is eligible, a certificate is granted, giving the recipient 30 days to locate housing. After a recipient has found a unit, a monthly payment is sent directly to the landlord for a period not to exceed 12 months.

Eligibility for RAP payments is determined by household size, geographic region and income limits.

Pub Date: 9/14/97

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