A Helping Hand: Maryland Announces Significant New Housing Support

The COVID-19 pandemic showed us all just how important a home can be. While the worst of the virus is hopefully behind us, the struggle of Maryland residents to meet their mortgage and rent obligations, or to afford a home purchase, will continue. Fortunately, assistance is currently available to those in need.

Despite a slow start, Maryland’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program is on track to meet federal requirements for phase one disbursements. Nearly 30,000 Maryland households had received rental assistance totaling $178 million by the end of 2021, with an additional 7,000 applications processed each month.

As a result, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is scheduled to receive an additional $352 million in phase two allocations. Additional rental assistance funds will continue to be available through local housing offices in each county and Baltimore City, as well as through the state’s non-profit partners. To learn more, tenants and landlords may visit  or call 877-546-5595.

New for 2022 is the creation of the Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF). This fund was authorized under last year’s American Rescue Plan. Nearly $250 million in federal funds will be used to offer both grants and loans to those who’ve experienced financial hardships since the start of the pandemic.

HAF Grants of up to $10,000 will be available to for households making up to 100% of Area Median Income (AMI)      and will be used to avoid displacement of residents due to mortgage or tax delinquencies. Meanwhile zero-interest HAF loans of $30,000 are open to those making 150% of AMI. These loans may be used to either bring a delinquent mortgage current or to reduce ongoing mortgage payments to no more than 40% of gross household income. Payments on the loan are deferred until the property is sold or the first mortgage is satisfied. Depending on owner circumstances, the loans may also be fully or partially forgiven at that time.

The program is not intended to replace loss mitigation offered by mortgage servicers but will serve as an option for those who have been denied other forms of mortgage relief. Lenders may not require a borrower to apply for assistance through the HAF program before offering the borrower other loss mitigation options. In addition, mortgage servicers must make homeowners aware of the HAF program, reconsider previous mitigation denials for successful HAF applicants, and delay foreclosure proceedings to give borrowers sufficient time to apply for HAF assistance.

The two programs can be combined with each other for borrowers meeting the 100% AMI threshold. Both are open to Maryland residents for their principal residence, with mortgages that did not exceed federal conforming loan limits at the time of origination.

The Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund is open until September 30, 2026, or until all program funding has been allocated. Additional information and the application portal can be found at homeownerassistance.maryland.gov.

Finally, in late December DHCD announced the sale of Residential Revenue Bonds which are the first “Social Bonds” sold by the department. The sale raises over $250 million in new capital to support the Maryland Mortgage Program in offering purchase loans to residents of low and moderate incomes. This infusion will add to the $1 billion the state has allocated annually to mortgage lending.

The Maryland Mortgage Program provides fixed-rate mortgages that feature down payment and closing cost assistance, and even offer student debt relief through Maryland SmartBuy. Visit mmp.maryland.gov to learn more about this and all mortgage products offered by the State of Maryland.

Homeowner Assistance Fund Income Limits

Income limits for the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) vary by both jurisdiction and by household size. The lower amounts are for individual applicants in a lower-cost county, while the highest amounts are for an 8-person household in a high-cost county. Details for each county and the City of Baltimore are available on the program website.

100% AMI
$79,900 – $95,100
$90,300 – $170,300 (high-cost)

150% AMI
$79,900 – $142,650
$135,450 – $255,450 (high-cost)