July 27, 2020
Dear Friends,

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, I am keenly aware that many of our residents are experiencing job losses and losses to their small businesses in addition to a health pandemic. This is one of the many reasons why Greater Riverdale Cares was launched in April -- to support local restaurants and deliver food to those in need. Details about this week's meal sites are at the bottom of this message.  

On June 9, 2020, the Prince George's County Council enacted CB-16-2020 and amended the Prince George's County Landlord-Tenant Code to prohibit rent increases and rental terminations; provide payment plans with certain tenants; and prohibit late fees or penalties from being charged during the COVID-19 statewide emergency and within 90 days after the expiration of an emergency. 

Outlined below are the substantive provisions of the new regulations: 

Tenants with substantial loss of income --  for County law, this means tenants who can demonstrate proof through documentation or other objectively verifiable means, that the tenant suffered a Substantial Loss of Income and are therefore unable to make rent payments because of the emergency, as defined by the Governor of the State of Maryland's Executive Order Number 20-04-03-01.

During the COVID-19 health emergency as declared by the Governor of the Maryland, a landlord may not increase the rent for a tenant with a substantial loss of income if the rent increase would take effect during the health emergency and within 90 days after expiration of the emergency. 

Additionally, landlords may not impose late fees or penalties for any tenant Landlords shall not issue notices of rent increase, late fees or penalties that apply to payments required during the emergency and within 90 days after expiration of the emergency. 

Landlords must inform a tenant with a substantial loss of income in writing to disregard any notice of a rent increase if: (1) the landlord provided the notice to the tenant prior to the emergency; and (2) if the effective date of the increase would occur on or after the date the emergency began.

Landlords may offer a written rent payment plan to a tenant with a substantial loss of income. Additionally, landlords are prohibited from evicting a tenant for non-payment of rent for any eviction proceedings not initiated before the COVID-19 emergency. This prohibition is effective for the duration of the emergency.

Moreover, any new complaints filed against tenants for failure to pay rent shall be prohibited during the duration of the emergency. This new provision regarding evictions applies from the date of the Governor of the State of Maryland's Executive Order Number 20-04-03-01 on April 3, 2020 until August 31, 2020. 

References and more information:

Additional Resources:

Housing Initiative Partnership (HIP) - rental assistance, eviction and foreclosure assistance, household finances assistance: https://hiphomes.org/covid-19-resources-for-maryland-residents/
Community Legal Services of Prince George's County - free legal representation if you are facing eviction or foreclosure: https://www.clspgc.org/

CASA - rental/landlord issues and legal services: https://wearecasa.org/

United Communities Against Povertyhttps://www.ucappgc.org/

Maryland's Office of Home Energy programs - utility bill assistance

As the economic crisis continues, and the additional unemployment benefits come to an end, the need only continues to grow. If you are in need, or know someone who is, please go to https://bit.ly/D3Help  to let us know what you need. We will do our best to assist.

Even as restaurants and stores begin to reopen, please remember we are in a pandemic. COVID-19 is highly spreadable and we've lost too many lives to this virus. Please continue to social distance and wear a mask. Following these mandates will not only help keep you and your community members healthy, it will also help our local businesses. We will only be able to continue to re-open if our infection numbers continue to decline.

If you see a COVID-19 safety protocol violation call 311 or
email covid-19@co.pg.md.us.

Below is this week's list of food distributions in and near Council District 3. Please share with those who may need assistance. If you are unable to access the graphic, please call 301-952-3060 and a staff member will review the food distribution sites with you over the phone.

As always, feel free to reach out to a member of my District 3 team or me if we can help you in any way. I am sharing updates regularly on social media, especially my Facebook page .   #onlytogether

Together Strengthening Our Community,

P.S. The Census directly impacts funding for our community. Complete the 2020 Census TODAY! Call 844-330-2020, no code needed. Your community is counting on you to complete the Census 2020! #pgcensus #proudtobecounted #onlytogether

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Learn more about Tax Credits for Homeowners and Renters

Special thanks to Council Member At Large Calvin Hawkins and his staff who helped our D3 team distribute 450 boxes of senior meals last Wednesday. Delegate Nicole Williams (pictured), staff members from Kaiser Permanente and other volunteers delivered nearly half of the boxes to seniors unable to pick up. Watch this email newsletter for information about our next distribution in September.

SNAP Espanol
 Contact Your 
D3 Team

Wanda Brooks 
Citizen Services Specialist
geneather Lloyd
Office Manager & Scheduler
Aimee Olivo 
Chief of Staff
Alina Smith
Latino Liaison
Alesha Wilson
Community Outreach & Special Projects Coordinator

If you have received this e-news from someone other than my office, and are interested in receiving this update directly, please email CouncilDistrict3@co.pg.md.us or call (301) 952-3060.