During these unprecedented times, many of us are now working from home – and usually with kids in tow, which means that we are using more electricity and water every day.

We want to make sure that you are staying comfortable and healthy in your homes, but being home for extended periods of time can make utility bills skyrocket. Find out more by reading this tip sheet: LowerYourBill_Bilingual

For up to date information on what is happening around the County and state, check this website.

Do you need IMMEDIATE Assistance?

Has your electricity, water, or gas service been shut off?

Call 311 or 1-240-777-0311 and ask for Montgomery County DHHS Services to End and Prevent Homelessness (formerly Emergency Services) for assistance.

 

Do you need immediate help paying a utility bill?

Call 1-240-777-4450 Hearing impaired: 1-800-735-2258, Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP).

 

Do you smell gas? 

Leave the area immediately and call 911 and Washington Gas at 1-703-750-1400 or 1-800-752-7520, if you smell gas, or have an emergency involving natural gas.

 

For all other assistance programs, visit our Utility Bill Assistance page.

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Utility Information

Utility Moratorium

Keep the lights on! On June 29, 2020, Governor Hogan issued an amended Executive Order extending the prohibition on residential utility service terminations and late fees until September 1, 2020. More information from the Office of People’s Counsel: County Resources

Additional information on steps utilities are taking to help customers can be found here.

File complaints online: www.psc.state.md.us/online-complaints/

Utility Issues

The Public Service Commission (PSC) will be convening a public inquiry to examine and discuss the impact that COVID-19 has had on Maryland utility customers, operations, consumer protections, service reliability and financial health. They have scheduled a two-day public conference online, that you are invited to participate in or watch live streamed on the Commission’s YouTube channel. The public conference will be August 27-28, 2020, beginning at 10:00 AM on both days.

 

Information for Specific Utilities 

Pepco

Contact  PEPCO online or call 202-833-7500

What Customers Should Know–PEPCO 

BGE

Contact  BGE online or call 800-685-0123

What Customers Should Know–BGE 

Potomac Edicson

Contact Potomac Edison online or call 1-800-686-0011

What Customers Should Know–Potomac Edison 

Washington Gas

Contact  Washington Gas online or call 703-750-1000 (or 800-752-7520)

What Customers Should Know–Washington Gas 

WSSC

Contact  WSSC online or call 301-206-4001

What Customers Should Know– About Their Water Bill 

For more information on specific utilities: www.psc.state.md.us/covid-19-utility-operational-changes/ 

Information on additional utilities like phone, internet: https://montgomerycountymd.gov/covid19/get-help/Utilities.html 

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Evictions

Eviction Update

Currently, there is a temporary eviction moratorium in place in Montgomery County and the State of Maryland. The moratorium prohibits landlords from physically removing renters from their homes for any reason. During the eviction moratorium, landlords are permitted to issue eviction notices pursuant to their lease agreements and to pursue collection actions.

As of March 12th, 2020 all eviction orders in Montgomery County are stayed for an initial period of 15 days, and subject to renewal in 15-day increments, until further notice from the Court.

Court is open and will be hearing rent cases effective July 25, 2020.

They will also issue eviction orders and let the Sheriff follow through with orders that were in the queue at the time of the issuance of the emergency order. Going forward, persons who are behind as a result of the pandemic cannot be evicted until the Governor lifts his stay.

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Renter Information

COVID Rent Relief Program

The Governor has announced funds will be released to provide some relief through four-month rent rebate vouchers. The rebates will be available for renters living in DHCD-financed properties who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The program was announced July 24th and the deadline for applications is this Friday, July 31st.

 

  • Eligible applicants must be tenants who can certify that the cause of their rent delinquency is COVID-19 related.
  • Applications will be collected and consolidated by property managers and submitted to DHCD, so tenants will need to apply through them.
  • A property look-up website is available here.
  • All eligible properties should submit one application per property.

For more information, visit: https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Pages/AHRP-NOFA.aspx

Renter’s Tax Credit 

Renters may qualify for a tax credit (a check of up to $1,000). Learn more about the Renters Tax Credit.

Working with Landlords

See tips for working with landlords during financial difficulties.

Montgomery County’s DHCA Office of Landlord-Tenant Affairs recommends that tenants experiencing financial distress contact their landlord to discuss their situation and possible payment arrangements.

Residents with questions or concerns also are invited to contact the County’s Office of Landlord-Tenant Affairs directly by calling 311 or 240-777-0311 if dialing from outside of Montgomery County, submitting an online request, or emailing olta.intake@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Residents are also encouraged to review Montgomery County’s Landlord-Tenant Handbook, which offers a description of the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants in Montgomery County.

Housing Stablization Services

Services for emergency housing needs, including homelessness prevention services and housing related financial assistance with eviction, foreclosure, and utility disconnection are available. See current Housing Stablization Service status.

Homeless Information Line

Call the Homeless Information Line at 240-907-2688.

Trained specialists are available 24/7 to:

  • Provide information on County homeless services and shelter resources.
  • Receive reports regarding the location of individuals experiencing homelessness. Information will be forwarded to outreach partners who will attempt to locate the individual to offer support and resources. This is not an emergency response line. Emergencies should be reported directly to 911.

Additional Resources

Learn what protections and resources may be available to help.­­

 

 

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Homeowner Information

Mortgage Relief Options

If you can’t make your mortgage payments because of the coronavirus, start by understanding your options and reaching out for help.

Learn about mortgage and housing assistance options

Temporary Protection from Foreclosure

The vast majority of mortgage loans are owned by HUD-FHA, Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, and VA, which are offering some protections during this time. Learn more about temporary protection from foreclosure.

Housing Stabilization Services

Services for emergency housing needs, including homelessness prevention services and housing related financial assistance with eviction, foreclosure, and utility disconnection are available. See current Housing Stablization Service status.

Homeless Information Line

Call the Homeless Information Line at 240-907-2688.

Trained specialists are available 24/7 to:

  • Provide information on County homeless services and shelter resources.
  • Receive reports regarding the location of individuals experiencing homelessness. Information will be forwarded to outreach partners who will attempt to locate the individual to offer support and resources. This is not an emergency response line. Emergencies should be reported directly to 911.
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Scam Alert

Government Scams

Unfortunately, some scammers are pretending to be affiliated with the government–just to scam you out of money. Here are three ways you can help protect yourself and others from these scammers.

  • Know that the government will never call, text, or contact you on social media saying you owe money, or to offer help getting your Economic Impact Payment (EIP) faster. If you get a message from someone claiming to be from a government agency through social media, it’s a scam. Report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint . If you are eligible and haven’t yet gotten your Economic Impact Payment, visit irs.gov  and follow the guidance. Watch this CFPB video to learn more about your EIP. And read the FTC’s information  on spotting scams related to the EIP.
  • Visit government websites directly for trustworthy information. Don’t click on links in an email or text message. Scammers often send fake links to websites that look like they’re from the government. Instead of clicking on links in messages, open up a new window and search for the name of the government agency. And visit coronavirus.gov  for the most up-to-date information on the pandemic.
  • Say “NO” to anyone claiming to be from a government agency asking for cash, gift cards, wire transfer, cryptocurrency, or personal and financial information, whether they contact you by phone, texts email, or by showing up in person. Don’t share your Social Security, Medicare ID, driver’s license, bank account, or credit card numbers.

For the most up-to-date information on avoiding COVID-19 related scams, visit ftc.gov/coronavirus/scams . And, for further help in protecting yourself financially during this pandemic, visit consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus.

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