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Written by Emily Near

May 17

2021

STAY DC Program Needs an Overhaul to Live Up to Its Promise to Prevent an Eviction Crisis

As a part of its $350 million Emergency Rental Assistance allocation from the Department of Treasury, the District launched a new rental assistance program on April 12, 2021 called Stronger Together by Assisting You, or STAY DC. The purpose of this program is to stabilize tenants who have experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent evictions by providing tenants with up to 18 months of rent relief.

According to reports from the Department of Housing and Community Development, over the past month, approximately 11,000 tenants have submitted a complete application for rental assistance online, and another 10,000 have initiated applications. Yet, not a single tenant has been approved for, let alone awarded, rent relief. Tenants and advocates are understandably concerned that STAY DC may end up being an ineffectual and inaccessible program unable to accomplish its stated objectives.

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