In May 2021, The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the award of 70,000 Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHVs) to approximately 700 Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) across the country. Baltimore City was awarded 278 EHVs as part of this strategic investment of $5 billion through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. A list of PHAs invited to administer EHVs can be found here.
Who is eligible for EHVs?
EHVs are provided to assist individuals and families who are (1) experiencing homelessness, (2) at risk of homelessness, (3) fleeing, or attempting to flee, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking, or (4) those who were recently homeless.
How are EHVs different from existing tenant-based Housing Choice Vouchers?
All statutory and regulatory requirements regarding the HCV program are applicable to EHVs, including the use of all HUD-required contracts and forms. There are a few key differences, including the following:
- Eligibility requirements
- Partnerships with local Continuum of Care (CoC) agencies or other homeless or victim services providers
- PHAs are required to enter into an MOU with their local Continuum of Care (COC) within 30 days of receiving the EHV funding to provide referrals to the PHA of qualifying individuals.
- Access to supportive services, such as housing search assistance
Unlike HCVs, the PHA may not reissue the EHVs after September 30, 2023, and EHVs cannot be project-based.
- PHAs must also survey their existing Section 8 voucher waiting list for eligible applicants.
How is the Continuum of Care ( CoC) partnering with the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC)?
As per HUD's requirements, the CoC and HABC worked closely together to assess our community's unmet housing needs and identify strategies for administering EHVs and related services more effectively and equitably. As part of this process, 5 eligible household types have been identified as priority populations. As the designated HMIS Lead for the Continuum of Care (CoC), The Mayor's Office of Homeless Services is responsible for identifying and referring eligible households to HABC.
How does someone apply for an Emergency Housing Voucher in Baltimore City?
Initial referrals for EHVs will be made to HABC through coordinated access by August 15, 2021— with the goal of allocating all EHVs by December 31, 2021. To determine eligibility for City-funded housing programs, households must complete a Coordinated Access packet (available at any of the City's Coordinated Access Navigator Sites).