Rent & Utility Relief Available for Households Impacted by COVID-19 & More
|During their regularly scheduled meeting this week, the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners announced the return of a funding program to help renters and landlords impacted by COVID-19. The program comes as the CDC’s eviction moratorium is set to expire on March 31 and Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission’s utility shutoff moratorium ends on April 1.
The Rent and Utility Relief Program, administered by Your Way Home, allows eligible households to receive up to 12 months of assistance for rent and utility bills dating back to March 13, 2020. Assistance can be for past due rent and/or utility payments or future rent payments. Funding for security deposits, first and/or last month of rent is also eligible as part of the program. There is no financial limit on the amount of assistance a household can receive.
|Hospitality industry businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19 can now apply for up to $50,000 in grant funding through the MontcoStrong 2021 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program.
Montgomery County has received approximately $9.4 million in state funding to provide grants to eligible businesses. The eligibility, application requirements, and program design were all developed from Senate Bill 109 known as Act 1 of 2021.
Grant awards will be in increments from $5,000 to $50,000. Applicants will be required to submit documentation of expenses incurred and paid during the eligible expense period.
Eligible businesses must have their primary business activity in NAICS subsector 721 (Accommodations) or subsector 722 (Food Services and Drinking Places). A description of these NAICS subsectors is in Appendix B of the Program Guidelines.
|We’re excited to announce the re-launch of our LGBTQ+ Health and Support website in time for #LGBTHealthAwarenessWeek which is next week! The website provides local resources for several public health issues of significant importance to LGBTQ+ people, including housing, drug & alcohol, and mental health support, as well as transgender healthcare, HIV care and prevention, and more.
We also expanded the crisis resource page, so LGBTQ+ people in crisis can get connected to affirming and understanding supportive services. There’s stuff for caregivers, parents, families, and providers, too!
At Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, we envision an LGBTQ+ community free from discrimination and bias in health and social interactions, where LGBTQ+ individuals:
· Know their health status, including potential health risks,
· Know what programs and services are available to support their health, safety, and well-being,
· Interface with LGBTQ+ competent public service professionals, and,
· Experience optimal quality of life within inclusive and accepting families and communities.
Check out the new website today at www.montcopa.org/lgbtq.
|During their virtual COVID-19 briefing this week, the Montgomery County Commissioners announced a new mass vaccination site in Willow Grove, which will open on Friday, and provided an update on COVID-19 vaccine operations.
Montgomery County’s two existing mass vaccination clinics remain on track with first and second dose clinics. The Montgomery County Office of Public Health (OPH) received all necessary second doses for this week, and its first dose clinics are running smoothly administering the Pfizer vaccine. Vaccine supply coming to Montgomery County OPH increased slightly this week. Over the next four weeks, OPH will receive at least 5,850 doses of Pfizer for first dose clinics. This is an increase of about 1,000 doses per week.
“With this increase in vaccine, we are able to open our third mass vaccination site in Willow Grove. The site will be operational starting this Friday,” said Dr. Valerie A. Arkoosh, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. “This is welcome news because now anyone who gets an appointment with us will be able to choose the location where they go to receive their vaccine. This will make it easier for people to find a location that is closest to them.”
This week the Governor announced a lifting of certain targeted restrictions on restaurants and other businesses, as well as increased gathering limits effective April 4. Montgomery County will comply with these new guidelines, however, residents should continue to wear masks and social distance. Similarly, business adherence to all safety orders are still imperative during this time. The importance of this is underscored by the fact that Montgomery County now has confirmation of 24 cases of the B.117 variant. Residents and businesses are encouraged to check the COVID-19 Guidance page for the latest updates at https://www.montcopa.org/COVID-19Guidance.
For full details, read this week’s COVID-19 update.
· The County operates six COVID-19 testing sites that are open each weekday
· COVID-19 Vaccine Town Halls Playlist on YouTube
· Weekly COVID press briefings: Briefings are held at 1:30 p.m. each week on Wednesdays, they are carried live on the Montgomery County Facebook page and archived on the Department of Public Safety YouTube channel.
· Montgomery County Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions
· Montgomery County COVID-19 information hub: www.montcopa.org/COVID-19