Rental Allowance Program (RAP) Fact Sheet
Purpose of Program
The purpose of the Rental Allowance Program (RAP) is to provide grants to local
governments to provide flat rent subsidies to low-income families who either are
homeless or have an emergency housing need. The goal of the program is to enable
these households to move from homelessness or temporary emergency housing into more
permanent housing and to return to self-sufficiency.
Eligible Types of Housing
Eligible housing can include rooms, boarding house rooms, other single-room occupancy
arrangements, apartments, group homes, transitional housing (provided it is not
temporary emergency housing), single-family houses, and mobile homes. Kitchen and
bathroom facilities may be in common, shared, or independent. Motel and hotel rooms
without access to kitchen facilities may be permitted if not other more cost-effective
and suitable housing is available. Living facilities may be shared with other persons,
including other program recipients. Housing may be furnished or unfurnished.
Counties, Baltimore City, and Annapolis may apply directly to CDA for program funds
and may administer the processing of applications made by eligible residents for
rent subsidies. CDA may administer the program directly where no local government
is administering the program.
Low-income families may apply directly to the local administering agency for rent
Eligible residents are low-income families who are homeless, in danger of becoming
homeless, or in need of emergency housing. Incomes of assisted households cannot
exceed 30 percent of the statewide or area median income, whichever is higher.
This is a rent subsidy program. Local government administering agencies sign a contract
with eligible residents to provide a monthly rental allowance payment for up to
12 months. Local programs may also provide additional services such as housing counseling,
credit counseling, individual case management programs, etc. to help the family
maintain housing stability.
The amount of monthly rental allowance payments is based on family size and area
of the state. The payment amount may be increased or decreased by up to 10 percent
in the exercise of reasonable discretion by a local jurisdiction.
* - Includes Annapolis City, Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Frederick,
Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George's Counties.
** - Includes Baltimore City, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Harford,
Queen Anne's, St. Mary's and Talbot Counties.
*** - Includes Allegany, Caroline, Dorchester, Garrett, Kent, Somerset,
Washington, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties.
Local Government Involvement
County governments, Baltimore City, and Annpolis administer RAP by accepting applications
from eligible residents, coordinating the program with other social services administered
by the county, and providing staff links with CDA to ensure program requirements
are being met. RAP is usually administered by the local social services office,
the Section 8 agency (public housing authority), or is contracted by the county
to a private nonprofit organization for administration.
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