Strategic Targeted Eviction Prevention (STEP) Program

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The Strategic Targeted Eviction Prevention (STEP) Program is unique because it works with landlords so that they can submit several past-due accounts at the same time to prevent many evictions at once. 

The STEP Program is a new United Way of Central Maryland initiative that provides rental assistance to households who have been impacted by the COVID pandemic and financial crisis. The program is offered to target ZIP codes that have both high rates of COVID and high rates of poverty.

Because this is a landlord-centered program, tenants are not able to apply to the program directly but must instead work with their landlord to submit their documents to apply to the program.

If you are a tenant in need of rental assistance, please check with your landlord to see if they are participating.

Tenants are not able to apply to STEP directly, since this is a program that landlords apply to on behalf of tenants. If you are a tenant in need of rental assistance, please check with your landlord to see if they are participating. If your landlord is participating, you will be able to work with them so that they can submit the application on your behalf.

If your landlord is not participating in STEP, please call 211 to be directed to other resources in your area.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS     

The program is gradually expanding to new ZIP codes. New ZIP codes are announced approximately every two weeks. Please check back to this page for updates.

About the STEP 2.0 Program

The STEP Program is unique because it works with landlords so that they can submit several past-due accounts at the same time to prevent many evictions at once. 

FOR LANDLORDS

What is the STEP 2.0 Program?

  • The STEP Program is a landlord-facing program for eviction prevention and rent relief.
  • It uses federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) Funds.
  • Typically rent relief programs are tenant-based, requiring individual households to submit independently for aid. The STEP program is different and features a bulk settlement approach. Multiple delinquent tenant accounts under the same landlord are processed together and resolved as a single payout directly to landlords.
  • Properties must all be in the target zip codes identified by the STEP Program.
  • STEP 2.0 evolved from the STEP 1 pilot which took place in Q4 2020 in Baltimore County. Due to the program’s success, it has been improved and expanded to include other jurisdictions.
  • There are separate programs now running in parallel for Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Howard County, and Harford County. Application criteria vary for each jurisdiction.

STEP Program Eligibility:

  • The program can pay for up to 12 months of back rent for eligible households, and forward up to 3 months
  • It can also include utilities electric, water, sewer, trash, etc.
  • Households must be below 80% Area Median Income (AMI)
  • Households must have suffered a hardship since March 2020
  • Households must be 3+ months behind on rent -they can owe more than 12 months
  • All household compositions are eligible -not just seniors or families with children

STEP Application:

  • Applications are phased into Cohorts consisting of two zip codes at a time. New zip code cohorts are announced every few weeks. Refer to the respective jurisdiction’s page on this website for zip code and deadline updates.
  • Property Managers/Landlords must apply directly to the relevant STEP program. Tenants cannot apply as an individual but must be included in their landlord’s apartment community submission. (For more information on individual tenant programs refer to the FAQ section.)
  • Applications must be submitted by 11:59PM on the assigned submission date. This is typically 2 weeks after the submission portal opens for that specific zip code cohort.


Anne Arundel County 

Please note that eligibility requirements and landlord concessions differ based on each jurisdiction. Contact each jurisdiction for more information.

Anne Arundel County Contact: aa-step@uwcm.org


Baltimore City

Please note that eligibility requirements and landlord concessions differ based on each jurisdiction. Contact each jurisdiction for more information.

Baltimore City STEP Flyer

Baltimore City Contact: BaltimoreCity-step@uwcm.org

Baltimore City: Zip Code Cohorts and Timeline

CohortZip CodesWebinarSubmission Portal OpensSubmissions Due
Cohort 121202, 21217June 23, 2021June 28, 2021July 9, 2021
Cohort 2
 
21215, 21218July 15, 2021July 19, 2021July 30, 2021
Cohort 321225, 21201, 21230July 29, 2021August 2, 2021August 13, 2021
Cohort 4 21206, 21213, 21216, 21223, 21229
August 19, 2021August 20, 2021September 10, 2021
Cohort 521224, 21234, 21207, 21231, 21205September 22, 2021September 27, 2021October 15, 2021


Baltimore County

Please note that eligibility requirements and landlord concessions differ based on each jurisdiction. Contact each jurisdiction for more information.

Baltimore County STEP Flyer

Baltimore County STEP Pilot Synopsis

Baltimore County Contact: step@uwcm.org

Baltimore County Zip Code Cohorts and Timeline:

CohortZip CodesWebinarSubmission Portal OpensSubmissions Due
Cohort 121208, 21244May 24, 2021June 4, 2021June 11, 2021
Cohort 2
 
21221, 21222, 21236June 14, 2021June 21, 2021June 28, 2021
Cohort 321207, 21030June 28, 2021July 5, 2021July 19, 2021
Cohort 421220, 21133July 19, 2021July 26, 2021August 9, 2021
Cohort 521234, 21237, 21136October 11, 2021October 18, 2021November 1, 2021
Cohort 621227, 21117, 21228November 8, 2021November 15, 2021November 29, 2021


Howard County

Please note that eligibility requirements and landlord concessions differ based on each jurisdiction. Contact each jurisdiction for more information.

Howard County Step Flyer

Howard County Contact: howard-step@uwcm.org


Harford County

Please note that eligibility requirements and landlord concessions differ based on each jurisdiction. Contact each jurisdiction for more information.

Harford County Contact: Harford-step@uwcm.org


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