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Falling behind on the rent? Montgomery Co. to vote on grants of up to $10K to avoid evictions

Montgomery County commissioners declared a fiscal emergency and decided on $17 million in budget cuts. “We’ve been through this before in 2007 and 2008 when we had a great tsunami that hit us with the Great Recession,” Montgomery County Commission President Judy Dodge said. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
Montgomery County commissioners declared a fiscal emergency and decided on $17 million in budget cuts. “We’ve been through this before in 2007 and 2008 when we had a great tsunami that hit us with the Great Recession,” Montgomery County Commission President Judy Dodge said. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Three programs that would distribute millions of federal coronavirus relief dollars to residents unable to make housing payments and to nonprofits and educational institutions impacted by the pandemic are up for Montgomery County Commission approval next week.

The county plans to make housing grants of up to $10,000 available to qualified individuals and families negatively affected by the pandemic. A total of $10 million is being put behind the effort to help those behind on mortgage, rent and utilities payments, according to a draft resolution.

“These programs are vital to prevent a second housing crisis,” Montgomery County Commission President Judy Dodge said.

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A second program would provide $100,000 grants to lessen the economic impact of the pandemic for nonprofits while a third aims to offer grants up to $1 million to qualifying educational institutions, according to draft resolutions on the agenda for the 1:30 p.m. Tuesday meeting.

Montgomery County received an initial allotment of $92.77 million in CARES Act funding from the U.S. Treasury. County commissioners created the temporary Office of CARES Act and named Marvene Mitchell-Cook as director to manage and distribute the funds.

Eligibility requirements for the housing program are being firmed up and the program is set to launch following commission approval Tuesday. The nonprofit and education programs are still under development, according to the county.

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While the county continues to update its budget, as of last week federal stimulus money was allocated in these areas:

• Small businesses, $40 million

• Housing, $10 million

• Education, $7 million

• Agricultural, $5 million

• Public health, $5 million

• Montgomery County, $25.77 million

The county’s portion is a miscellaneous allocation to be redistributed to cover other expenses or needs as they arise, said Brianna Wooten, the county’s communications director.

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Last month, the county started taking applications to distribute relief grants of up to $10,000 to small businesses. That program had received more than 330 applications as of last week, according to the county. About half came from minority-owned businesses and roughly two-thirds of the applicants were located within Dayton, according to program records.

Montgomery County has about 17,000 small businesses and the county expects between 5,000 and 10,000 applicants. Businesses that have already received federal Paycheck Protection Program assistance are not eligible for the county program, Mitchell-Cook said.

While the county has yet to release detailed eligibility criteria, people can visit the county's CARES Act portal at https://mcobiz.com/cares-grants/ to sign up to receive notifications about the programs and apply when they are launched. Small businesses can also apply for those grants at the same site.