Q. Where can I find affordable rental housing in Montgomery County?
A. Rental Housing Searches can be done online by income level or zip code.
Two sources to check:
Montgomery County On-line apartment guide
On-line search for properties throughout State of Maryland
Q. Why does Montgomery County have two housing agencies, DHCA and HOC?
A. DHCA stands for Department of Housing and Community Affairs. The mission of DHCA is to plan and implement activities which prevent and correct problems that contribute to the physical decline of residential and commercial areas; maintain a marketplace which is fair to both landlords and tenants; increase the supply of new affordable housing; maintain existing affordable housing in a safe condition; and support community programs that benefit the County’s residents.
HOC stands for the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County. The mission of HOC is to provide affordable housing and supportive services that enhance the lives of low- and moderate-income families and individuals throughout Montgomery County, Maryland so that:
- No one in Montgomery County is living in substandard housing;
- We strengthen families and communities as good neighbors;
- We establish an efficient and productive environment that fosters trust, open communication and mutual respect;
- We work with advocates and providers to maintain support for all the work of the Commission.
To achieve this mission, HOC operates as a public housing agency, a housing finance agency and a housing developer.
The Montgomery County government provides funding for the Commission to manage the following service programs:
- Affordable Housing Development: acquires Moderately Priced Dwelling Units (MPDUs) for rental to lower-income families;
- Public Housing Management: maintains community norms and relationships between homeowner associations and public housing residents;
- Services to Residents in Assisted Housing: provides counseling and support services to low-income individuals and families in assisted housing; and
- Housing Resource Service: provides up-to-date information on available housing programs.
Need more information on the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County?
Go to www.hocmc.org, Phone:240-773-9000
MARYLAND HOPE HOTLINE: 1-877-462-7555
All across Maryland, Governmental agencies, elected officials, organizations, and local community groups have been sponsoring foreclosure assistance events. Such events not only let homeowners know that there is help available; some also provide homeowners an opportunity to work with counselors, loan servicers, and legal assistance. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation regularly participate in and support a range of foreclosure assistance events around Maryland.
Maryland’s Foreclosure Mediation Program
What You Need to Know About Foreclosure Mediation
Maryland’s new Foreclosure Mediation Law became effective July 1, 2010. The law requires mortgage lenders and servicers to be much more responsive to homeowners facing foreclosure. The goal of the law is to help homeowners get relief through a loan modification if they qualify or to find an alternative to foreclosure. The law gives homeowners a new opportunity to meet with the lender and an independent party to ensure that alternatives to foreclosure have been considered and evaluated.
Mediation is a process that can be used to resolve disagreements outside a courtroom. Both sides meet with a neutral third party who tries to help them find a resolution. Foreclosure Mediation under this new law is designed to help foster a dialogue between homeowners and lenders to make sure a fair assessment is made and the homeowner is offered any options they may qualify for.
Responsibilities of Lenders
Under this law, when a lender notifies a homeowner about possible foreclosure, the lender also must provide more complete information about options available to homeowners, including information about specific modification programs, such as the federal Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), any lender-specific programs, and resources and assistance available from nonprofit organizations and government. If a homeowner fills out and returns a loan modification application, the lender must evaluate the request and document their decision before foreclosure can proceed to the next step. Should a lender take the next step, and initiate foreclosure proceedings with the court system, they must also send the homeowner a Request for Mediation form.
Responsibilities of Homeowners
Homeowners must contact their lenders and be responsive to any applications for loan modification programs or other alternatives to foreclosure that they may offer. If the home facing foreclosure is a homeowner’s principal residence, the homeowner will have the right to request mediation once the lender initiates foreclosure proceedings with the court system. At that time, the lender must send a Request for Foreclosure Mediation form. Homeowners will have 25 days to complete the form and file it with the Circuit Court. Homeowners must pay a non-refundable $50 fee when they formally file this request for mediation.
You should not wait until you can request mediation before starting efforts to save your home. The opportunity to participate in mediation occurs at a late stage in the foreclosure process and does not guarantee you may avoid foreclosure. Contact your lender and a housing counselor at the earliest sign of financial difficulty. A list of housing counseling agencies near you can be obtained by calling the MDHOPE hotline at 877-462-7555 or by clicking on the Counseling tab.
Dear Maryland Homeowner,
If you are having trouble with your mortgage and are worried about losing your home, do not panic. And don’t sign anything you don’t understand. While not everyone will be able to save their home, help is available and there may be a solution to your situation — your home and your family’s financial future are both at stake.
Falling behind on your mortgage or confronting an interest rate reset need not mean you will lose your home. A network of counselors is being strengthened to help Maryland homeowners contact their lenders and servicers and explore other options. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has new programs that will help some homeowners refinance into an affordable mortgage or catch up on missed payments while negotiating a better outcome than foreclosure. The Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation is investigating cases of fraud and foreclosure prevention scams. Take charge of your circumstances, explore all your options and, most importantly, don’t wait!