Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

 

In addressing the rapidly changing situation with novel coronavirus (COVID-19), HOC will rely on the guidance and direction of public health authorities to ensure the health and safety of our customers, staff and community.

We ask for your help to comply with the Stay At Home order issued for the State of Maryland beginning March 30, 2020 and effective until further notice.

Browse the drop-down menus below for up-to-date information about COVID-19, HOC’s response, and additional community resources.


Can’t find what you’re looking for?  Reach out to HOC’s Call Center for more information about
processes and resources available to customers:

Phone: (240) 627-9400

Email: help@hocmc.org

 

Office Closures and Where to Reach Us

 

  • To protect the health and safety of customers, staff and community partners, and to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, we have closed public access and walk-in traffic at all HOC office locations – Kensington, East Deer Park, and Silver Spring and Gaithersburg Customer Service Centers – until further notice.

  • Staff continue to be available by phone and email. If you do not know how to reach the party you need to contact, call or email our Call Center for assistance.

    HOC Call Center

    Phone: (240) 627-9400
    Email: help@hocmc.org

  • We continue to accept documents and paperwork via U.S. Mail. However, if you must drop off paperwork, drop boxes are located outside or just inside the front door of all HOC office and customer service center locations.

Common Customer Questions

  •  Housing Path Wait List Applicants 

    • I received a notice that I was selected for an opportunity from the Housing Path wait list but am not sure who I should contact next. 

      • If you are unsure of which program or property you were selected for, please contact the HOC Call Center at (240) 627-9400 or email help@hocmc.org for assistance.

        Please note, if you have been selected for a Project Based Voucher, a packet will be mailed to the address provided on your Housing Path application. If your address has changed, please contact the HOC Call Center to ensure your information is updated.

    • I am on the Housing Path wait list and need assistance updating my application.  

      • Specialists in our Call Center are available to provide technical assistance on Housing Path Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm at (240) 627-9400 or help@hocmc.org.

  • Housing Choice Voucher Customers  

    • How do I submit my annual recertification packet or other forms to HOC? 

      • The best way to ensure receipt of your recertification packet is to complete your forms and send them via email to your assigned Housing Specialist. Alternatively, you can send them via U.S. Mail to the Silver Spring or Gaithersburg Customer Service Centers. If either option is unavailable to you, secure drop boxes are available just inside the front doors of our customer service centers where you may leave forms. Please do not send us originals of your supporting documents. If you do not have contact information for your Housing Specialist, please contact the Call Center for assistance.

    • What should I do if my income decreases because of job loss due to COVID-19? 

      • You should immediately complete and submit an Interim Package. HOC staff are working quickly to process these forms to ensure your household’s portion of rent accurately reflects the change in your income.

    • Will you still make Housing Assistance Payments to my landlord? 

      • Yes, HOC will continue to pay the Housing Assistance Payment portion to your landlord. 

    • Are unit inspections still being scheduled? 

      • HOC has suspended annual U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspections through April 30, 2020. HQS inspections will continue to be conducted only under the following limited circumstances: new move-in, relocation, or emergency inspections.

    • I have received in-person assistance to complete my paperwork in the past. Is that assistance currently available to me? 

      • Out of consideration for the safety of our customers, staff and the community, all home visits have been suspended until further notice. If you require assistance with your paperwork, please contact your Housing Specialist and they will provide remote support to the best of their ability. 

    • Are briefings still occurring? 

      • In-person meetings and briefings have been postponed until further notice. HOC staff are working to schedule remote briefings with customers using digital platforms. If a meeting or briefing will be conducted remotely, you will be provided with advance notice and information on how to participate via phone or web.

  • Scattered Site Customers 

    • What should I do if my income decreases because of job loss due to COVID-19?  

      • If you lost your employment due to shut-downs or layoffs after March 16, 2020, take the following steps immediately:

        1. Apply for unemployment benefits.

        2. Contact your HOC scattered site manager for assistance to set up a plan.

        3. Be prepared to provide the property management team with proof that you have filed for unemployment benefits and that you have been laid off or your employer has temporarily shut down. Specifically, a letter or electronic communication from the employer will be required.

    • I am unable to pay my rent because I lost employment due to COVID-19. How can HOC help me? 

      • Due to the declared state of emergency in Maryland, the governor has issued a prohibition on evictions for any tenant who can demonstrate that failure to pay rent was the result of COVID-19 – for example, because of lost or reduced employment, or needing to care for a school-aged child, or because they are diagnosed with COVID-19.

      • If you are unable to pay your rent, we encourage you to reach out to your scattered site property manager immediately. Our team is ready to work with you to determine the type of relief appropriate for your individual situation. 

    • I am unable to pay my utilities because I lost employment due to COVID-19. What should I do? 

      • If you are responsible for payment of utilities in your unit, please note that the governor of the State of Maryland ordered a prohibition on collection and late fees of any utility bills due after March 16, 2020 and until further notice.

      • You should contact your utility provider to ensure they are aware of your situation and to discuss a future payment arrangement. Utility company contact information can be found below under “Utility Information and Assistance.”

    • How do I submit my annual recertification packet? 

      • The best way to ensure receipt of your recertification packet is to complete your forms and send them via email to your assigned Housing Specialist. Alternatively, you can send them via U.S. Mail to the Silver Spring or Gaithersburg Customer Service Centers. If either option is unavailable to you, secure drop boxes are available just inside the front doors of our customer service centers where you may leave forms. Please do not send us originals of your supporting documents. If you do not have contact information for your Housing Specialist, please contact the Call Center for assistance.

    • Where can I report a maintenance issue? 

      • In an effort to limit interpersonal contact and out of concern for the safety of our customers and staff, the maintenance team is focusing on exigent and emergency maintenance work orders only at this point. Maintenance will postpone addressing non-emergency work orders to limit interaction and the need to enter your unit during this time. While we know that this may be inconvenient, please know that our primary goal is to keep everyone healthy and safe.

        • If you have an exigent or emergency maintenance need, you can schedule a work order by doing the following: 

          • Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm: (240) 627-9400 or help@hocmc.org 

          • All Day Weekends; Monday – Friday after 5:00 pm: (256) 424-9106

    •  What is considered an emergency maintenance issue at this time?

      •  Emergency maintenance work orders are those that have the potential to threaten life or safety and may cause extreme property damage. This may include, but is not limited to:

        • Fire;
        • Flooding, including roof leads, drain back-ups, or broken pipes;

        • Sparking electrical outlets or electrical shorts;

        • Suspected gas or carbon monoxide leaks;

        • Inoperable toilet;

        • Inoperable smoke or carbon monoxide detectors;

        • No heat or air conditioning during extreme outdoor temperatures;

        • Sewage back-up;

        • Inability to secure/lock your unit;

        • Complete loss of power;

        • Structural collapse of ceiling, roof, or other major structure;

        • Inoperable stove or refrigerator;

        • Or other conditions that might cause harm to the resident or damage to property.

Public Health Information and Resources

Local Health and Medical Assistance

Food Assistance

School and Child Care Information

Utility Information and Assistance

Unemployment Benefits

 

  • Maryland Department of Labor – FAQs About COVID-19 

  • If you are laid off temporarily due to a business shutdown as a result of COVID-19, you may file a claim for unemployment insurance. After you file a claim for unemployment insurance benefits, the Division of Unemployment Insurance will determine whether you qualify to receive unemployment insurance benefits. You can apply for unemployment insurance benefits online or by phone between 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 410-949-0022 (within the Baltimore-metro area and out-of-state) or 800-827-4839 (from within Maryland).

Small Business and Nonprofit Relief

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Events

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
4:00 - Commission Meeting 
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Wednesday, June 3, 2020
4:00 - Commission Meeting 
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Wednesday, July 1, 2020
4:00 - Commission Meeting 
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