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STRATEGIC TARGETED EVICTION PREVENTION (STEP) PROGRAM

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. Learn more and read about the success of this program.

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 

Anne Arundel STEP is not accepting new applications at this time.

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 Cohort Zip Codes

Cohort Zip Codes Dates
Cohort 1 21202, 21217 Closed
Cohort 2 21215, 21218 Closed
Cohort 3 21225, 21201, 21230 Closed
Cohort 4 21206, 21213, 21216, 21223, 21229 Closed
Cohort 5 21224, 21234, 21207, 21231, 21205 Closed
Cohort 6 21239 Closed
Cohort 7 21202, 21209, 21210, 21211, 21212, 21214, 21215, 21217, 21218, 21222, 21226, 21227, 21237 Closed
Cohort 7 Extended All Baltimore City Zip Codes Open for applications from 8/10/22 to 8/22/22


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 Past Cohort Zip Codes

Cohort Zip Codes
Cohort 1  21208, 21244
Cohort 2 21221, 21222, 21236
Cohort 3 21207, 21030
Cohort 4 21220, 21133
Cohort 5 21234, 21237, 21136
Cohort 6 21227, 21117, 21228

 

HOWARD COUNTY

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

Howard County STEP is not accepting new applications at this time.

 

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