CARES Act To Provide $1.1M In Wicomico Grant Funds

SALISBURY – More than $1.1 million in grant funding is expected to provide food and rental assistance to those in need in Wicomico County.

On Tuesday, the Wicomico County Council voted 5-0, with Councilman John Cannon and Councilwoman Nicole Acle abstaining, to accept $1,177,120 in grant funding from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development through the Community Development Block Grant Program.

Under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development was awarded $5 billion earlier this year for COVID-19 prevention and relief activities.

Of that funding, Wicomico County was awarded $1,177,120 to assist local nonprofit organizations as they provide programs to those impacted by the pandemic.

Lori Carter, director of the Wicomico County Department of Planning, Zoning and Community Development, told the council this week the funding would be divided among three sub-recipients. Maintaining Active Citizens, Inc. (MAC Inc.) will receive $177,120 for senior food assistance programs, while the Wicomico County Local Management Board and Habitat for Humanity of Wicomico County will each receive $500,000. She noted her department would oversee the grant funding.

“We will be making sure all the funding is expended the way that it should …,” she said. “That’s what we’ve always done.”

Carter told the council Habitat for Humanity will use the funding to provide rental assistance to Wicomico residents. A statement this week from the Wicomico County Executive Office noted Salisbury residents would not be eligible for the program.

“The funds for the emergency rental assistance program are limited to residents of Wicomico County,” the statement reads. “Due to the City of Salisbury receiving their own rental assistance funds as an entitlement community, residents of the City of Salisbury are not eligible for this first round of rental assistance. To be eligible for the rental assistance you must have lost your job or experienced a reduction in employment hours directly related to COVID-19.”

With no further discussion, the council voted 5-0 this week to accept the $1,177,120 in grant funding. Cannon, owner of Cannon Management & Rentals, and Acle, board president of Habitat for Humanity, abstained.

Officials said applications for the rental assistance program will be accepted starting Aug. 3.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.