D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a second stimulus for eligible Washingtonians. (Courtesy Photo)

By Micha Green
AFRO D.C. Editor
mgreen@afro.com

As the end of the year draws near, COVID-19 shutdowns return, holidays approach and Congress stalls, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has extended some assistance that will hopefully make the season brighter and a little easier– a second stimulus check, for $1,200.

“We will invest a portion of our CARES Act to provide a round of local stimulus.  This stimulus will be made to D.C. residents currently receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).  With PUA set to expire at the end of this month, D.C. government will be providing a $1,200 one-time stimulus payment to unemployed Washingtonians who are not eligible for additional unemployment, and have been participating in the PUA program as of Nov. 30,” said Bowser in a press conference on Dec. 7.

Eligible D.C. residents include: “individuals who are self employed, seeking part-time employment, individuals lacking sufficient work history to participate in traditional , independent contractors, gig-economy workers and those who have exhausted their benefit eligibility under the traditional unemployment and pandemic emergency unemployment,” Bowser explained.

“We estimate that we can reach about $20,000 Washingtonians with these payments,” she added.

The Mayor said that this stimulus was inspired by the thousands struggling in the nation’s capital with the limitations, restrictions and challenges associated with COVID-19. 

“Very clearly, a lot of Washingtonians, a lot of Americans are not only suffering with the anxiety and health implications of this virus, but economic devastation as well.  And we know many people are struggling, and will struggle to get to the end of the year,” Bowser said.  

Further, she encouraged Washingtonians to consider the resources available through the District’s coronavirus website, which offers statistics, updates, charts, mandates, testing sites and information on locations for food assistance.

“While we continue to ensure that everyone has their basic needs met, I want to continue to ask people to go to our website www.coronavirus.dc.gov– for example, to find a list of all the food resources that are available across the District and make sure you and your family are taking advantage of them,” Bowser said.

As the stimulus is only available to eligible residents, other residents took to social media to express their needs despite being ineligible for the upcoming stimulus.

“All of your D.C. residents are struggling .  ALL.  What about the rest of us?  We have families to feed, rent to pay and bills due as well.  I know I’m struggling even on PEUC (Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation), which is about to expire at the of December as well,” one Twitter user wrote.

In addition to the stimulus, Bowser also announced a major rental assistance program with the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Department of Housing and Community Development (DCHD) for District residents impacted by COVID-19.  The program with DCHD will offer the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program (CHAP), and will provide up to three months of past due rent or $4,250 and DHS will extend the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), which allows for up to five months of past due rent or $4,250, up to $6,000 for households with more than seven children or a disability and up to $900 for security deposits and first month’s rent.  As with the stimulus, there are various qualifications to meet eligibility requirements for CHAP and ERAP.

For more information on how to apply to the rental assistance program, visit https://coronavirus.dc.gov/rent and for all updates on COVID-19 as it relates the District go to https://coronavirus.dc.gov.

 

Micha Green

AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor