Council Votes to Limit Residential Rent Increases During COVID-19 Emergency

The County Council voted to limit residential rent increases during the COVID-19 health emergency and for 180 days after the emergency’s expiration. Expedited Bill 18-20, the COVID-19 Renter Relief Act, prohibits landlords from increasing rents on lease renewals more than the county’s Department of Housing and Community Affairs’ rent guidelines of 2.6 percent.

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County to Stop Accepting COVID-19 Grant Applications

The county will stop accepting applications to a program created to provide funding assistance to business during the COVID-19 emergency. Applications to the Public Health Emergency Grant program will no longer be taken after 5 p.m. Saturday, April 25.

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State Modifies Senior Call Program for COVID-19 Emergency

The state’s Department of Aging has modified its Senior Call Check program to include call-ins to provide updates of pertinent information during the COVID-19 emergency. Seniors can call 1.866.502.0560 from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday-Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. to be connected to updates and available resources.

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County Accepting Applications for COVID-19 Emergency Grants

The county is now accepting applications from county businesses and nonprofit organizations for the Public Health Emergency Grant program established to assist them during the COVID-19 emergency. The program is designed to provide up to $75,000 in assistance to eligible entities that can demonstrate a “significant financial loss.”

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Bill Would Prohibit Residential Rent Increases During COVID-19 Emergency

Landlords would not be permitted to increase residential rents during the COVID-19 emergency under the terms of a bill introduced yesterday by Councilmember Will Jawando (D-At Large). Expedited Bill 18-20, Landlord-Tenant Relations – Rent Stabilization During Emergencies (the COVID-18 Renter Relief Act) also would prevent rent increase notices for 30 days after the emergency ends.

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Face Coverings Now Required for Certain Employees, Customers During COVID-19 Emergency

Employees and customers of certain retail outlets in the county are now required to wear face coverings during the COVID-19 emergency, according to a health order issued by Travis Gayles, M.D., the county’s health officer. The order, effective today (April 13), covers grocery stores, pharmacies and large chain retailers (“big-box” stores), as well as farmers markets.

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Second Parkway Section Closed Weekends During COVID-19 Emergency

Montgomery Parks announced that a second section of Sligo Creek Parkway would be closed to traffic on weekends, beginning today (April 10) during the COVID-19 emergency. The closure, in effect from 9 a.m. Fridays to 6 p.m. Sunday, will allow additional space for walkers, runners and bicyclists.

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Council Seeks Comment on Plan to Require Face Coverings During COVID-19 Emergency

The County Council is looking for public comments on a plan to require employees and customers of essential businesses to wear face coverings during any interactions under the COVID-19 emergency. The council yesterday announced its intention to introduce the measure as an emergency Board of Health regulation during a virtual meeting on Tuesday, April 14.

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Timebanking in Times of Social Distancing

Timebanking was created to connect people in order to help one another, increasing community well being. But this is an unusual moment in time. The highly contagious coronavirus has become a pandemic.  How can we stay connected when we need to stay away from each other? How can we support others while keeping to social distancing guidelines, self-isolating, or even when in quarantine?

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Childcare, Travel Support Offered to Essential Workers During COVID-19 Emergency

Two area organizations are offering childcare and travel support for essential workers at no cost during the COVID-19 emergency. The YMCA of Metropolitan Washington has opened several of its branches and program centers to provide emergency childcare for workers, including at the Silver Spring branch. At the same time, the county’s Department of Transportation announced temporary programs from Capital Bikeshare and Lyft scooters to provide free rides to essential employees.

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Mrs. K’s Marks 90 Years in Business

When Washington, D.C. residents Olive Blanche Kreuzburg and her husband Harvey opened Mrs. K’s Toll House Tavern on April 1, 1930, their cozy, country restaurant located out in the “wilds” of Montgomery County, there were probably those who thought that the April Fool’s Day opening was a commentary on the nature of starting such a business.

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