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Important Message: The STAY DC program is no longer accepting applications. Tenants may still be eligible for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) if you are seeking rental assistance, first month rent and security deposit. To view ERAP eligibility requirements and apply for ERAP click the following link:

If you are seeking utility assistance, please click the following link to find out about programs available:

If you have applied to STAY DC and want to check your application status, please click the following link:

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Stay DC

Rent and utility

STAY DC can help you pay your rent and utilities


STAY DC is a financial assistance program for D.C. renters and housing providers who are looking for support to cover housing and utility expenses and offset the loss of income. Apply today to receive money you can use to help you pay for your rent, gas, water, electricity and internet.

Program Benefits



Funding can be used to pay unpaid rent going back to April 1, 2020


Money can be used to pay forward rent, up to 3 months at a time


Water, gas, electricity and internet expenses can be paid on your behalf


Housing support is available for up to 18 months, per tenant

Frequently Asked Questions

What income requirements apply?

To qualify, your total annual household income should be equal to or less than 80% of the Area Median Income in the District as illustrated in the table below:

Table 1. Household Size
Total household income is less than or equal to:

1 $57,650
2 $65,850
3 $74,100
4 $82,300
5 $88,900
6 $95,500
7 $102,100
8 $108,650

How is my household income determined?

Household income is determined as one of the following:

  • Total household income for calendar year 2020 using the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) as noted on your Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 1040 series for individual Federal annual income tax purposes; or
  • Total household monthly income at the time of application for at least the two months prior to application submission. If this method is used to determine income eligibility, applicants will need to recertify their income every 3 months for any award extensions applied for by the applicant.

What are eligible sources of household income?

Eligible sources of household income are salary, wage, tips, commissions, business income, interest, dividend, Social Security, annuities, insurance policies, retirement funds, pensions, disability or death benefits, unemployment and disability compensation, workers compensation and severance pay, and Welfare Assistance Payments.

For how many months may I apply for rental assistance?

You may potentially apply for up to 12 months of back rent (no earlier than April 1, 2020) and up to three months of future rent from the date of application submission. Once your initial application is approved, you may apply for extensions in the future but cannot receive more than a total of 18 months of assistance.

How much rental assistance will I be eligible to receive?

At this time, applicants are eligible to receive rental assistance up to verifiable amounts. No maximum amounts have been set as long as requested amounts can be proved to be valid and due. In the future, however, additional prioritization of funds or funding limits may be instituted to ensure that there is equitable distribution to those disproportionately affected by the pandemic or those demonstrating greater than average need for assistance.

How will I know my application has been received and can I check the status?

Please refer to the Application User Guide (Tenant or Landlord) on for instructions on how to check your application status online. You will receive email notifications at various stages, including: (1) account creation; (2) application submission; (3) application decision; and (4) fund disbursement.

How will I be notified if I am awarded funding?

Award decisions will be announced via email. An award letter will not be sent, so the email will serve in its place. Please ensure the email address you provide in your application is entered correctly.

Who will receive the rent or utility assistance payment?

The rental assistance payment will be mailed directly to the landlord or utility provider. If a landlord does not wish to participate, funds may be paid directly to the eligible household, if approved.

Will I be required to pay the money back in the future?

No, as long as the applicant complies with the terms and conditions of the program.

Do I have to be a U.S. citizen or a legal resident alien to apply for assistance?

No. This program is open to all rental households in the District regardless of current citizenship status.

What if I already receive rental assistance through another program?

You may still be eligible. This Emergency Rental Assistance may only be used to pay for the rent and utility costs that are not already paid by you or paid for by other rental assistance programs.

What if I have paid my rent so far but I have struggled to do so and I worry I won’t be able to in the future?

You may still be eligible for assistance with future rent payments based on your income and situation.

Can I apply for assistance if I sublet or live with roommates?

Yes, ONLY if your name is on the lease or sublease or if you are applying for assistance for the portion of rent for which you are responsible. A roommate named on the lease may also apply for assistance for the portion of rent for which the roommate is responsible. All other eligibility criteria must also be met for each applicant and you will be asked for documentation of this responsibility or past payments.

Will the payment amount(s) I receive be considered taxable income?

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Emergency Rental Assistance is intended to help eligible households that require financial assistance to pay for rent, utilities, home energy expenses, and other related expenses, and the payments are excluded from income only for those households. Rental payments and/or utility payments you receive, whether from a customer or from a distributing entity on the customer’s behalf, should be included in calculating your gross income. See

How do I determine if my tenant has a pending STAY DC application?

Per DC Official Code § 42-3501.01, for any eviction authorized in a case filed prior to March 11, 2020, that involves non-payment of rent, the housing provider shall contact the Department of Human Services to determine whether the tenant has a pending Emergency Rental Assistance Program (“ERAP”) and/or STAY DC application no earlier than 5 business days and no later than 48 hours prior to the scheduled date and time of the eviction.
Landlord should send an email to both [email protected] and [email protected] with the following subject line:
“Landlord inquiry – Pre-Eviction Application Status”
Include Tenant Name and Unit Address in body of the email.

Other Assistance Programs


The District is working hard to ensure residents have access to resources to help them stay in their homes. Here are some additional resources to assist with mortgage payments, food assistance, business support, and legal services.



Public Reporting Disclosure:
The District of Columbia will issue public reports on the use of funds, however, no personally identifiable information on the Tenants or Landlords participating in this program will be published.