Two former District employes responsible for collecting rents from elderly and physically handicapped residents at three city-run apartment buildings were arrested yesterday and charged with stealing about $31,000 in rental payments made by tenants, D.C. police said.

They said Jacqueline Braxton, 29, of 26 Sherman Cir. NW, and Georgette Bracey, 35, who is incarcerated on unrelated charges at the federal penitentiary in Alderson, W.Va., were charged with first-degree theft.

According to police affidavits filed in D.C. Superior Court in support of arrest warrants, the two participated in a scheme in which city employes accepted blank money orders and checks from residents at the facilities, and later cashed them without depositing them in the city's account.

Both women worked as clerk-typists for the Property Management Administration of the D.C. Department of Housing at the Claridge Towers Senior Facility at 1221 M St. NW, the Horizon House Senior Facility at 1150 12th St. NW and the Arthur Capper Senior Facility at 601 L St. SE.

Police said Braxton and Bracey were apparently "working together," but refused to give details.

About $24,000 was taken from the Claridge Towers and Horizon House facilities between January 1984 and August of this year, and about $7,000 from Arthur Capper, police said.

Investigators said they found about 200 cases in which rental payments were recorded on the tenants' ledger cards but omitted from a master ledger and not credited to the city's account.

In a case that police said was unrelated to yesterday's arrests, another PMA employe, Everett C. McCullum, was arrested earlier this year in a similiar incident.

McCullum, 29, of 2319 High St. SE, a former clerk typist at the Valley Green housing complex at 3829 Wheeler Rd. SE, was charged with first-degree theft on April 9 after police investigators alleged that the took about $468 in rental payments from residents there.

Inspector Jimmy L. Wilson of the Internal Affairs Division said his department began investigating the alleged scheme in March after the Housing Deparment found "inconsistencies" in rental payments at the facilities.