Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh sent a letter to Gov. Larry Hogan today, asking him to extend and expand on eviction protections.
The letter requests that Hogan implement a moratorium on evictions until Jan. 31 and provide more rental assistance.
“This is money that is, I believe, absolutely essential not just to the folks who are about to lose their homes, but to their landlords and everybody else,” Frosh said in an interview with WYPR.
The letter also asks Hogan to renew executive orders that protect Marylanders from debt collection and termination of utilities .
Federal and state moratoriums on evictions expired last week. Up to 40 million people may be evicted in the United States over the next several months, and the Aspen Institute projects that 330,000 Marylanders could be evicted.
“That would be catastrophic,” Frosh said. “The health consequences would be disastrous.”
He said mass evictions will exacerbate the COVID-19 pandemic.
“One of the best ways to fight coronavirus is to be socially distant and to have people who are sick be in quarantine,” Frosh said. “You can't do either of those if you're homeless.”
The letter was written by Frosh’s COVID-19 Access to Justice Task Force. Last week, the Task Force sent a letter to the Court of Appeals and the District Court of Maryland outlining similar demands. District courts have delayed evictions hearings for failure to pay rent until August 31.
“We have only the power of advocacy at this point,” Frosh said.