Baltimore City Council members and housing advocates announced a legislative package Monday afternoon to address housing insecurity. The bills will be introduced at January’s city council meetings.
The package includes a bill that would prevent landlords from evicting tenants when their leases expire. Landlords have been able to legally evict tenants using this method amid eviction moratoriums.
Councilman Antonio Glover, a Democrat from East Baltimore’s District 13, is a sponsor of the bill. If the bill passes, landlords would not be able to evict unless they have “just cause,” such as property damage or illegal activity by the tenant.
“The legislation will protect these people that have been hurt from this pandemic,” Glover said at a press conference Monday.
The package also includes bills that limit the late fees landlords can charge tenants who get public assistance and help renters afford move-in expenses by providing alternative payment options for security deposits.
Zafar Shah, an attorney at the Public Justice Center, said the package is a necessary jumpstart.
“We're at an urgent point where lawmakers must act to prevent evictions amid the pandemic, but also must begin to change the actual systems for the long term,” Shah said.
Residents can follow updates on the package using #BMoreHousingRelief on social media.