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Rising post-moratorium evictions: tenant and landlord perspectives

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Rental apartments at the Poe Homes development on West Lexington Street in Baltimore. (Photo by Eli Pousson via Wikimedia/Creative Commons)

As in most states around the country, the moratorium on evictions in Maryland ended last year, and certain kinds of evictions have increased ever since.

On Tuesday (1/25), the Baltimore City Council held a hearing about evictions. Lawmakers in the General Assembly in Annapolis will consider some measures to protect tenants from evictions during this year’s session.

Today on Midday, we explore what’s happening nationally and here in Maryland.

Tom's first guest is Emily Lemmerman. She’s a research specialist at the Princeton University Eviction Lab, a research center that tracks evictions in six states and 31 cities. Researchers there report that since March 2020, when the pandemic took hold, nearly 698,000 people have been evicted in those states and cities. (Baltimore and Maryland are not included in that sample.) Last month, 558 people were evicted from their homes throughout the state.

Emily Lemmerman joins us on Zoom from New York City.

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Emily Lemmerman, researcher at Eviction Lab; Matt Hill, an attorney with Public Justice Center (courtesy photos)

Tom's next guests are tenant advocates.

Matthew Hill is an attorney and the team leader of the Human Right to Housing Project at the Public Justice Center here in Baltimore.

Tisha Guthrie is a renter and an organizer with United Workers and Baltimore Renters United.

They both join us on Zoom from Baltimore.

Then, we get the perspective of landlords. In December of 2019, weeks before the pandemic took hold, there were more than 59,000 “failure to pay rent” court filings. There were 22,589 evictions in Maryland in 2019. By 2021, a year in which an eviction moratorium was in place for eight months, that number dropped to 5,546.

Tom's next guest is Grason Wiggins, the Senior Government Affairs Manager for the Maryland Multi-Housing Association, a trade group representing landlords and property owners across the state.

Grason Wiggins joins us from Annapolis, Maryland.

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Tisha Guthrie, tenant advocate, Baltimore Renters United; Grason Wiggins, Sr. Gov Aff. Manager, Maryland Multi-Housing Association (courtesy photos)

Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
Malarie is Midday's Supervisory Producer.
Rob is Midday's senior producer.