Evictions | WYPR

Evictions

SCREENSHOT VIA BALTIMORE COUNTY COUNCIL PAGE

The Baltimore County Council is voting on a bill Monday evening that aims to protect tenants from eviction during the pandemic. The bill consists of regulations on sudden residential rent increases.

Second District Councilman Izzy Patoka, the bill’s sponsor, presented the bill at a county council work session last week.

“The issue I'm bringing forward today.relates to an economic and health crisis,” he said at the session. 

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Just a day after Maryland courts began new eviction hearings for failure to pay rent, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a moratorium on evictions through the end of this year. The order came on Sept. 1 and aims to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

SCREENSHOT VIA BALTIMORE RENTERS UNITED FACEBOOK PAGE

Housing advocates want to know why Baltimore Mayor Jack Young fired the city’s housing commissioner Michael Braverman last week as renters will soon face a mass eviction crisis. 

“We are here to demand that Mayor Jack Young speaks to the city,” John P. Comer, founder of Architects for Justice, said at a press conference Wednesday morning in front of City Hall. “The concerned citizens who are renting every day and may not know where their next home will be.”

Courts will resume hearing new eviction cases for failure to pay rent on Aug. 31. Comer said homelessness is likely to skyrocket. 

 

“People are losing their homes and evictions are becoming backed up,” he said. 

The Daily Dose 7-28-20

Jul 28, 2020
Patrick Semansky/AP

Police-reform legislation goes before the Baltimore County Council. Housing relief applications are due this week, and there are growing calls for Governor Hogan to stave off mass evictions. And Baltimore Mayor Jack Young rules on two pressing charter amendments.

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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 . 

PRESERVATION MARYLAND/FLICKR

Applications for Governor Larry Hogan’s $10 million assisted housing relief program are due this week. The program will use federal CARES Act funds to provide rental assistance to tenants affected by COVID-19. Property management companies will receive direct payment from the program for April through July rent. 

While the tentative deadline is currently noon on July 31, the program may close before that date. Gregory Hare, who is overseeing the program, says that the housing department will be accepting applications on a first come first serve basis. 

The Daily Dose 7-23-20

Jul 23, 2020
Maryland Juvenile Justice Monitoring Unit

A COVID-19 outbreak hits the Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center. Senator Chris Van Hollen calls for more federal eviction protections. And an oncologist speaks about the high stakes of cancer treatment during a pandemic.

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Sen. Chris Van Hollen joined Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren Wednesday to call for more federal eviction protections. A federal moratorium on evictions ends on Friday, after which courts can resume hearing eviction cases. 

“The Aspen Institute projects that over 330,000 Marylanders are at risk of eviction by the end for this year. That’s a staggering number. And that’s just Maryland,” Van Hollen said at an afternoon press conference. 

The Daily Dose 7-20-20

Jul 20, 2020
Seth Sawyers/flickr

City schools announce a virtual reopening, and Baltimore County school employees are calling for the same. Maryland is officially into phase two of its COVID-19 recovery plan, but residents aren’t all so quick to embrace the relaxed restrictions. Plus, an update on Baltimore’s rental assistance program.

BruceEmmerling/Needpix

More than 5,500 households have begun or completed applications for Baltimore City’s $13 million rental assistance program, according to Tammy Hawley, spokeswoman for the city’s Department of Housing.

Applications for the program, which aims to prevent mass evictions by paying April, May and June rent for renters who have lost income due to COVID-19, were due at 7 p.m. Sunday. The payments go directly to landlords. 

The department sought to help at least 6,000 households and may have leftover funds. 

The Daily Dose 7-17-20

Jul 17, 2020

The end of a moratorium on evictions could signal a public health crisis. As COVID-19 infection rates escalate, so does anti-Asian racism and discrimination. And Baltimore’s Black Trans community raises its profile in a big way.

edkohler/flickr creative commons

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Maryland, Baltimore resident Chantel Outlaw was able to pay her rent. But shortly after the state went under lockdown, Outlaw lost her job at a fast food restaurant, leaving her behind on rent for months. Unemployment benefits she applied for in April did not come until mid-June. She applied for several jobs with no luck. 

“It was really, really nerve-wracking,” she said. “Just trying to figure out if I’m going to be able to keep a roof over my head, when I’m going to be able to put food on the table for my children.” 

 

AP/PATRICK SEMANSKY

 

Baltimore City has extended the deadline for applications for its temporary rental assistance program to July 19. Applications were originally due at 7 p.m. Monday, July 13. 

The city launched the program July 1 to help residents who have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It aims to prevent mass evictions by paying April, May and June rent to landlords. 

 

Michael Braverman, commissioner of the city’s Department of Housing and Community Development, said 4,000 applications have been submitted thus far and that he is aiming to help 6,000 households.

 

The Daily Dose 7-7-20

Jul 7, 2020
Anne Ditmeyer / Flickr Creative Commons

A Maryland lawmaker from a predominately white county takes up the call for a ban on confederate flags. And with a wave of evictions caused by this pandemic on the horizon, Baltimore city funnels millions of dollars into a rent relief fund. Will it be enough?

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced Monday that he is allocating additional funds to support residents struggling to pay rent due to COVID-19. 

Last month, the county set aside $1 million of its federal and state emergency assistance funds to prevent evictions. After receiving 1500 applications, the county is now allocating an additional $1 million in federal CARES Act funding. 

 

The county is also allocating $2 million in grant funding for Phase 2 of its eviction prevention program.

 

 

The Daily Dose 7-6-20

Jul 6, 2020
Mary Rose Madden / WYPR

How are some local businesses managing to adapt to the pandemic while others struggle to stay afloat? Baltimore County is trying to help stave off evictions. Plus, a story about Black-run farms in Baltimore and the intersection of agriculture, politics, and community activism.

from livestream

Baltimore community members and grassroots organizers gathered in front of City Hall Thursday afternoon to demand that the city and state do more to protect tenants and those experiencing homelessness. 

Speakers included residents who spoke of their experiences living in local homeless shelters amid the coronavirus (COVID-19 pandemic). They also read original poems and presented artwork. 

 

Mayor Jack Young launched a $13 million pandemic rental assistance program on Wednesday, and Gov. Larry Hogan announced a $30 million fund to prevent evictions last Friday. But advocates say that this is not enough.

Gov. Larry Hogan announced Friday that he is putting $30 million in a fund available through the federal CARES act to help prevent evictions. But members of a House of Delegates committee questioned whether that would be enough in a virtual briefing Monday. 

Ten million dollars of the fund will provide rent relief for tenants by paying eligible property management companies. The remaining $20 million will go to all of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions to help prevent evictions.

The Daily Dose 6-29-20

Jun 29, 2020
SETH WENIG/AP

The MD Department of Health bans a local lab from collecting and processing COVID-19 tests. State leaders look at how to prevent a possible wave of evictions. And Maryland’s child-care centers cautiously reopen as parents head back to work.

 

As tenants across the state lost their jobs and struggled to pay rent when the COVID-19 pandemic set in in March. Gov. Larry Hogan issued a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures.

But housing advocates warn that Baltimore City will face a wave of evictions when the moratorium expires on July 25.

Carolina Paul, a paralegal at the Public Justice Center, said at a virtual news conference Thursday that once the moratorium expires, the evictions will start with cases already in the pipeline, but then “the dam will really break.” 

Eli Pousson / Flickr

Black Baltimore residents are evicted nearly three times more often than white residents,  according to a new report by researchers at the University of California Berkeley and the University of Washington.

The Daily Dose 5-4-20

May 4, 2020

State officials call for more federal relief funds for Baltimore City. Advocates aim to prevent a spike in evictions that could coincide with the lifting of Maryland’s state of emergency. And foreign migrant workers find themselves excluded from federal aid.