Action Alert: Right to Counsel in Eviction Proceedings (Baltimore City)
Updated: Dec 30, 2020
Baltimore City has one of the highest eviction rates in the United States (53%), with evictions disproportionally impacting Black female-headed households. While 96% of landlords are represented in eviction cases, only 1% of renters are represented. In a 2015 survey, nearly 80% of Baltimore City tenants had a defense to eviction, but few were successful in keeping their home. A recent report estimated that if ALL tenants were represented in Baltimore City, 92% could avoid eviction. Not only does a Right to Counsel help keep people in their homes, it saves the city money. It's a win-win solution to the eviction crisis in Baltimore City. (source) THE RIGHT TO COUNSEL IN EVICTIONS PROCEEDINGS IS THE RIGHT TO A FIGHTING CHANCE TO KEEP ONE'S HOME! Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott has introduced a bill to provide renters the right to legal counsel in eviction cases. This bill would:
Ensure that Baltimore City tenants receive free legal representation in eviction cases, provided by established community organizations and funded by Baltimore City
Require landlords to provide a brochure to all tenants informing of them of their rights and opportunities for legal representation
The next hearing on the Bill is November 10th! Email your Councilmember TODAY to show your support for Council Bill 20-0625 (Right Counsel in Eviction Cases) and protect renters in Baltimore City. Find your Baltimore City Councilmembers HERE! Learn more about WHY we need the Right to Counsel in Evictions Proceedings:
Watch Beyond the Boundaries Listen and Learn: Right to Counsel: Addressing the Civil Rights Issues in Evictions (from this past June)
Visit Baltimore Renters United for a comprehensive overview of the overwhelming data that supports this much needed legislation.