Thousands of Marylanders are facing eviction as courts are using “rocket dockets” to work through case backlogs on eviction hearings. State and Federal eviction moratoriums are not stopping many of these evictions because they are not all-encompassing and require renters to attend court hearings and provide documentation of COVID-related income loss. In this challenging time, many people fail to attend hearings for a number of reasons, including COVID-related health concerns and the inability to take time off of work. In order to be effective, a 90-120 day moratorium should be applied to all residential properties and cover all stages of the eviction process.
The State and Counties are still in the process of standing up programs for the distribution of hundreds of millions in federal relief funds. Even as programs launch, it will take weeks to process applications and administer funds. In the meantime, people who have not been able to pay rent are facing eviction despite the fact that they are eligible to receive rental assistance in a few short months.
Maryland needs a targeted 90-120 day moratorium on failure to pay rent and tenant holding over eviction hearings in order to provide time for rental assistance programs to go into effect and serve their intended purpose: to prevent mass eviction and displacement.
Please join MHP and our partners, Montgomery Housing Alliance (MHA), Coalition for Smarter Growth, and Community Development Network of Maryland (CDN) and sign the petition now.