Justice for Breakfast discussion on August 26, 2020
Even before COVID-19, Baltimore’s eviction rate was high – nearly 2.5 times the national average. And due to the racism embedded in housing and employment policies, landlord practices, and court operations, the number of Black evictions is three times higher than the number of white evictions in Baltimore.
The pandemic is expected to exacerbate the crisis, as lost jobs and medical expenses make it difficult to pay the rent, especially for disproportionately Black “essential workers” and their communities. The Public Justice Center and allies are advocating to stem the tide of evictions expected as the courts reopen for eviction actions. During this Justice for Breakfast, Matt Hill provided an update on advocacy strategies to keep tenants in their homes, from rental assistance to legal representation. He also talked about the critical role of a right to counsel in eviction cases, discussing how establishing this right in Baltimore would level the playing field between landlords and tenants and stop evictions.