Matt Hill is an attorney and team leader of the Human Right to Housing Project at the Public Justice Center (PJC). The Human Right to Housing Project seeks to protect and expand tenants’ rights to safe, habitable, affordable, and non-discriminatory housing and to fair and equal treatment by Maryland’s landlord-tenant laws, courts, and agencies. Matt has represented hundreds of tenants facing eviction and substandard housing conditions, advocated to create Baltimore City’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund with a dedicated funding source, acted as lead or co-counsel in a number of appeals involving landlord-tenant law, represented multiple classes of tenants in class actions challenging predatory landlord practices, advocated successfully to change Maryland and Baltimore City laws to strengthen tenant protections, and served as co-counsel in a HUD complaint and settlement that requires Baltimore County to dismantle policies that had perpetuated racial segregation and discriminated against persons with disabilities.
Prior to his working on the housing team, Matt was the Francis D. Murnaghan Appellate Advocacy Fellow at the PJC. In that capacity, he represented parties and amici in state and federal courts on various poverty law and civil rights issues in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the Court of Appeals of Maryland and the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland. Matt clerked for the Honorable Deborah S. Eyler on the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. He earned a J.D., summa cum laude, from American University’s Washington College of Law and a B.A., summa cum laude, from Loyola College. Before attending law school, Matt taught eighth grade at Mother Seton Academy in Baltimore City.
Matt serves as a commissioner on Baltimore City’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund. He has received the following awards and honors: 2018 Lorraine Sheehan Memorial Award from the Community Development Network of Maryland; 2017 Dickens Warfield Fair Housing Advocacy Award, Baltimore Neighborhoods Inc; 2011 Housing Justice Award, Housing Justice Network, sponsored by National Housing Law Project; 2011 Maryland Access to Justice Commission Outstanding Program of the Year Award to Tenants in Foreclosure Project of Public Justice Center.
Phone: (410) 625-9409 x229
Everyone should have a place to call home. Yet renters face many challenges to securing stable, safe, and affordable places to live:
The Human Right to Housing Project takes on these challenges. We stand with tenants to protect and expand their rights to safe, habitable, affordable, and non-discriminatory housing and their rights to fair and equal treatment by Maryland’s landlord-tenant laws, courts, and agencies. We defend renters facing eviction, demand repair of unsafe housing conditions, and represent renters seeking systemic relief from predatory landlord practices. We advocate to change the law regarding evictions and to demand the development of equitable and sustainable affordable housing.
The Public Justice Center provides free legal assistance, depending on capacity, to 1) renters in Baltimore City who are facing eviction or have questions about their rights and 2) renters statewide whose landlords are in foreclosure. Please call us at (410) 625-9409 for more information. If you are a renter outside of Baltimore City and your landlord is not in foreclosure, please contact the Maryland Court Help Center or another nonprofit legal services provider. You can also find information on our Get Legal Help page.
As a member of the Fair Development Roundtable (formerly the Baltimore Housing Roundtable), we advocate for Baltimore City to invest in neighborhood-driven development that doesn’t price residents out. We are advocating with the Affordable Housing Trust Fund Commission to ensure that funds are directed to residents who have the greatest need and neighborhoods that have faced decades of racial segregation and redlining, fueling plans for community-oriented development. In particular, we hope that these funds will fuel development of community land trusts (CLT). A CLT keeps properties affordable and in the hands of the community by holding onto the land permanently and only allowing people with low incomes to buy or rent.
Co-wrote the Fair Development Roundtable’s report, Community + Land + Trust: Tools for Development Without Displacement. The report details how Baltimore’s development policies have failed to create affordable housing and good paying jobs for low-income residents and offers an alternative vision that prioritizes human rights and human needs.
Together with co-counsel, represented five residents and organizations in a complaint against Baltimore County for decades of policies that have reinforced racial segregation and had disparate impact on people with disabilities. The complaint resulted in a settlement that will provide 1,000 new units of affordable housing in communities of opportunity in the County and assist 2,000 County residents who have vouchers in moving to communities of opportunity.
Worked in coalition to pass a ballot initiative that established an Affordable Housing Trust Fund in Baltimore City.
Negotiated an agreement with Baltimore City and passed legislation committing the City to allocate between $15 and $20 million annually over five years to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
Contributed to the Fair Development Roundtable’s report, Fair Development, Race Equity and Baltimore’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund. The report provides proposals for how money in the trust fund should be allocated, outlining criteria for housing development such as permanent affordability, race equity, employment of Baltimore residents, environmental sustainability, participation of neighborhood residents, and accessibility.