March 24, 2023
All Marylanders deserve stable, affordable housing, but our state’s leaders are refusing to take action to maintain a critical eviction prevention tool: emergency rental assistance. Emergency rental assistance funds that were made available during the pandemic and prevented over 100,000 evictions are running out across our state and will be gone by May 2023, with rents skyrocketing and evictions returning to pre-pandemic levels. More than 108,000 households are behind on the rent in Maryland – the majority are families with children. As we quickly approach the end of the legislative session and budget decisions are finalized by the Governor and the legislature, urgent action is needed to make a final push for the allocation of emergency rental assistance funding. As of now, the Governor and members of the General Assembly have made it clear that they do not plan to provide any state-level funding for this critical assistance.
Without significant investment, tens of thousands of predominantly Black and Latine families will face eviction and homelessness. Eviction has catastrophic impacts on health, educational outcomes, public safety, and community stability. Other cities, counties, and states across the country have taken steps to allocate funding in their budgets because they recognize the cascading negative effects that evictions have. Maryland must do the same. You can read more about emergency rental assistance here.
Read below for instructions on calling the Governor, General Assembly leadership, and Chairs of the key budget committees to make it clear that it is unacceptable for our state government to abandon this critical program and the thousands of Marylanders who will now be at risk of losing their homes.
Every single call makes a difference, so please share this action with others and urge them to make calls before this weekend!
Use the phone numbers and script below as a guide, but feel free to share any personal reasons for why you support the state funding emergency rental assistance. If someone from the office does not pick up, please leave a message.
Remember to thank the staff you talk to – they work hard and have fielded a lot of our calls!
Governor Wes Moore: 410-974-3901
Senate President Bill Ferguson: 410-841-3600
Speaker of the House Adrienne Jones: 410-841-3800
Senator Guy Guzzone (Chair of Budget and Taxation): 410-841-3572
Delegate Ben Barnes (Chair of Appropriations): 410-841-3046
Hi, my name is [name] and I live in [X county/city]. I’m calling to urge the [Governor/Senate President/Speaker/Chair] to include funding for emergency rental assistance in the FY24 budget to keep Marylanders housed. Without immediate action, more than 108,000 Maryland families, mostly people of color with children living with them, will be at high risk of eviction and the catastrophic consequences that come with that.
There’s currently NO money for emergency rental assistance to stop evictions in the FY24 budget, while at the same time, we have a historically high balance in the Rainy Day Fund that is twice our required balance. It is a rainy day for the thousands of Marylanders on the brink of losing their homes as they navigate a turbulent economy and massive rent inflation. If Maryland is serious about “Leaving No One Behind,” action must be taken to provide a safety net for renters. A financial setback should never end in a life-altering eviction.
[Please share here a reason that you personally care about preventing evictions.]
Thank you for your time and consideration. Please tell [Governor/Senate President/Speaker/Chair] to work diligently to identify funding for emergency rental assistance in the FY24 budget.