BALTIMORE — Baltimore City has launched the Pandemic Rent Court Program to help residents behind on rent avoid eviction.
The program allows for tenants in danger of losing their home to apply for back-rent assistance on-site at court.
Baltimore City Community Action Partnership staff then works with landlords and qualified tenants before and during rent dockets to resolve issues and settle debts.
Mayor Brandon Scott recently sent a letter to the courts asking them to promote the program and use their judiciary discretion to order continuances, stipulated dismissals, and stays in cases to allow time for an Eviction Prevention Program resolution to play out.
The City also has an agreement with the Sheriff’s Office, to share information on pending evictions so staff can contact landlords to try and settle the issue before it reaches court.
Meanwhile the city is partnering with various agencies to provide renters with legal representation should their eviction cases go to court.
As of August 27, Baltimore City says its Eviction Prevention Program has disbursed $21.6 million in past-due rent payments, assisted 4,487 households to come current on rent, and averted approximately 1,044 eviction proceedings.