In January 2021, LEDC expanded its tenant services and eviction prevention efforts to Baltimore City. With support from the city and local partners, our team has helped dozens of families pay past-due rent and other necessary housing expenses.
As COVID-19 continues to sweep the nation, millions of families are faced with the possibility of losing their homes. This is especially true for Baltimore City, which saw an eviction rate of almost 2.5 times the national average prior to COVID-19. There are widespread concerns that this figure could be on the rise given the public health emergency.
To help address this inequality, LEDC was contracted to team up with Baltimore City’s Department of Housing & Community Development, the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs (MIMA), and the Baltimore City Community Action Partnership (CAP) to expand the city’s eviction prevention efforts. Our team is providing case management services to connect vulnerable families to rental assistance programs and other resources.
Since launching this effort in January 2021, we have helped dozens of families pay past-due rent and other necessary housing expenses, including energy and heating bills. In situations where tenants no longer feel safe in their homes, our team helps them relocate and apply for financial assistance programs that cover moving costs and security deposits.
The city’s efforts to curb mass evictions have proved especially critical for immigrant communities. While many jurisdictions have not prioritized immigrant residents' access to COVID-19 assistance, Baltimore City is one of the few stepping up to help these vulnerable communities. To date, over 90% of the families we have supported with accessing rental assistance have been immigrant residents.
Beyond helping families access rental assistance and financial resources, our team also informs tenants about their rights and connects them to legal aid. The right to counsel is critical to preventing mass evictions. A May 2020 report by the Public Justice Center found that 92% of Baltimore City tenants could avoid displacement if they had access to legal counsel.
LEDC is proud to work with local governments to help tenants access rental assistance programs. Our partnership with Baltimore City is one of the many ways we are working to ensure Latinos and other immigrant communities get the help they need to survive the pandemic.