Report: Baltimore/MD would save $36 million w/tenant right to counsel
05/18/2020, Report, Housing - Evictions
A report by financial analysis company Stout concludes that if Baltimore invested $5.7 million in a right to counsel for tenants, the city and state would save a combined $36 million by avoiding costs related to shelters, foster care, transportation of homeless children, health care, and more. This report echoes similar cost/benefit findings in New York City and Philadelphia. Other key elements of the report:
- Baltimore's eviction rate is double the national average;
- 80% of renters have an available defense, but only 8% successfully raise it;
- 96% of landlords have representation, compared to 1% of tenants;
- 92% of tenants with counsel avoid disruptive displacement.
Baltimore Renters United has a website devoted to the report and the campaign to achieve this right. The report was covered by the Baltimore Sun, which also published an editorial supporting the right to counsel for Baltimore tenants. The Maryland Multi-Housing Association also appeared in the Baltimore Sun supporting the right. Besides the Baltimore Sun, the report also was featured by the Maryland Daily Record, WYPR, WMAR, Baltimore Brew, and the Baltimore Post-Examiner.
The urgency of the right to counsel was further buttressed by an additional report by Dr. Timothy Thomas finding that black women are evicted at a rate that is nearly four times higher than white men.
The Public Justice Center, which commissioned the report, is the host organization for the NCCRC, and NCCRC staff contributed to the report.