Baltimore becomes 7th city with tenant right to counsel
10/05/2021, Legislation, Housing - Evictions
UPDATE: City begins funding right to counsel
The City of Baltimore has committed $2.5 million of CDBG-CV money from the CARES Act to help pay for the city's enacted right to counsel.
The City of Baltimore has enacted a bill to provide all tenants right a right to counsel, and it is without regard to income level. WYPR and Maryland Matters have more. You can read the bill text and a fact sheet about the bill, and check out Baltimore Renters United's page on right to counsel.
Notably, a Baltimore Sun op-ed made the case for Maryland to provide all three necessary pieces to avoid an eviction crisis: a state moratorium (due to the flaws in the CDC one), rent relief, and a right to counsel. For this last point, it cites to a Stout study that found a $5.7 million investment in right to counsel in Baltimore would yield $35.6 million in benefits to the city and state. And in December 2020, the editorial board of the Maryland Daily Record endorsed the right to counsel for Baltimore and urged the city to fund it.
If "yes", the established right to counsel or discretionary appointment of counsel is limited in some way, including any of: the only authority is a lower/intermediate court decision or a city council, not a high court or state legislature; there has been a subsequent case that has cast doubt; a statute is ambiguous; or the right or discretionary appointment is not for all types of individuals or proceedings within that category.
Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes
The NCCRC helped with the bill development process.