Action Alert: Support Tenant Protections in Rent Court Today!

There are two bills that will be heard in Annapolis by the Environment and Transportation Committee on March 7 at 1:00 PM, that would introduce additional protection for tenants. These bills are important to creating an equitable legal playing field for tenants in rent court: HB1346, introduced by Delegate Lafferty (D-District 42A) defines “rent” as Read more about Action Alert: Support Tenant Protections in Rent Court Today![…]

Jim Crow is Alive and Well…

Yesterday I posted an Instagram photo of a piece of graffiti [Name Withheld] did on the top of a building near Clipper Mill, and I had my first Instagram Fight. The photo I posted was this: Jim Crow Runs Bmore. Indeed “he” does, but having this idea, and saying so publicly, sparked a discussion about Read more about Jim Crow is Alive and Well…[…]

Baltimore City Public Housing Segregation

Right now, researchers have tools to determine where affordable and subsidized housing is being built and preserved — and also where poverty is being concentrated. With the gutting of HUD’s funding for data and tracking tools, it could allow the continuation of housing segregation, or worse, push it back to pre-Fair Housing Act days where Read more about Baltimore City Public Housing Segregation[…]

foreclosed home

Don’t Lose Your Home to the City’s Tax Sale – Get Legal Help!

If you’re behind on your property taxes or water bill, or have received a letter from the City regarding your home being included on the Tax Sale list, please don’t wait until it’s too late to receive help. Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service and the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland are sponsoring four legal clinics Read more about Don’t Lose Your Home to the City’s Tax Sale – Get Legal Help![…]

Photo of Maryland State House, Annapolis

Don’t Forget Your Local Advocates!

Now that we have a new administration and we’re increasingly seeing our laws being corrupted, and perhaps our Constitution being tossed out of a window at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, we need to remember to support our local Baltimore organizations that are advocating for the protection of citizens and fundamental human rights.  This is by no Read more about Don’t Forget Your Local Advocates![…]

Photo of Maryland State House, Annapolis

2017 Maryland Legislation to Watch

HB0172 – Home Act of 2017 Stating that the Act seeks to deconcentrate poverty by providing additional opportunities for tenants utilizing public subsidies to live in neighborhoods other than the neighborhoods in which those individuals are currently and disproportionately residing; expanding the housing policy of the State regarding the provision of fair housing to include Read more about 2017 Maryland Legislation to Watch[…]

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2017 Federal Legislation to Watch

H.R.614 – To require each owner of a dwelling unit assisted under the section 8 rental assistance voucher program to remain current with respect to local property and school taxes and to authorize a public housing agency to use such rental assistance amounts to pay such tax debt of such an owner, and for other Read more about 2017 Federal Legislation to Watch[…]

Photo of Poe Homes, West Baltimore

The Gutting of American Government

By now you’ve probably heard the news that two Republican legislators have introduced bills in both the House and Senate that would remove funding for HUD’s assessment tools and tracking/database capabilities. This is a dangerous move for two reasons: This data is used by researchers across the country, along with state and local governments, and Read more about The Gutting of American Government[…]

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Republican Lawmakers Attempt to Gut Fair Housing Act of 1968

Background Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Congressman Paul Gosar (R-Arizona) have introduced bills in the Senate (text is not yet available) and House (full PDF) that would effectively gut the Fair Housing Act of 1968 by allowing exclusionary zoning, based on the neighborhood’s “distinct values”, which is nothing more than badly disguised code for a Read more about Republican Lawmakers Attempt to Gut Fair Housing Act of 1968[…]

Happy Holidays!

On the first day of Christmas, the slumlords gave to me…a house that was very slummy. On the second day of Christmas, the slumlords gave to me…two violations and a house that was very slummy. On the third day of Christmas, the slumlords gave to me…three faulty outlets, two violations, and a house that was Read more about Happy Holidays![…]

Campaign Promises

Before the election began, we sent all Baltimore City candidates a questionnaire about housing, and collected the responses. Now that the election is over and the candidates have taken office, it’s a good time to remind them of their responses, and also to remind them that we intend to hold them accountable for the state Read more about Campaign Promises[…]

Maryland Energy Assistance Resources

If you, or someone you know, is struggling to pay your BGE bill this winter, please know there is help available. Please don’t wait until your utilities have been shut off — seek help immediately. Maryland has programs available to assist low-income people with their utility bills, and you can even apply online. You may Read more about Maryland Energy Assistance Resources[…]

Photo of Poe Homes, West Baltimore

Dispelling Myths About Public Housing

People love to hate public housing — housing that’s owned or subsidized by the government, whether HUD or a Public Housing Authority (PHA) such as the Housing Authority of Baltimore City. Detractors will point to public housing as the cause of all things terrible in a community, blaming the residents, making all sorts of assumptions Read more about Dispelling Myths About Public Housing[…]

Dear Mayor Pugh,

Congratulations on winning the election. You’re now Baltimore City’s mayor instead of my State Senator, so hopefully being here instead of Annapolis, you’ll be more committed to Baltimore’s neighborhoods. Here are a few suggestions, with regard to housing in Baltimore that you may want to consider: Break Baltimore Housing and the Housing Authority of Baltimore Read more about Dear Mayor Pugh,[…]

Justice for Neighbors in Southwest Baltimore

In the course of speaking to community groups, the issue of nuisance properties comes up a lot. Sometimes the complaints are fairly minor — trash, noise, etc., and sometimes the complaints turn into a story of a community being terrorized by the residents of one property, one with an owner or landlord who does nothing Read more about Justice for Neighbors in Southwest Baltimore[…]

Pro Bono Resource Center utility clinic flyer

Free Utility Bill Legal Clinic for Baltimore City Seniors

The Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland is hosting a free legal clinic for seniors where you can receive legal advice about your water or gas and electric bills. Date and Time: Friday, December 9, 2016 Location: Northwest Community Action Center, 3939 Reisterstown Road, Baltimore, MD 21215 The clinic is open to Baltimore residents, age Read more about Free Utility Bill Legal Clinic for Baltimore City Seniors[…]

Amendment to Baltimore’s New Zoning Code: OPPOSE

The Baltimore City Council will vote on an amendment* to Transform Baltimore TODAY that will: Forbid new tavern licenses or alcohol sales within 300 feet of a residence, school, church, park, or other tavern or liquor store. This makes any new liquor stores or bars illegal as a part of a new mixed use development, Read more about Amendment to Baltimore’s New Zoning Code: OPPOSE[…]

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Moderate Income Housing Tax Credit: Support

We’ve long been champions for being proactive through public policy that can help to prevent the downward financial spiral faced by so many middle-income families across our city, and have found that high rental housing costs in the Baltimore metro region are the the reason why so many people are having difficulty getting a handle Read more about Moderate Income Housing Tax Credit: Support[…]