A Salisbury ordinance helping renters during COVID-19 could be repealed soon

SALISBURY, Md.- Legislation prohibiting rent and fee increases for tenants could soon be repealed in Salisbury.

“I think it’s pretty crazy because COVID is still a thing so people are still struggling,” Dalton Fowler, a renter in the area, said.

“More help is on the way,  so I think it’s a fair time to pull this back,” Julia Glanz, Salisbury’s Acting Mayor, said.

June 1, 2020, the city passed an ordinance, at the height of pandemic, prohibiting landlords from making rent and fee increases.

Glanz said discussion of removing the provision was discussed in a council meeting this week, and the council voted unanimously to move the measure forward.

“You know we are on the back end of COVID hopefully, we know that some folks are still struggling, but council thinks that it’s time to sort of step out of managing private business in this area,” Glanz said.

Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Wicomico County said she agrees this is good move to make.

“People that own property should have the right to use the property the way that it is zoned and there’s definitely signs of recovery,” Molly Hilligoss, said.

Glanz said when the ordinance was put into place some landlords weren’t happy.

She said now she thinks they will see this change as a positive.

“So, I think we are all in a better place now, so I think they will be receptive to this and happy to see this,” Glanz said.

On the other hand, this could impact renters.

One renter told us, he knows that landlords may be having a tough time right now, but if rent was to be raised it wouldn’t be helpful.

“I mean I know they are still struggling but everybody’s still struggling at this point and if they want to raise rent it’s hurting the people that are still struggling,” Fowler said.

Glanz said the city has been in communication with the landlord association to make sure they are fair in their next plans and she doesn’t think it’s in their best interest to immediately make drastic changes for their tenants.

Also, Hiligoss and Glanz said renters can look forward to more funding from the state soon.

As far as the repeal of the ordinance , we’re told there will be more meetings to discuss that.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, Maryland