Senate bill could pause eviction proceedings for renters looking for assistance

MARYLAND – To address eviction proceedings for Maryland renters, a bill is making its way through the general assembly. It would require judges to pass proceedings while tenants are waiting on a good faith application for federal rental assistance money.

Senate Bill 384 addresses the current eviction crisis and the current bill sponsor Senator Shelly Hettleman says in a statement “Each of our local jurisdictions had very little time to create new systems to distribute that aid. All this bill calls for is to ask for a little grace and to provide authority to the court that when a good faith effort has been made to apply for this assistance, the court provides a brief 30-day pause to let that payment be made.”

The original bill, House Bill 674 was sponsored by Delegate Vaughn Stewart who says evicting people who are working to try and find rental assistance with the billions of dollars Maryland has received, seems immoral. “This is a program that is mutually beneficial, this is not something folks should view as a landlord versus tenant hostile situation,” says Delegate Stewart. He adds, “So that pause doesn’t delay proceedings even more and by encouraging landlords to apply early, we’re getting even more money into their hands and the hands of their tenants.”

Delegate Stewart also tells 47 ABC, he hopes the bill won’t be watered down anymore and can pass as is.

There will be a hearing Tuesday at 1 p.m. in the House Environment and Transportation Committee.

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