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© 2023 Particle Media.
By Kelsey Kushner,
BALTIMORE -- Members of Baltimore Renters United are calling on the city's lawmakers to provide more funding for emergency rental assistance.
The group gathered together on Thursday to spread its message ahead of the city council's Fiscal Year 2024 "Tax Payers Night."
Group members claim that funds are rapidly running out as eviction numbers are spiking.
"Eviction cases now are reaching pre-pandemic peaks," Samantha Gowing, an attorney at the Public Justice Center, said. "They are rapidly increasing in Baltimore City."
The group says it wants to see about $25 million in funding go towards rental assistance. That money will save about 8,000 families in Baltimore City from being evicted, group members said.
Right now, the city has committed about $5 million to renters , but the coalition is asking for more.
Group members are also asking for $1.6 million for counsel in cases of eviction and $2 million for housing safety inspections.
"The city needs to invest money making sure renters of Baltimore can stay in their homes and stay in safe, affordable homes," Gowing said.
Members are calling on the city to invest record-setting revenue from taxes on renters and homeowners, particularly Black renters who they say are disproportionately at risk of eviction.