COVID19 Resources

EVICTION PREVENTION RESOURCES

Eviction Proceedings Information and Resources

On July 25th, Maryland District Courts began processing warrants of restitution for failure to pay rent cases that were pending, or already authorized prior to the March 16th closure of the courts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Make sure to know your rights. There are two critical notes:

  1. If your landlord has filed a failure to pay rent complaint on, or before July 24th, they must have followed the proper procedure and included a Federal CARES Act Declaration of Compliance. If they have not followed the correct procedure, or your property is covered by the CARES Act, the case will automatically be dismissed.
  2. Governor Hogan’s original Executive Order states that, “if the tenant can demonstrate to the court, through documentation or other objectively verifiable means, that the tenant suffered a Substantial Loss of Income,” due to COVID-19, that evidence is an affirmative defense in failure to pay rent and breach of lease actions. That defense extends until the state of emergency is lifted.
    1. Each judge will determine if the evidence and documentation provided is sufficient to justify that defense.

You should seek legal counsel if you believe the complaint against you is covered by the CARES Act or Governor Hogan’s Executive Order. You can learn more about the process Maryland District Courts are using through their memo released on July 17th.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions from the Public Justice Center

Q: Can the landlord charge late fees or increase the rent during COVID-19?

A: Some local jurisdictions like Baltimore City, Montgomery County, and Howard County have passed laws banning late fees during the pandemic. Some have also banned rent increases or limited rent increases. Seek legal advice if you are unsure whether your landlord can charge late fees or raise the rent.

Q: What if I can’t pay my rent next month due to COVID-19?

A: The Court has also placed on hold all non-emergency court cases and most warrants as described in the answer above. You may want to send a letter or email to your landlord explaining why you cannot pay rent due to a job loss or illness. You may be able to enter into a payment plan. The landlord may agree not to evict you if you stay on the plan. You should get any agreement in writing and keep a copy of any letter or email.

For financial assistance to avoid eviction, please call 211. A number of jurisdictions have rental assistance programs or plan to start those programs soon.

Q: What if my landlord changes the locks or evicts me?

A: If a landlord tries to evict you without a court order and the presence of the Sheriff/Constable or denies you essential services (water, electric, gas), that is illegal. If your landlord attempts to evict you this way, call 911 and ask for police assistance. 

If you are illegally evicted, you should seek legal assistance and consider filing a complaint in court against your landlord. Because the courts are only hearing emergency cases, the complaint should be filed as an emergency matter if you are trying to get back into the property. 

You should keep track of any expenses, including hotel bills and lost property. In Baltimore City, you may also press criminal charges against the landlord by filing a complaint with the District Court Commissioner: District Court Commissioner, 500 North Calvert St. #200, Baltimore MD 21202, phone: 410-767-5774.

Q: What happens when the pause on evictions is lifted?

A: For new or postponed eviction cases, you will receive a notice about the new trial date. Keep all documents about loss of income or health problems and all communications with your landlord. For eviction orders/warrants that were already issued, the Sheriff will schedule and execute the eviction once the hold on evictions is lifted on July 25 (possibly earlier for certain cases as described above). You may or may not receive additional notice of the new date of a rescheduled eviction. For additional answers to frequently asked questions, please visit the Public Justice Center’s website here.

Organizations Offering Legal and Other Aid

Public Justice Center
410-625-9409
Non-subsidized housing, primarily Baltimore City

Maryland Legal Aid
1-866-635-2948

Homeless Persons Representation Project
410-364-4198
Vouchers and subsidized housing only

Disability Rights Maryland 
410-727-6352
Housing issues related to disability

Civil Justice Network
410-706-0174
Free or reduced fee legal assistance on housing issues statewide 

St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center
410-366-8550 ext. 209
[email protected]
Provides comprehensive affordable housing services and legal aid

Baltimore City District Court: Eviction Prevention Program
410-878-8650
Provides eviction prevention services for residents facing eviction

State Resources

 

Governor’s Recovery and Reopening Updates

You can read all about the reopening plan at https://governor.maryland.gov/recovery/. To see a list of all of the Governor’s recent Executive Orders, including interpretive guidance on each one click here

Unemployment Information

BEACON One-Stop FAQs https://www.dllr.state.md.us/employment/uibeaconfaqs.pdf

BEACON One-Stop Username and Password Handbook https://www.dllr.state.md.us/employment/uibeaconuserhandbook.pdf

Login Quick Start Guide https://www.dllr.state.md.us/employment/uibeaconlogin.pdf

 

Video Tutorials:

  • Account Activation and Login – here
  • Applying for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) – HERE – This is the 13 week extension of UI benefits for those that may have exhausted their original 26 weeks.
  • Applying for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) – here – This is the new UI program for self employed, independent contractors, sole proprietors, gig economy workers, non-profits, and those with limited work history.

Technical Support Issues – [email protected]

Additional Resources

Mental health

Now more than ever it is important that we and everyone makes an effort to take care of themselves including efforts to relax and decompress. Here are some helpful links:

 

Jobs resources

The Mayor’s Office of Employment Development can help with finding a job. Several companies are hiring: https://moed.baltimorecity.gov/job-seekers/now-hiring.

Maryland also offers job resources here

 

Food access

Food is available at dozens of sites across Baltimore City: https://coronavirus.baltimorecity.gov/food-distribution-sites

 

Additional public benefits

SNAP application assistance is provided by Maryland Hunger Solutions (866-821-5552). Legal help with terminations or determinations for SNAP, TCA, or TDAP is provided by the Homeless Persons Representation Project (410-364-4198).

Legal issues related to eviction/landlords, utilities, unemployment, immigration, or domestic violence

The Maryland Access to Justice Commission is here to help with civil legal issues: https://www.mdaccesstojustice.org/covid-19/.

Workers’ rights and COVID-19

The Public Justice Center has an awesome FAQ page and great explainers to help you understand your rights: http://www.publicjustice.org/en/legal_help/workers-rights-and-covid-19/

 

Resources for workers in the hospitality industry

Check out the new website of the Baltimore Restaurant Relief Fund. On this site you can learn more about their relief fund and resources for workers and owners in the restaurant world. The website is in Spanish and English.

 

Health insurance

The Maryland Health Connection has extended the COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period to June 15 for uninsured Marylanders who need health coverage. 

Visit MarylandHealthConnection.gov or download the free “Enroll MHC” mobile app. Request or select “Coronavirus Emergency Special Enrollment Period.” Free help is available by calling 1-855-642-8572 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays. 

Visit www.marylandcares.org for free help with an enrollment dispute.

 

Taxes

Tax prep assistance is provided for free by the Maryland Cash Campaign: http://cashmd.org/and https://www.mdcashacademy.org/

 

Childcare

Childcare for Essential Personnel: Parents who are still required to go to work can receive support and care for their children by calling 1-877-261-0060, or visiting http://www.marylandfamilynetwork.org/essentialpersonnel.

 

Health advice and referrals

Call the Esperanza Center’s Health Hotline for bilingual services (M-F, 9AM-5PM) at 667-600-2314.

 

Additional information about COVID-19 from medical professionals

The Healthy Community Partnership and Medicine for the Greater Good at Johns Hopkins Bayview host a coronavirus (COVID-19) update call on Mondays at 3:00 p.m. and Fridays at 11:00 a.m. The dial-in information is: Toll-free number: (888) 651-5908; Participant code: 3569812. There is also a daily podcast, Public Health On Call, which includes interviews about the coronavirus. Daily and past podcasts can be found at http://bit.ly/publichealthoncall. University of Maryland Medical System free call line: open to the public 24/7 to answer questions related to COVID-19. Calls will be answered and routed by an Operator. A Registered Nurse will then connect with callers to answer their questions The call line number is 1-888-713-0711.For more information, visit https://www.umms.org/coronavirus/nurse-call-line 

 

Volunteer opportunities

Complete a volunteer application and sign up for a shift here. There are a wide variety of organizations in need of diverse skill sets! For a full list of current volunteer opportunities, click here. Blood donations are critically needed and are considered an essential activity – make an appointment at www.redcrossblood.org.

Make phone calls to elderly neighbors. If you’d like to get involved or sign someone up, visit: BaltimoreNeighborsNetwork.org.

 

Price Gouging

Price gouging of important resources is illegal! Report any personal experiences by contact the Attorney General’s Office at 410-528-8662, or email [email protected] 

 

Domestic Violence

Most domestic violence and sexual assault services providers are still open, including the SAFE & DV program at BGMC, House of Ruth, and others. Learn more here: https://www.baltimoresun.com/coronavirus/bs-md-domestic-violence-coronavirus-20200326-qa3r334fcba2xcymmjp4q4znim-story.html. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 800-799-SAFE (7233).

 

Support for independent artists

The Maryland State Arts Council just launched an emergency grant for artists, as they do not qualify for some of the state and federal relief programs. Learn more here.

 

Housing costs

The following third-party organizations in Baltimore City are offering assistance with paying for housing, if needed, during the COVID-19 Pandemic:

  • Franciscan Center: 410-467-5340
  • HealthCare Access Maryland (HCAM): 410-649-0529
  • American Legion Department of MD State Headquarters: 410-752-1405, 800-433-3318
  • New Shiloh Baptist Church: 410-523-5306
  • All Saints Church: 410-542-0445
  • Mount Moriah Baptist: 410-945-3575
  • New Creation Christian Church Love Outreach Ministry: 410-488-5653
  • Paul’s Place: 410-625-0775
  • Walbrook Vicinity Churches Assistance Ministry: 410-383-1525
  • Zion Baptist Church: 410-837-4181
  • St. Anthony of Padua: 410-488-9918
  • Mercy Supportive Housing Program: 410-675-2125
  • Salvation Army Family Service Center: 410-783-2920
  • City Temple Outreach: 410-383-8040, 410-462-4800
  • Friendship Outreach Center: 410-444-1595
  • Bon Secours Community Works: 410-362-3808
  • Baltimore City District Court — Eviction Prevention Program: 410-878-8650
  • St Vincent de Paul — The Samaritan Center: 667-600-3700 ext. 1

Resources regardless of immigration status (from MIMA)

JHU Centro Sol compiled a list of organizations that may be able to help with rent payments.

BALTIMORE CITY UPDATES

Updates on Baltimore City Government Operations are available here.

Baltimore City’s COVID-19 Online Dashboard provides breakdowns by race, zip code, age, gender and number of cases over time.

The Baltimore Development Corporation created this website to serve as a repository of information and resources for residents and businesses and will be continuously updated as new information is available. 

 

Distance Learning in Baltimore City Schools

Visit www.baltimorecityschools.org/distance-learning for help with homework and class assignments and questions about online learning or call City Schools’ Homework and Technology Help Desk at 443-984-2001. The hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday.

 

Televised lessons

Students will be able to access daily reading, math, science, and art lessons on City Schools TV (Comcast 77) and the city’s CharmTV (Comcast 25 and 1025). Additionally, CharmTV will offer lessons via streaming video at http://www.charmtvbaltimore.com. A schedule of lessons will be available on the district’s Distance Learning webpage. 

 

Access to food for students

Many schools continue to offer breakfast and lunch for students. They are “grab and go” meals. The Parent may go and pick up a meal for their family – the students do not have to be there. To see a list of meal sites visit here: https://www.bmorechildren.com/freemeals.

 

Tax information

Business Tax Payments Extension: Businesses in Maryland will be given a 90-day extension for tax payments. No interest or penalty for late payments will be imposed if 2019 tax payments are made by July 15, 2020.

Business Tax Filing Deadline Extension: The Maryland Comptroller’s Office also extended business-related tax filing deadlines to June 1, 2020.

Business Licensing & Permitting Extension: Maryland Governor Larry Hogan issued an executive order mandating all licenses, permits, and registrations that would expire during the current state of emergency to be extended until at least the 30th day after the state of emergency is lifted.

FEDERAL UPDATES

To date, there are three new federal laws to provide economic relief related to COVID-19:

  • H.R.748: (CARES) Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act – Enacted March 27, 2020.  Includes direct payments to Americans, an aggressive expansion of unemployment insurance, billions of dollars in aid to large and small businesses, and a new wave of significant funding for the healthcare industry
  • H.R. 6201: Families First Coronavirus Response Act — Enacted March 18, 2020. Guaranteed free coronavirus testing, established paid leave, enhanced unemployment insurance, expanded food security initiatives, and increased federal Medicaid funding.
  • H.R. 6074: Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 — Enacted March 4, 2020. Provided $8.3 billion in emergency funding for federal agencies to respond to the coronavirus outbreak related to developing a vaccine, medical supplies, grants for public health agencies, small business loans, and assistance for health systems in other countries. Allowed for temporarily waiving Medicare restrictions and requirements regarding telehealth services.

The CARES Act will provide about $4 billion in aid to Maryland, including millions of dollars for FEMA, SNAP, local school districts, local nutrition programs and childcare. It will support small businesses and nonprofits through three main programs. All of these programs are now accepting applications! You can learn more about each program and apply for them by clicking “learn more”. There are other helpful links with checklists and guides at the end of this email.

 

  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Advance (EIDL). Learn more. This is a working capital loan, but cannot be used to refinance preexisting debt. First payment on the loan, when approved, will be deferred from a 12-month period. Interest rate fixed at $3.75 and maximum term is 30 years. Sole proprietors and most non-profits are eligible. There is also an advance does not need to be repaid available at the end of the loan application. You can access up to $10,000 immediate payment to be used for payroll and other operating expenses.
  • Paycheck Protection Program Loan (PPPL) – Learn more. The applications open today. Can be used for payroll, benefits, utilities, etc. If employees are retained on the payroll, then the loan will be forgiven. Loan payments deferred for 6-months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. A sample application form is available here. Private non-profit organizations and veteran organizations are eligible.