Baltimore Can’t Rely on “Judge Judy” to Protect Renters


While it’s been all too easy for Baltimore officials to chalk this grim reality up to the wretched effects of poverty, a new report tells a more complete story.
News Story (Maryland)

Rachel M. Cohen
NextCity.org
December 9, 2015
READ THE FULL STORY HERE

Tags: Housing: Eviction, Housing: Landlord-Tenant, Rent Court

Organizations mentioned/involved: Public Justice Center (PJC)


DETAILS

“Justice Diverted,” issued by the Public Justice Center (in collaboration with the Right to Housing Alliance and scholars from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Baltimore) is based on a study of Baltimore tenants called to rent court. Housed in the District Court of Maryland, the court is where landlords take renters who are late on their monthly payments.

Through examining hundreds of surveys, in-depth interviews, court records and city data, the researchers discovered that the court systematically “prioritizes efficiencies which privilege the landlord’s bottom line.”

While activists and legal experts previously suspected that rent court had a disproportionate impact on black families in Baltimore, advocates are now armed with concrete data to make a political case for reform.