It’s easier than ever to lose your home


Linda* was evicted during the pandemic. She had to find a new apartment. She had to come up with two months’ rent. She had to remove all her possessions from her home before they were placed on the curb.

With all of her family out of state, a variety of serious illnesses and crushing medical bills, Linda’s situation was life threatening. On the best of days, she was lucky to remain out of the hospital.

Linda eventually found a new home by chance, but it was at great personal risk, and without much support.
Luck should not determine if someone has a home.

The eviction crisis and the homelessness it causes is not new, but COVID-19 has brought it to the forefront, explains Director of Public Policy Joanna Diamond. “It’s a direct result of deliberate disinvestment in housing.”

When someone loses their home through eviction, everything else crumbles. Ending homelessness requires a more equitable approach to housing than the overuse of eviction.

This includes creating affordable housing that doesn’t require tenants to jump through hoops to get and stay housed. And it requires putting tenant protections into law.

As of February 2021, nearly 200,000 Maryland families were at risk of losing their homes. “It is so easy to evict someone in Maryland,” says Charisse Lue of the Public Justice Center. “In one week, I saw 50 families evicted, even with the CDC eviction moratorium.”

Evictions are a way of criminalizing poverty and, as such, are experienced disproportionally by our Black and brown neighbors.

And eviction follows people throughout their lives—making it harder to regain housing, imposing compounding punitive debt, and putting the renter’s health at risk. All of this leads people like Linda to our waiting room.

Linda’s primary care provider, Dr. Max Romano, shared her story as testimony in support of HB 52—one of a package of housing justice bills we supported this legislative session. While the General Assembly failed to pass emergency relief for renters, we had one big housing win for tenants, which included:

  • Access to legal representation in landlord/tenant disputes (the first in the nation!)
  • Requirement for landlords to provide 10-day notice to tenants before filing for eviction

In his testimony, Dr. Romano stated, “These are vitally needed changes to prevent life-threatening harm caused by evictions.”

Policy decisions put and keep people in poverty. But policy can also be a step towards justice—ensuring that more Marylanders have a safe place to call home.

*This name is a pseudonym

Learn more about our legislative priorities and their outcomes

More Recent News


It’s been a whirlwind year for our new Senior Director of Practice Operations, but if anyone can keep pace it’s Mona Hadley. After stepping into the Director role last June, Mona seamlessly transitioned to Senior Director of Practice Operations this spring. Her bright energy has helped guide Practice Operations through staff changes, departmental restructuring, and the impacts of the global pandemic. With more change in store for 2022, what better time for a quick catch-up?


Margaret Flanagan doesn’t like the spotlight. But in her roles as Disability Assistance Project Manager to Director of Compliance, her service over 12+ years has been critical to securing critical funding, becoming statewide leaders in SOAR, maintaining Joint Commission accreditation and National Commission on Quality Assurance recognition, improving safety practices, and keeping our clinics open during the global pandemic. Now, with her recent promotion to Senior Director, Margaret has big plans for Quality Assurance in 2022.


Friday marked the tremendous loss of a fundamental human right in the United States. Read our statement on the ruling of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. 


Say hello to the agency’s inaugural Director of Client Access, Muhammed Mamman, MBA, MHA! Prior to joining us in May, Muhammed spent 14 years improving health care delivery across Maryland. His warm personality and passion for improving client health are a welcome addition as a leader of this new department. 


View All News