Progressive Maryland is deeply concerned by the Maryland General Assembly’s refusal to include Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) in the FY24 budget. This decision will harm over 100,000 Maryland families who are behind on rent. We are demanding our legislators turn this around and continue to fund the ERA program so we can keep Marylanders housed. We are urging our members to share their story about facing eviction to help persuade our elected officials and are asking the press to help keep up the pressure too by covering this urgent issue.
Progressive Maryland Statement Calling for Emergency Rental Assistance
ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND – Progressive Maryland issued a statement calling for renters relief. We are deeply concerned by the Maryland General Assembly’s continued refusal to care for our state’s most vulnerable residents by not funding the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program in the FY2024 budget. With budget enactment rapidly approaching, we join renters and advocates across the state who are demanding that Maryland continue to fund the ERA program that has been remarkably successful in protecting families from eviction and homelessness.
Fully funding ERA will protect the more than 100,000 Maryland families who are behind on rent; it is also key to Governor Moore’s stated goal of ending child poverty, as 90% of households “most likely” to face eviction are families with children according to census data.
It is also the fiscally responsible choice. For every dollar spent on ERA, Maryland saves an estimated two dollars in other social service expenditures, by preventing homelessness, keeping families together, and providing residents with the stability needed to work and care for their loved ones.
Shifting ERA to a voucher system, as some officials have suggested, would significantly reduce our state’s capacity to provide this desperately needed aid. Vouchers could not be deployed until FY2025, would exclude undocumented Marylanders, and do not account for the exact emergency situations like job loss and medical bills that can so easily spiral out of control without programs like ERA.
This call for continued aid from tenants, social service organizations, and seven county executives should not be controversial. On the contrary, our state’s commitment to protecting renters is the very definition of “Leave No One Behind.” We urge General Assembly leaders and administration advisors to shift course and fully fund ERA.
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