Howard County has announced $60,581 in CARES Act funding for Maryland Legal Aid (MLA) to assist residents facing eviction and other legal challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant will help provide the education, assistance and representation needed to prevent evictions in forthcoming failure to pay rent proceedings.

MLA will provide in-court tenant assistance and representation, conduct virtual training and presentations to educate the public on tenants’ rights, and engage in community outreach and promote project services.

MLA’s range of legal assistance includes:

  • Representing tenants at Failure to Pay Rent (FTPR) court hearings;
  • Pursuing post-trial motions as appropriate to change or enforce court orders;
  • Gathering documents or proof of rent payments for self-help tenants;
  • Informing tenants about COVID-19 financial assistance available to tenants;
  • Negotiating payment plans with landlords;
  • Creating self-help packets and materials for ineligible tenants to use; and
  • Creating a packet and materials to train volunteer attorneys on representing tenants in court.