Protecting Renters’ Rights

July 14, 2016

The HOME Act, pending before the Baltimore County Council, aims to prevent discrimination by landlords based on a renter’s source of income such as Social Security or housing vouchers. This vital legislation will help low-income families and individuals in Baltimore County gain better jobs, schools and housing. Similar legislation was introduced in the Maryland General Assembly in 2016, but didn’t move forward.

The Baltimore County HOME Act Coalition asked The Hatcher Group to help dispel myths about the housing voucher program, get the word out to Baltimore County residents and find individuals who live in the County to tell their stories. We have helped the Coalition develop clear, concise and compelling messaging, social media graphics and posts and a robust media outreach plan to humanize this legislation.

For instance, the Act will help Baltimore County residents such as Myesha Allender, featured in this Baltimore Sun story, who was paralyzed after being hit by a drunk driver in 2005 and has used a housing voucher to live independently ever since. She has struggled to find a landlord to accept her voucher. “I don’t want to keep being looked upon as a voucher, but as a human being,” Allender testified before the Council.

The Hatcher Group and the Coalition are working to make sure people know the facts about the HOME Act, which resulted in this Baltimore Sun editorial, numerous letters to the editor and a Baltimore Sun poll. We also are engaging the community to call county council representatives before a key hearing and vote this summer.