URGENT: Final push to pass renters’ right to representation in 2022
Too often, renters in Delaware are faced with an eviction notice that threatens their homes, their families, and their well-being. Even more often, the people facing eviction are left to navigate that legal hurdle by themselves. In Delaware, 86% of landlords have legal representation in court eviction proceedings, but only 2% of renters have representation.
Senate Bill 101 (formally SS 1 for SB 101), sponsored by Senator Bryan Townsend and Representative Melissa Minor-Brown, was introduced in 2021 — but it’s facing its steepest challenge now, and we need your help to get it across the finish line before this legislative session ends on June 30, 2022.
SB 101 is a common-sense bill with a wide range of support in the General Assembly. It has passed the Senate and one committee in the House, but has been stalled in the House Appropriations Committee. As Delaware grapples with the effects of an ongoing pandemic and evictions ramp up across the state, renters are facing evictions without the help they desperately need to connect to resources, delay evictions, and stay in their homes. Here’s how SB 101 will help:
- Creates a right to legal representation for renters facing eviction whose household income is lower than 200% of federal poverty guidelines;
- Places coordination of the program within the Delaware Attorney General’s Office, who will contract with appropriate legal service organizations to provide representation in proceedings covered by the bill;
- Requires landlords to provide notice of the right to representation at certain designated intervals of a tenancy and in eviction proceedings; and
- Creates an Eviction Diversion Program designed to help resolve payment or other issues once a landlord files for eviction.
With your help, we know that we can help combat the growing housing crisis in Delaware by keeping people in their homes. Please send a message to your House representative and House leadership today asking them to pass SB 101, the right to representation bill, NOW.