Support SB 1: Protect Renters' Rights in Delaware
All Delawareans – regardless of their circumstances or background – should have a fighting chance to remain in their homes when facing eviction.
Many renters are facing eviction because of unforeseen circumstances or financial stress that prevents them from being able to afford their rent, let alone counsel to represent them in court. Others facing eviction lack the ability to go to court due to employment, child care, or transportation restrictions.
But eviction court proceedings are skewed overwhelmingly to favor landlords. In Delaware, 86% of landlords have representation by lawyers or agents in eviction proceedings, compared to just 2% of renters. This massive imbalance of power almost always yields the same result: people displaced from their homes without consideration of need, due process, or the facts pertaining to a specific case.
Senate Bill 1 is a bill that would ensure a right to representation in eviction proceedings for low-income renters. Guaranteeing representation for renters facing eviction helps to keep people in their homes, reduce homelessness, and save taxpayer dollars. A statewide right to representation law would help fund legal aid and expand the reach of diversion programs meant to assist renters in resolving their debt to landlords before an eviction judgment is decided in court.
In order to see this important legislation make it through to Governor Carney’s desk this year, the General Assembly needs to move swiftly in passing it. That’s where you come in.
We need you to reach out to your Representative to urge them to pass SB 1and ensure that low-income renters get the representation they need for a fair shot at remaining in their homes. The public health and economic consequences of an ongoing pandemic have cost millions of people their jobs and the ability to pay rent – leaving far too many renters facing the added threat of eviction. It’s time for Delaware to ensure that renters don’t have to go it alone.