Angel Lopez lost his job as a mechanic in Baltimore when business slowed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Then his partner lost her part-time job cleaning houses.
Lopez is undocumented, and his partner’s application for asylum is on hold while the courts are closed. As a result, they don’t qualify for unemployment, federal stimulus money, or Baltimore’s small existing rental assistance program.
During an interview in mid-April, Lopez said he wasn’t sure how he would pay for May’s rent. He said he was considering selling his car.
Executive orders Gov. Larry Hogan signed in March and April prohibit judges from issuing eviction orders during the state of emergency. But the orders don’t prevent landlords from beginning the eviction process. Advocates warn that as soon as the state of emergency ends, there will be an onslaught of evictions and families like Lopez’s could be homeless.