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Headshot of Amanda Catherine Wisniewski

Amanda Catherine Wisniewski

  • Hosted by Maryland Legal Aid
  • Sponsored by Housing Justice Program
  • Service location Greater Baltimore, Maryland
  • Issue area Housing/Eviction
  • Fellowship class year 2022
  • Program Housing Justice Program

The Project

Amanda will collaborate with Attorney Fellows at Maryland Legal Aid, the state’s largest provider of free and direct legal services, to create an educational campaign to share information about Maryland’s new Access to Counsel in Evictions law with tenants who are most vulnerable to eviction. This effort will include outreach to housing rights advocates, tenant organizations, community development corporations, local housing departments and social service providers on the front lines of Maryland’s eviction crisis. Amanda hopes to see tenants find their collective power and increase the number of Marylanders utilizing the services allotted by Access to Counsel in Evictions.

During the 2021 legislative session, the Access to Counsel in Evictions law was passed by the Maryland General Assembly. There are many detrimental personal and societal costs of evictions—including displacement, homelessness, and long-lasting health implications. Landlords and housing providers have historically been represented by counsel in 90% of the time, while tenants have not had representation in 90% of cases. This creates a wildly unfair playing field and a situation where access to representation is a simple and impactful solution. Those most impacted by this inequity are black and brown households, those households led by women, and our most vulnerable senior and disabled neighbors.

Fellowship Plans

Amanda’s campaign intends to be both relationship and data driven. Amanda will utilize census information to pin-point neighborhoods in the target region most vulnerable to eviction. Additionally, Amanda will work to meet tenants where they are as they navigate the services and systems currently in place to address their needs. Through a collection of educational sessions and door knocking efforts in collaboration with our Attorney Fellows, Amanda hopes to see tenants find the strength in their collective voice and power.

Amanda is passionate about housing justice and has had several working roles in that community. Amanda is a social worker by trade but uses a macro lens to uplift the profession’s foundational value of social justice. Amanda believes that when we have more than we need, it is our obligation to create a longer table, not a higher wall.

No one can thrive when their basic needs are compromised, and safe housing is the bare minimum. Eviction prevention is the difference between stability and uncertainty—sometimes life and death.

Amanda Catherine Wisniewski /
2023 Fellow in the Housing Justice Program

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