Press Clips On Civil Legal Aid


News Story, Television News (Ohio)

Eviction Crisis Continues To Hit Ohio Communities

September 25, 2020 | Spectrum News 1
Abigail Staudt, managing attorney of the Housing Group for the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, says many tenants that end up getting evicted do so because they don’t know their rights. In early September, the CDC issued a new order, effective through December 31, 2020, that provides protection from eviction to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. Staudt says ... Read more
Tags: CDC Eviction Moratorium | Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
Op-Ed (Maryland, NATIONAL)

Why the CDC’s eviction moratorium isn’t enough to prevent evictions in Maryland | COMMENTARY

September 17, 2020 | Baltimore Sun
The CDC reports that the Black and Indigenous population have infection rates five times and four times, respectively, higher than the white population. Eviction has always been a threat to public health. The cocktail of housing insecurity and high infection rates among minority communities may prove to be lethal.
Tags: Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction | Racial Justice
News Story (Georgia, NATIONAL, North Carolina)

How Does the Federal Eviction Moratorium Work? It Depends Where You Live

September 16, 2020 | New York Times (NYT)
From state to state, and even judge to judge, a simple-sounding order by the C.D.C. on eviction cases is being widely interpreted by judges, leaving tenants in precarious situations. Legal aid attorneys and other housing advocates are struggling to help them.
Tags: CDC Eviction Moratorium | Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
News Story (NATIONAL)

Eviction Filings by Big Landlords Surged After Trump Issued Ban

September 14, 2020 | Bloomberg
The increase in evictions during the first week of September highlights key challenges to implementing the ban, according to John Pollock, coordinator for the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel, an organization that seeks to establish a right to legal representation for defendants in housing court. One problem, he said, is the form tenants ... Read more
Tags: CDC Eviction Moratorium | Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
News Story (NATIONAL)

The CDC banned evictions, but some renters are still vulnerable

September 10, 2020 | CNBC
“Many landlords are going to try to race to the court to get a judgment and remove the tenant before the tenant even knows the declaration requirement exists or how to fulfill it,” said John Pollock, coordinator of the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel.
Tags: CDC | Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
Op-Ed (Massachusetts)

A civil justice crisis is coming; Much greater funding for legal aid is needed

September 10, 2020 | CommonWealth – Nonprofit journal of politics, ideas and civic life
THE COVID-19 CRISIS has come at Massachusetts in waves: a public health emergency, an economic collapse, a widening of racial disparities, and now, an overwhelming need for legal help. In response, the Commonwealth must fully support the essential work of civil legal aid, which helps low-income people retain housing, stay safe from domestic abuse, appeal ... Read more
Tags: Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Domestic Violence | Housing: Eviction | Housing: Foreclosure | Hunger | Unemployment Insurance
News Story (Virginia)

Tenants file for class action against one of Virginia’s most prolific eviction law firms

September 9, 2020 | Virginia Mercury
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, alleges Hampton-based Senex Law violated federal debt collection laws and tacked on unreasonable attorney fees as they attempted to collect unpaid rent on behalf of landlords around the state. In a statement announcing the suit, the tenants’ lawyers accused the firm of holding a “starring role in the state’s mass evictions.”
Tags: Housing: Eviction
News Story, Newsletter (Florida, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin)

How Legal Aid Lawyers Have Been Preparing for More Evictions

September 1, 2020 |
Renters have spent the last five months on shifting ground. Federal and state moratoriums have expired with only a few being renewed, and municipal and county courts are making their own rules and procedures for resuming eviction hearings. The resulting confusion makes it more necessary than ever for people facing eviction to have legal help. ... Read more
Tags: Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
News Story (Virginia)

Virginia, Ikea give $4M to boost Legal Aid services for residents facing eviction

August 31, 2020 | Washington Post
A $4 million initiative to expand legal help to Virginians facing eviction amid the coronavirus pandemic, will be used to hire and support 20 legal aid attorneys for the next two years. The Virginia Poverty Law Center estimates 230,000 evictions will be filed by the end of the year.
Tags: Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
News Story (Iowa, Texas)

“There’s no actual penalty for violating it.” – How the CARES Act failed to protect tenants from eviction

August 29, 2020 | CNBC
At the start of the pandemic, Congress passed an eviction ban that covered about a third of the country’s rental units. Yet a lack of enforcement led many landlords to ignore the law.
Tags: Housing: Eviction
News Story (NATIONAL, Texas)

Can you be evicted during the pandemic? It depends on your ZIP code

August 25, 2020 | CNBC
In the absence of any national ban on evictions during the pandemic, tenants struggling to pay their rent are at the mercy of a patchwork of narrow and temporary local protections, leading to confusion and unlawful evictions. Some landlords take advantage of the uncertainty to push tenants out of their homes, said Daphne McGee, a ... Read more
Tags: Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
News Story (Georgia, NATIONAL, Nebraska)

As Evictions Loom, Lawyers Are Gearing Up to Help

August 24, 2020 | New York Times (NYT)
With a federal moratorium coming to an end, legal aid lawyers say they are preparing to defend renters in housing court. Having legal help means tenants stand a better chance of reaching agreements with landlords so they can stay in their homes — and avoid having an eviction on their record, which makes it harder to ... Read more
Tags: Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
News Story (Iowa, NATIONAL)

‘It’s a lose-lose battle.’ She’s been waiting four weeks for the sheriff to evict her

August 19, 2020 | CNN Business
A searing look at the challenges and hard choices faced by both tenants and landlords as the pandemic has ravaged the US economy, leaving millions at the mercy of a broken legal system.
Tags: Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction | Unemployment Insurance
News Story (Florida)

With no moratorium in place for FL renters, ‘We expect a tsunami of evictions’

August 19, 2020 | Florida Phoenix
More than 800,000 renters in Florida are at risk of being evicted within weeks, a fallout framed by financial duress, the coronavirus crisis and little help from state and federal officials, according to lawyers and legal aid groups.
Tags: Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
News Story (NATIONAL)

Virus Lights Fire Under Eviction Right To Counsel Movement

August 16, 2020 | Law360
The ongoing pandemic has put new urgency behind a nascent movement pushing to give tenants facing eviction a right to counsel, advocates say.
Tags: Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
News Story (Arkansas, Georgia, NATIONAL)

US braces for evictions crisis as aid talks stall in Washington

August 13, 2020 | Yahoo! News
Civil legal aid attorneys and others are scrambling to head off a monumental wave of evictions nationwide, as the coronavirus crisis leaves tens of millions at risk of homelessness. Attorneys can work to ensure that an eviction stays off a tenant’s record, making it easier to find a new home, said John Pollock, coordinator of the ... Read more
Tags: Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction | Unemployment Insurance
News Story (NATIONAL)

Virus, Protests Fuel Push To Reopen Access To Justice Office

August 9, 2020 | Law360
The Trump administration shut down the Department of Justice’s Office for Access to Justice in 2018. All it took to unravel the small, nonprosecutorial unit that the Obama administration had created in 2010 was a notice to Congress and some tweaks to department websites. Now, as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic coincides with a nationwide racial justice movement, lawmakers are trying ... Read more


COVID shows why we need legal aid for civil cases like evictions

August 7, 2020 | USA Today
Right to counsel should be guaranteed in non-criminal cases involving basic human needs like food, shelter, employment, health care and physical safety.
Tags: Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
News Story (Louisiana, NATIONAL, Ohio, Wisconsin)

Wave of evictions expected as moratoriums end in many states

August 4, 2020 | Associated Press (AP)
This piece includes the perspectives of legal aid advocates in states across the country. The outlook is bleak. “I’ve never seen this many people poised to lose their housing in a such a short period of time,” one attorney said. “This is a huge disaster that is beginning to unfold.”
Tags: Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction | Unemployment Insurance
News Story (NATIONAL)

U.S. Renters Owe $21.5 Billion in Back Rent; Republicans Offer No Eviction Relief

July 29, 2020 | New York Times (NYT) , Reuters News Service , St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Every year, about 2.3 million American renter households receive eviction papers at some point. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we might see that many evictions in one month. Global advisory firm Stout, Risius and Ross estimated on Wednesday (see above for link to eviction estimation tool) that more than $21.5 billion in past-due rent is looming ... Read more
Tags: Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
News Story (Ohio)

Legal aid providers, already stretched thin, anticipate surge in evictions and requests for help

July 28, 2020 | Crain’s Cleveland Business
Always stretched thin, legal aid groups — like the Legal Aid Society of Clevelandand Community Legal Aid in Akron — continuously face tough decisions of who to help and who to turn away because of finite resources. The requests for help have only picked up in recent months, and the situation could become even more ... Read more
Tags: Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction | Unemployment Insurance
News Story (NATIONAL)

11 million households could be evicted over the next four months / A new tool helps you see the contours of the approaching housing disaster

July 27, 2020 | Fast Company
A new new eviction estimation tool tool developed by global advisory firm Stout, with input from the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel (NCCRC), uses census survey results and income data to estimate how many households could be at risk of eviction as moratoriums end, courts reopen, and rent relief efforts fall short. The ... Read more
Tags: Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
News Story (NATIONAL, North Carolina, Texas)

The Eviction Crisis Is Already Here and It’s Crushing Black Moms

July 24, 2020 | VICE News
Mass evictions could be enormously destabilizing for communities of color, experts and housing advocates warn. ”I don’t want to think about what our society will look like when a good number — large numbers — of single moms, are unemployed, struggling to raise their kids, dealing with homelessness and hygiene issues It’s a very dark ... Read more
Tags: Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
News Story (NATIONAL)

The Worst for U.S. Renters and Apartment Owners Is Yet to Come

July 24, 2020 | Bloomberg
“You’d have to go back to the Great Depression to find the kind of numbers we’re looking at right now,” said John Pollock, staff attorney at the Public Justice Center, a Baltimore nonprofit that uses legal tools to fight poverty. “There’s almost no precedent for this, which is why it’s so scary.” Noah Buhayar
Tags: Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
News Story (Louisiana, NATIONAL)

Domestic Violence, Eviction, Finances Drive Virus Legal Aid Rise

July 24, 2020 | Bloomberg Law
Rising evictions and domestic violence are partly driving the skyrocketing demand for legal aid during the coronavirus pandemic, with groups anticipating a heavier caseload overall going forward. The Legal Services Corporation is requesting an additional $50 million in federal funds to support its grantees’ Covid-19 related work.
Tags: Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Debt Collection | Domestic Violence | Housing: Eviction | Pro Bono | Unemployment Insurance
Editorial (NATIONAL)

Millions of Americans Are About to Lose Their Homes. Congress Must Help Them.

July 23, 2020 | New York Times (NYT)
As pandemic-related eviction moratoriums expire and a growing number of lenders and landlords seek to evict people from their homes, a lead editorial in the New York Times called for civil justice reform as a necessary component of the solution to a nationwide COVID-induced eviction crisis. We could not agree more.
Tags: Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
News Story (Missouri, NATIONAL, Nevada, Texas)

A gap in federal unemployment benefits is now unavoidable. Here’s why.

July 23, 2020 | Politico
The unemployment insurance system at state and federal levels during the pandemic has already been chaotic at best, and these experts, including legal aid advocates from across the country, predict it will only get worse.
Tags: Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Unemployment Insurance
News Story (Maryland, NATIONAL)

Study: State courts overrun by debt collectors

July 21, 2020 | The Legal Examiner
The stakes are incredibly high for people who may have fallen behind in debt and don’t know their legal rights. They can find their wages garnished and their bank accounts and other belongings seized. Sometimes, they may even wind up behind bars. This article provides very good coverage of the new study released by Pew’s ... Read more
Tags: debt | Debt Collection
News Story (NATIONAL)

Shift To Virtual Eviction Hearings Stirs Due Process Fears

July 12, 2020 | Law360
As communities throughout the country look to reinitiate eviction proceedings amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many courts are conducting hearings online, creating a potential due process barrier for low-income individuals who face obstacles to fast internet connections, tenant advocates say.
Tags: Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Housing: Eviction
(NATIONAL, Tennessee, Virginia)

As COVID-19 Safeguards End, Eviction Wave Begins

July 12, 2020 | Law360
Millions of Americans are vulnerable to a legal process in which 90% of landlords typically have lawyers while only 10% of tenants do.