Low-Income Tenants in D.C. May Get Free Legal Help


In Washington, D.C., the District Council is now considering legislation to provide free legal counsel to low-income tenants in certain housing cases.
News Story (District of Columbia)

Oscar Perry Abello
NextCity.org
October 18, 2016
READ THE FULL STORY HERE

Tags: Civil Right to Counsel, Housing: Eviction

Organizations mentioned/involved: National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel (NCCRC), Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia


DETAILS

Currently, 94 percent of D.C. landlords in housing court had legal representation, compared to just 5 percent of tenants, according to the D.C. Legal Aid Society.

Those numbers are almost as bad as NYC in 2013, when just 1 percent of tenants facing eviction in court had legal representation. Since then, NYC has significantly ramped up support for legal assistance in housing court. Last year, 27 percent of tenants facing eviction in court had legal representation. As a result, residential evictions by city marshals declined 24 percent in 2015 compared to 2013, even though the number of eviction cases filed remained relatively stable. That success has given momentum to supporters of NYC’s right to counsel in housing court.