Audio, News Story (Massachusetts)
July 17, 2019
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Tags: Housing: Eviction, Housing: Right to Counsel
The Springfield City Council voted unanimously to approve a resolution endorsing the bill after hearing this week from tenants-rights advocates and attorneys who practice in Massachusetts Housing Courts.
“The goal of this bill is to try and level the playing field,” said Hugh Heisler, a Springfield attorney.
He said having a lawyer in an eviction case can make a big difference in the outcome and often results in preventing someone from losing their home. But, in the vast majority of eviction cases tenants do not have an attorney.
“There are nonprofit legal services programs throughout the state, but their resources are so limited and the demand for legal assistance in eviction cases so enormous it overwhelms their capacity,” said Heisler.