Cleveland May Join Crusade To Increase Eviction Atty Access

Cleveland is the latest in a series of municipalities across the country that are considering — or have already created — a right to counsel for certain individuals who face eviction, a move that advocates hope will prevent housing problems from spawning other economic and health woes for families.

News Story (Ohio)

Kevin Penton
August 25, 2019

Tags: Housing: Right to Counsel

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Society of Cleveland


Mirroring efforts in communities such as New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., Cleveland City Council last week introduced a measure that would provide legal representation to individuals facing eviction who are living with children and are below 100 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, said Melanie A. Shakarian, an attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.

As the legislation is currently drafted, legal assistance would be provided annually for approximately 1,200 cases in Cleveland, according to Shakarian, the organization’s director of development and communications. There are between 19,000 and 20,000 evictions annually in Cuyahoga County, about half of which are in Cleveland, she said.

According to the Legal Aid Society, Cleveland would be the first municipality in Ohio and the greater Midwest to adopt an eviction measure.