Philly has eviction problem. Right to counsel legislation could help solve it.

Those most affected by evictions in Philadelphia are most likely to be our city’s most vulnerable populations: black women with children, older people and those raising grandchildren, veterans, people with disabilities, and low-income households.

Op-Ed (Pennsylvania)

Rochelle M. Fedullo, Catherine Carr, Joseph Sullivan
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 17, 2019
READ THE FULL STORY HERE

Tags: Housing: Eviction, Right to Counsel

Organizations mentioned/involved: Philadelphia Bar Association


DETAILS

Despite being the sixth-largest city in the U.S., Philadelphia ranks fourth in total evictions, with over 20,000 filed each year. Evictions are complicated legal proceedings, which require legal help, but only 11% of tenants facing eviction have a lawyer, in contrast with 80% of landlords. Tenants who have legal help are 95% more likely to avoid homelessness. However, for those without a lawyer, the outcome is often devastating. Our eviction rate is an urgent citywide crisis.

Evictions destabilize the lives of entire families and have consequences that ripple through whole communities. They are a root cause of homelessness and poverty and can result in job loss and mental and physical health issues. Evictions can result in children being torn from their families and placed into foster care.