News Story (Pennsylvania)
Philadelphia Business Journal
May 9, 2019
READ THE FULL STORY HERE
Tags: Housing: Eviction, Housing: Right to Counsel
Organizations mentioned/involved: Philadelphia Bar Association, Community Legal Services (CLS) of Philadelphia
In the past year, data from Community Legal Services shows that eviction filings are down 20% and 11% of tenants were represented — up from an average of 5% to 8%. CLS said preliminary findings demonstrate that tenants who saw a Philadelphia Eviction Prevention Project (PEPP) advocate are more likely to show up to their court date, win their case, and enter into agreements with their landlord than tenants who did not.
The intensified push to establish the right to counsel for tenants comes in the wake of a November 2018 study by the Philadelphia Bar Association that found that an annual investment of $3.5 million in legal representation would save the city $45.2 million in social services costs annually.
The report said that 80% of landlords were represented in cases filed in Philadelphia Municipal Court between 2007 and 2016, but only about 7% of tenants had attorneys.