News Story (Pennsylvania)
March 19, 2019
READ THE FULL STORY HERE
Tags: Housing: Eviction, Housing: Right to Counsel
Organizations mentioned/involved: Philadelphia Bar Association
Another bill, which would create a Low-Income Tenant Legal Defense Fund, also carries on a policy conversation about tenant legal protections that has been active for years. In 2017, City Council Member Helen Gym’s office helped secure $500,000to pilot a program, called the Philadelphia Eviction Prevention Project (PEPP), that helps tenants get access to legal aid in landlord-tenant court. In its first year, according to an annual report, PEPP provided more than 1,100 tenants with expert legal advice, distributed 8,000 tenant resource guides and assisted more than 2,500 tenants via a tenant help line. The city increased the allocation to $850,000 last summer.
Gym co-sponsored a bill in March that would appear to make the Low-Income Tenant Legal Defense Fund more permanent. The bill “brings our city another step closer to guaranteeing the right to counsel and expands on the city’s anti-eviction work, which has been a central priority of my office,” Gym said in a statement.