March 14, 2019
READ THE FULL STORY HERE
Tags: Housing: Eviction, Housing: Right to Counsel
Organizations mentioned/involved: Philadelphia Bar Association
Evictions have a terrible domino effect: tenants are often unjustly evicted with no time to find a new place, and often, with hits to credit scores that make finding new housing difficult. In New York, for example, a quarter of families with children who enter a homeless shelter do so because of an eviction.
One approach to addressing this eviction crisis is providing legal representation for low-income tenants in court. According to a November 2018 report conducted by the Stout consulting firm and commissioned by the Philadelphia Bar Association, having a lawyer in Philadelphia housing court reduces the probability of a “disruptive displacement” from 78 percent to 5 percent.
In 2017, Mayor Jim Kenney announced $400,000 from the general fund plus $100,000 in grant money to the Philadelphia Eviction Prevention Project — $500,000 total. He also convened the Mayor’s Task Force on Eviction Prevention Response. The task force published a report with 17 recommendations, including increasing support for legal aid for tenants.