To the Editor: Re “Eviction Crises That a Few Hundred Dollars Could Solve”

While the holiday season brought tidings of joy for some, many people go through the cold winter months facing eviction and homelessness. Many are renters who are shut out of their homes over only a few hundred dollars, often less than one month’s rent.

Letter to Editor (NATIONAL, Pennsylvania)

Rachel Garland, Barrett Marshall
New York Times (NYT)
January 7, 2020

Tags: Housing: Eviction, Housing: Right to Counsel

Organizations mentioned/involved: Community Legal Services (CLS) of Philadelphia


In U.S. eviction cases, 90 percent of renters don’t have the means to access legal representation, while 90 percent of landlords do. To help curb this trend, we need to implement a big, but simple, solution nationwide: a tenant’s right to counsel. This would level the playing field for tenants facing eviction.

In cities with a right to counsel, like Philadelphia, lawyers help keep renters in their homes. They enter payment agreements with landlords. They negotiate to have repairs made, so tenants don’t have to withhold rent. By doing so, they prevent homelessness, saving cities millions of dollars in the cost of social services.

It’s time to promote fairness and adopt right to counsel nationwide.