For an individual or family already struggling with the daily burdens of living in poverty, the consequences of an eviction can reach far beyond losing one’s home. 驱逐从根本上来说是不稳定的. It can take months or years to secure a new place to live in the District of Columbia, 哪里的经济适用房供应正在下降. Those without friends or family to rely on in the interim may be forced to live on the streets or in a shelter. 孩子们可能会停止上学. The prospect of finding a job or remaining employed becomes much more difficult.
Public and Subsidized 住房 Tenants Are Particularly Vulnerable
If a person or family is evicted from public or subsidized housing, they will lose their home and very likely their housing subsidy. 在哥伦比亚特区, 这里有40个,在补贴住房的等待名单上的000人, 自2013年以来，哪些学校不再向新申请者开放, a person who is evicted will almost surely never obtain public housing again.
Landlord and Tenant Court in the District of Columbia
区内的业主及租客法庭是严厉的. 它通常被称为“驱逐法庭”.” Over 34,000 eviction cases are filed annually in the Landlord and Tenant Branch of D.C. 高等法院. 本庭存在严重的权力不平衡, where 95 percent of landlords are represented by counsel, 而90%到95%的租户似乎是自愿的. 没有法律代表, many tenants sign agreements waiving their defenses because they are not aware of their rights.
Cases involving housing subsidies are particularly complex, 而那些看起来亲民的房客也不会有好下场. Tenants who are represented by counsel have a much greater chance of keeping their housing and their subsidy.
The outcome of a housing case illustrates the difference pro bono representation can make in the life of a family:
三个孩子的母亲, 其中一个是残疾人, was sued by her landlord for eviction over a few hundred dollars in unpaid rent. 与此同时, the landlord had ignored multiple housing code violations including a lack of hot water, 罗奇侵扰, 天花板上的一个洞, 和不实用的电器. 公益靠谱的滚球平台 — 通过D.C. 法律援助中心 — 解决了客户的案子. The landlord was required to make necessary repairs, and the client kept her housing subsidy. Her family now lives in a place that is more healthy, safe, and secure.
靠谱的滚球平台住房权项目: A Community-Wide Response
2013年，D.C. 和D.C. 进入司法委员会 brought together the legal services community and the private bar to address the housing crisis in the District. 这一努力的结果是D.C. Right to 住房 Initiative, a multi-pronged effort with the following four broad goals:
• Provide counsel to tenants facing eviction from subsidized or public housing;
• Revamp the broken shelter and emergency housing system;
• Preserve existing affordable housing and increase production of affordable housing; and
• Litigate to enforce fair housing laws and advocate for policy changes.
The 靠谱的滚球平台住房权项目 is a key piece of this groundbreaking initiative. The project aims to dramatically reduce evictions by increasing access to pro bono representation for people living in subsidized housing, 谁是特别脆弱的租户. The 靠谱的滚球平台住房权项目 guarantees free representation to a percentage of subsidized housing tenants who are sued for eviction.
The significant impact of pro bono representation is evident: A recent analysis demonstrated that 靠谱的滚球平台住房权项目 clients are 5 times less likely to get a writ of restitution (the order that allows U.S. 法警安排驱逐)和3.5 times more likely to enter into settlement agreements.
The 靠谱的滚球平台住房权项目 is a collaborative effort between District legal services providers and law firms. 故选D.C. 法律援助中心, participating organizations include 都市面包, 哥伦比亚特区法律援助协会, 及长者法律顾问. 14家靠谱的滚球平台事务所已经签署了该项目的协议. 四家靠谱的滚球平台事务所，盛德国际靠谱的滚球平台事务所，欧华靠谱的滚球平台事务所，詹纳靠谱的滚球平台事务所 & 布洛克和霍根·洛弗尔斯，与D.C. 法律援助中心 to accept subsidized housing cases.
过去D.C. 酒吧 President Timothy Webster has personally seen the impact of this initiative.
“I have taken two cases and they have been eye-opening. Sitting in my comfortable office at Sidley Austin it is hard to imagine there are people who can’t afford to pay their $100 share of subsidized rent some months or whose apartments are so cold in the winter that their family has to live and sleep in the living room for warmth. 但是在我们的社区里有很多这样的人, and this initiative is designed to get them the help they need in their time of crisis.”
We aspire to offer counsel to all tenants living in subsidized housing who are facing eviction as pro bono and staff resources increase.
Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown Law Center
华盛顿靠谱的滚球平台s Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs
For more information, please contact 住房 Staff Attorney Lauren King at (电子邮件保护).