Sending Office: Office of the Majority Whip
No one should be homeless because they can’t afford a lawyer—cosponsor of Legal Assistance to Prevent Evictions Act of 2020
Supporting Organizations: National Low Income Housing Coalition, National Housing Law Project, Housing Assistance Council, National Coalition for a Civil Rights to Counsel, Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Fair Housing Project, SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center
More than 6,300 Americans are evicted every day—nearly one eviction every four minutes. Low income women, especially racial minorities, are at particularly high risk of eviction. Nearly one in three American households pay more than 30 percent of their
income on housing—the standard measure of affordability—due to household incomes failing to keep up with climbing rents. For one in six households, more than half of their income goes to housing. Families cost-burdened by unaffordable rent are just one bad
break away from eviction.
Only 10 percent of tenants in eviction cases have legal representation, while 90 percent of landlords do. This disparity results in significantly more evictions, with lasting negative consequences to evicted families, than would occur if more tenants were
represented by counsel.
To ensure that all tenants facing eviction receive fair consideration in the legal process, we invite you to join us in cosponsoring the
Legal Assistance to Prevent Evictions Act of 2020. This legislation would:
- Provide grants to non-profit or governmental entities to provide no-cost legal assistance to low-income and cost-burdened tenants facing eviction.
- Favor organizations that have a track record of providing legal services to low-income populations and provide services in census tracts with high rates of eviction.
- Give preference to jurisdictions that promote tenant rights, including a right to counsel in eviction cases, while ensuring that all grants supplement, rather than supplant, existing efforts.
- Ensure that grant funds assist tenants in both rural and urban areas.
While homelessness is a complex issue that is difficult to solve, some aspects of it are not difficult.
No one should be homeless because they can’t afford a lawyer. There is nothing more important to ensuring an individual remains a vital, contributing member of the community—and to ensuring that communities remain vibrant—than ensuring
they have a stable roof over their head.
The Legal Assistance to Prevent Evictions Act of 2020 would provide much-needed assistance to communities across America. To cosponsor, please contact Matthew Ellison in Majority Whip Clyburn’s office at
James E. Clyburn David E. Price
Yvette D. Clarke Ro Khanna
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