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This Program Will Give Low Income Residents Free Legal Help to Fight Evictions

Black family being evicted

A Washington D.C. City Council committee has set aside $4.5 million for a new program that will help low-income residents in D.C. fight evictions. The new program offers qualifying low-income families free legal support services.

The new program will offer much-needed support for low-income residents who can't afford a lawyer to fight against eviction proceedings. Councilmember Charles Allen said it will "protect housing and keep them from becoming homeless.”

How to qualify

To qualify for free legal services, applicants must be residents of D.C. and have income up to 200 percent of the poverty line. This equates to about $24,000 per year for one person or $48,000 per year for a household of four people.

While most all landlords have attorneys, most low-income residents do not. This makes it almost impossible for them to avoid eviction or even reach an agreement with the landlord.

If the proposal passes at the end of May, D.C. city council hopes to launch it by October. The program will be administered by the D.C. Bar Foundation, an organization that works with lawyers and law firms to offer free legal services to low-income residents in civil matters.

For more details about the free legal services program, visit www.dcbarfoundation.org

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