LSC Briefing to Highlight Legal Aid’s Importance to Americans Facing Eviction

September 4, 2018

WASHINGTON – Members of Congress will join a panel of experts on Thursday, September 6 for a Legal Services Corporation’s (LSC) congressional briefing on the eviction crisis. The briefing, “Legal Aid’s Role in Preventing Evictions,” will explore the importance of legal representation to families facing the threat of eviction. 

This event is held in cooperation with Representatives James E. Clyburn (SC-6) and David E. Price (NC-4). LSC Board Chair John G. Levi will join them in delivering opening remarks before the panel discussion.

With stagnant income levels and rising housing costs, many American families are struggling to acquire affordable housing. The number of evictions has increased across the country, causing families to lose their homes and often bear a financial burden that can hinder their obtaining stable housing in the future. Experts estimate that 2.3 million evictions were filed in 2016—a rate of four every minute.

Legal aid is critical to Americans facing evictions. Reports show that nearly 90% of landlords in evictions cases are represented by an attorney, while 90% of tenants are not. Last year, LSC-funded legal aid organizations across the country helped more than half a million people secure or retain access to safe, affordable housing. Housing cases represent the second largest category of all cases closed by LSC grantees, approximately 28% of cases closed last year. 

This briefing will feature three experts on eviction prevention and a former legal aid client:

  • Audrey Gaskin, former client of Durham Eviction Diversion Program, N.C.
  • Jesse Hamilton McCoy II, James Scott Farrin Senior Lecturing Fellow and Supervising Attorney for the Duke Law School Civil Justice Clinic, N.C.
  • Andrea Loney, Executive Director, South Carolina Legal Services 
  • Raphael Ramos, Director, Legal Action of Wisconsin Eviction Defense Project

LSC President James J. Sandman will moderate the discussion.

The briefing will take place at 2168 Rayburn House Office Building, 12:30-1:30 p.m. EDT. Members of the press are invited to attend.

The event will also be livestreamed via Facebook Live. To view the briefing, visit LSC’s Facebook page. Follow #LSCeviction for updates on Twitter.

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 133 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.