Testimony in Support of the Philadelphia Neighborhood Preservation Initiative

Today, October 14, City Council unanimously passed the 2021-2022 Neighborhood Preservation Initiative Program Statement and Budget to provide significant new funding for affordable housing, first time home buyers, home repair programs, small businesses, rental assistance, eviction prevention, and tangled title representation.  Community Legal Services strongly supports this new funding.  Michael Froehlich, Managing Attorney of CLS’s Homeownership and Consumer…

COVID-19’s Impact on Race and Housing Security Across Philadelphia: Philadelphia Renters Report

Read the full report  Racial and economic disparities in affordable housing existed long before the COVID-19 pandemic, and yet, new data from the US Census Bureau suggest that the pandemic and the ensuing economic fallout are only widening these divides. When paired with a global pandemic, we anticipate a national wave of homelessness that will…

Report: Breaking the Record: Dismantling the Barriers Eviction Records Place on Housing Opportunities

Each of the nearly 20,000 eviction complaints filed in Philadelphia Municipal Court each year carries a lifelong blemish on a person’s tenancy records, regardless of the outcome of the case. There is no presumption of innocence – even when a tenant wins in court or enters an amicable agreement to preserve housing, the filing alone…

IMPACT: Mr. M

Mr. M contacted Community Legal Services’ Housing Hotline, frantic that he and his four children would be homeless. Only a month earlier, he paid his first and last month’s rent along with a security deposit to a woman claiming to be the owner of the home he and his family were now living in. As it turned out, she had lost the property at a sheriff sale months prior to this transaction. On top of that, Mr. M was served with an eviction complaint, filed by the actual owner against a different tenant “and all occupants.”  Even though he had no idea who the named defendants were, he stood to be evicted as a result of this complaint against them.