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…

CLS Releases Recommendations for the Biden-Harris Administration

Community Legal Services of Philadelphia (CLS), one of the largest and most respected legal services programs in the nation, congratulates President-Elect Joseph Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris on their successful election. As President-Elect Biden said in a recent speech: “We must make the promise of the country real for everybody — no matter their…

Residentes de Filadelfia: ¿Su vivienda está en ejecución hipotecaria o está atrasado (o a punto de atrasarse) en el pago de su hipoteca? Esto es lo que necesita saber

Actualizado 13 de abril de 2020 Muchos propietarios de vivienda pueden tener problemas para pagar sus hipotecas debido a la pérdida de sus empleos, la reducción de sus ingresos o a una enfermedad relacionada con la COVID-19. Aquí presentamos algunas respuestas a preguntas frecuentes sobre cómo la COVID-19 afecta a los propietarios de vivienda que…

Philadelphians: In Foreclosure, Behind (or About To Be Behind) on Your Mortgage? Here’s What You Need to Know

This information was last updated on Monday, April 13, at 9:00 a.m. En Español Many homeowners may have trouble paying their mortgages because of job loss, reduced income, or illness related to COVID-19. Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about how COVID-19 affects homeowners with mortgages. Topics covered include: what to do if…

Right to Counsel Passes Philadelphia City Council!

Right to Counsel passed unanimously in Philadelphia City Council on November 14! This bill guarantees low income tenants an attorney in eviction cases and is a critical step towards stabilizing communities, stemming the effects of gentrification, and addressing systemic racism & housing discrimination in Philadelphia. Read more about this legislation here and here. Read CLS…

IMPACT: Billie Washington

Billie Washington was struggling to make ends meet. A former home care attendant, she was no longer able to work due to her rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and other illnesses. While waiting for her disability benefits hearing, she began receiving General Assistance. Ms. Washington carefully budgeted the monthly $205.00 to cover her rent, toiletries, medical co-payments, and public transportation to get to doctor’s appointments. When she found out that General Assistance was being eliminated, Ms. Washington felt like she had the rug yanked out from under her. Describing the feeling of desperation, she said, “I was crushed. I just, I didn’t know what I was going to do.”

IMPACT: Cheryl Springs

Cheryl Springs had been paying her rent for years and had the receipts to prove it. She was shocked when she began to receive eviction notices alleging that she owed $1,400 for rent and water bills. Ms. Springs knew she had to find a way to save her family from wrongful eviction.Cheryl: “My daughter has cerebral palsy, and she can’t walk or talk. Why would I not pay rent? We’d be in the street. And I have grandbabies. I can’t do that to them. I have to take care of my family.”Although Ms. Springs showed all of her payment receipts to her landlord, she continued to receive eviction notices and harassing phone calls. Ms. Springs’ landlord also broke the terms of her lease by sending her water bills for the full amount, instead of the usage amount.  Fearing eviction, Ms. Springs came to CLS for help.

IMPACT: Preventing Homelessness

“Community Legal Services is the single most important organization to prevent homelessness.” – Sister Mary Scullion, Executive Director, Project HOMEWhen low-income Philadelphians are threatened with homelessness, Community Legal Services (CLS) tackles tough issues to give our clients a safe place to live. CLS works to prevent many of the causes of homelessness, stabilizing neighborhoods and saving money for the City. It can cost up to $60,000 to put up a family in a shelter, but CLS’ work to keep a family in their home is a fraction of that cost.We prevent homelessness by standing up against: