[District of Columbia, October 24, 2022] – The DC Bar Foundation announces the release of its Civil Legal Counsel Projects Program Biannual Progress Report. The Civil Legal Counsel Projects Program (CLCPP) is a grant program established by the Expanding Access to Justice Amendment Act enacted by the Council of the District of Columbia in July 2017. Grants are administered by the DC Bar Foundation and awarded to legal services organizations in the District of Columbia to provide legal assistance to DC residents with low incomes who are facing or at risk of eviction proceedings or the loss of a housing subsidy. The report covers the period from January 1 to June 30, 2022, which is significant because the eviction moratorium ended in January 2022. During the reporting period:
Landlords were allowed to file an eviction complaint for any alleged lease violation. The CLCPP partners worked on 1,311 cases, assisting 1,113 clients and impacting 2,221 household members. These numbers are almost as high as pre-pandemic levels – even with the recently-enacted tenant protections in place, including restrictions on when landlords could seek an eviction, strengthened notice requirements, and more time for the tenant to respond to the eviction or vacate the rental unit.
Of the 1,113 clients served, 61% identified as female, 76% as Black or African American, and 9% as Hispanic or Latino/a. Half (50%) of all clients were between 36 and 59 years old, and almost one-quarter (22%) were 60 or older.
Across the 261 eviction cases with outcome data, 228 (87%) tenants retained possession of the unit and reverted to the landlord in 33 (13%) cases. This result is encouraging and is higher than the percentage of cases from all the prior periods that ended with tenant possession (77%).
CLCPP partners continued to improve the Landlord Tenant Legal Assistance Network (LTLAN), which operates a single phone line for litigants to call, Monday–Friday from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. During the current reporting period, the LTLAN saw a significant increase in calls, receiving 2,298 total calls.
CLCPP partners also collaborated with community organizations to design and implement a strategic partnership to prevent evictions by connecting tenants with the financial and legal resources to resolve housing disputes before an eviction complaint is filed.
The report warns that, in the next reporting period, if the current upward trend continues, eviction filings could rebound to pre-pandemic levels, yielding more significant numbers of tenants needing legal help. Click this link to read the full report. Visit our website to learn more about the Civil Legal Counsel Projects Program. About the DC Bar Foundation: We are committed to transforming DC's legal aid network so that all District residents have a fair and equal legal experience. Through our network approach, we actively work to bring together all invested stakeholders to identify and address the unmet civil legal needs of underserved DC residents, create solutions with a critical eye for racial justice and equity, and demonstrate meaningful impact.