[District of Columbia, April 26, 2023] – 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. The DC Bar Foundation administers grants and, in 2022, made awards to six legal services organizations in the District of Columbia to provide legal assistance to DC residents with low incomes facing or at risk of eviction proceedings or the loss of a housing subsidy.
The latest report covers the period from July 1 to December 31, 2022. Report highlights during this period include:
Cases closed, and residents served. CLCPP partners served 1,309 tenants with 1,457 cases. Tenants in every DC Ward have accessed the CLCPP services. Still, Black residents, who account for 8 of 10 CLCPP clients, disproportionately experience eviction risk – most notably Black women, who account for more than half of the tenants the CLCPP network serves.
Shifting services to address immediate needs. While the percentage of clients facing an eviction complaint increased in the reporting period, many cases did not have a meritorious defense. CLCPP attorneys strategically shifted their services from limited or full representation to advice and counsel to help these tenants mitigate the legal consequences of eviction. This change was partially the result of landlords demanding large sums of back rent that had accrued during the public health emergency and moratorium period and the expiration of Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) funds. The confluence of these factors left tenants facing a demand for back rent that they did not, and would not, have the resources to pay.
Favorable case outcomes. Among the CLCPP tenants who received limited or full representation and whose cases had available outcome data, over 90% of those who wished to stay in their rental unit were able to, and 60% of those who had to move indicated that they wanted to.
You can read the full report at this link.
About the DC Bar Foundation: We are committed to transforming DC's legal aid network so all District residents have a fair and equal legal experience. Through our network approach, we actively 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.