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Press Release: DC Bar Foundation Releases Civil Legal Counsel Projects Program Report

[District of Columbia, October 19, 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 2023, made awards to seven legal services organizations in the District to provide legal assistance to DC residents with low incomes at risk of eviction or the loss of a housing subsidy or seeking to remedy housing conditions.

The latest report covers the period from January 1 to June 30, 2023. Report highlights during this period include:

Cases closed, and residents served. CLCPP partners served 1,657 tenants, impacting a total of 2,776 household members. Some 506 tenants (36%) had at least one minor child living in the household, 24% had a disability or chronic health condition, and 32% lived in subsidized housing. Of tenants served, 72% identified as Black or African American, and 62% identified as women. Women of color, who disproportionately experience eviction filings, made up 51% of the CLCCP clients. While CLCPP services reached tenants in every District Ward, 46% of clients lived in Wards 7 and 8.

Rent consumes a major part of household income. CLCPP clients spend a significant portion of their income on rent. For the 800 clients whose income and monthly rent were known, 81% spend more than 30% of their household income on rent, while 62% spend more than 50%. The median household income among CLCPP clients served in this reporting period was $1,200 per month, while the fair market value of a 2-bedroom apartment in DC was $1,838.

Coordinated intake system works. For 69 percent of tenants served, the primary entry point to CLCPP services was through the Landlord Tenant Legal Assistance Network (LTLAN), a coordinated intake and referral system established by the CLCPP partners in 2020. Tenants can access help by calling a single phone number or completing an online intake form.

Favorable case outcomes. The CLCPP partners prioritized serving eviction tenants facing an active eviction complaint. Fewer than 5% of CLCCP clients with an active case had a judgment entered against them that put them at risk for lockout. Across the 431 eviction cases with outcome data, 351 (81%) tenants retained possession of the unit, and possession reverted to the landlord in 78 (18%) cases. In many instances where possession reverted to the landlord, the tenant agreed to leave the property or negotiated a departure settlement that mitigated the legal and financial consequences of an eviction and afforded them more agency over the circumstances of their move.

You can read the executive summary at this link or 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.


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