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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Mayors Fund LA recruits 200 lawyers for free legal aid to tenants facing eviction

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A nonprofit organization, Mayors Fund LA, has recruited over 200 lawyers to provide free legal assistance to tenants facing eviction after the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

According to LAist, an online publication, Mayors Fund LA (mayorsfundla.org) has enlisted these lawyers to volunteer their services. L.A. Mayor Karen Bass serves as an advisor to the organization.

Mayors Fund LA plans to invest $1.1 million annually for the next four years in free tenant legal defense. The initiative will include attorneys from major law firms who have worked with Mayor Bass and others.

The organization reports that it has already recruited 200 of the 300 lawyers needed to represent tenants at risk of eviction. These lawyers are currently analyzing eviction cases and providing legal advice.

More than 80% of tenants who receive eviction notices are unable to afford an attorney due to financial constraints, as noted by the organization. This often leaves tenants without adequate legal representation in court. Conversely, a UCLA study found that 95% of landlords issuing eviction notices to tenants hired an attorney.

“We need to protect people caught in the homeless crisis,” CEO Cowenie Collis stated. “Protecting tenants is integral to successful homelessness policies.”

Mayors Fund LA was established to support tenants and address homelessness, a key focus for Mayor Bass. The LA City Controller’s Office reports that more than 66,000 eviction notices have been issued since February, with 96 percent being due to failure to pay rent.

BY HYOUNGJAE KIM, JUNHAN PARK    [kim.ian@koreadaily.com]