Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing

Recent Posts

Say hello to LCBH’s newest interns! We’re excited to welcome five interns this summer. They will assist our team with sealing eviction records, pending eviction cases, and researching COVID-19's impact on tenants. Learn more about our Fantastic Five below:

Madeline Alessio
Madeline Alessio (she/her) assists our attorneys with intake and researches evictions that raise fair housing issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A rising 3L at University of Illinois Chicago School of Law, Alessio also helps seal eviction records.
 
“I was incredibly attracted to LCBH’s vision that safe, decent, and affordable housing is a basic human right. I started law school in August 2020, at a time where both the Coronavirus pandemic and housing affordability issues were at crisis-levels. This once-in-a-lifetime experience exposed me to the housing inequality that exists across the United States generally, and Chicago specifically. As I result, I was attracted to the opportunity to work for such a well-respected housing organization. I am the most excited to represent clients in court who need assistance sealing old eviction cases.”

 

LCBH Executive Director Mark Swartz

The last two years have been difficult. Like many of you, I’ve found working remotely and being separated from my colleagues challenging. But as I sit here today, I must say that April 2022 has been one of the most momentous months in my 13-year tenure at LCBH. Several developments have lifted my spirits and they are made even sweeter arriving during Fair Housing Month.

First, Governor Pritzker is poised to sign legislation that will prohibit landlords from refusing to rent based on a tenant’s source of income. While this protection already exists for Chicago renters, this is a fundamental fair housing issue that deserves statewide enforcement. LCBH is proud to be a member of the Illinois Fair Housing Coalition that worked on the legislation. We celebrate the Chicago Fair Housing Alliance and multiple elected officials whose leadership made this victory possible.

Shiva Kooragayala

We recently sat down with Shiva Kooragayala, a volunteer from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Shiva told us how he helped LCBH clients remain housed during the pandemic. Thank you, Shiva!

How did you get involved with LCBH?

I connected to LCBH through Kaitlin Cutshaw. She knew that I have a long-standing interest in working on a variety of housing issues and particularly public and affordable housing policy. I’m trained as an Urban Planner and worked at the Urban Institute, where I researched local and national housing policy. When I got to Skadden, I knew I wanted to continue working in this space as an attorney.

Why is volunteering on matters related to housing important to you?

Housing is a platform for people to improve their lives. While at Northwestern for law school, I spent two years as a clinical advocate and worked on several eviction defense matters in tandem with Legal Aid Chicago. I typically took on cases for tenants who had vouchers or project-based assistance. It was a great experience. Housing is fundamental to everything else. If you lose your voucher, you can’t get back on the list, so you are functionally homeless. Getting access to housing, and keeping it once you have it, is so important.

Skadden attorneys have a long history of volunteering at LCBH. What are some recent examples?

Renter StoriesMore Stories

Kimberly

Kimberly

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented significant challenges for many Chicago renters, where widespread employment cutbacks and shelter-in-place mandates have made paying rent burdensome and nearly o

Miss Wade, Eviction During the Pandemic

Miss Wade

While many assume evictions are not an issue for Chicagoans right now due federal and state evictions moratoria, the reality is quite different.

Gerald: My LCBH Attorney and Court Based Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) Prevented me from being Homeless

Gerald

Our client, Gerald S., has worked hard throughout his career and never missed paying his rent.

Michael: Without my LCBH Attorney, I Would Have Been Homeless

Michael

Our client, "Michael," worked hard throughout his career to save for retirement.

I Wouldn't Wish It On My Worst Enemies

Margie

In 30-plus years in the Logan Square area, Margie had only lived in four different apartments.

Ms. Thomas

Ms. Thomas

Imagine you’re sprawled out on your couch after getting home from work, taking a moment to unwind from the day, thinking about what you might make for dinner.