In 2014, 55 attorneys donated more than 3700 hours to the Pro Bono Program at Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing (LCBH) helping families in crisis. In the process, these attorneys developed their litigation skills, learned a new area of law, created new professional relationships and most importantly MADE A DIFFERENCE in the lives of many Chicago renters! Here are some highlights from the LCBH Pro Bono Program from just the 1st quarter of 2015:
- Helped a Bosnian refugee suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) stay in her subsidized apartment after the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) tried to evict her for complaining about late-night noise in the building.
- Settled an affirmative lawsuit against a large bank for over $20,000 after the bank violated the tenant protections of the Keep Chicago Renting Ordinance (KCRO).
- Successfully argued a Motion to Dismiss an eviction case on behalf of a previously homeless client and then partnered with LCBH’s supportive services team to help her locate new housing.
- Persuaded a management company to voluntarily dismiss a case against a tenant in an SRO (single room occupancy building) who was in eviction court because his landlord wanted to renovate the building and increase the rents to price out the current tenants.
- Negotiated a “pay and stay” agreement on behalf of a tenant who fell behind on his rent after he had surgery and had to temporarily reduce his work hours.
- Settled an appellate case with a $6,000 cash settlement for a tenant who had been illegally locked out of his rental home after foreclosure.
- Represented a survivor of domestic violence and settled her case providing her with the time needed to find new housing and start over without her abuser.
- Worked with a tenant to stop “source of income” discrimination when a prospective landlord denied his rental application because he received assistance from a third-party social service agency.
- Facilitated a partnership between Mexico Solidarity Network and the Pro Bono Network by finding a pro bono attorney to handle the lease negotiations and other legal needs of the agency as they embark on their first acquisition through a community land trust.
To learn more about volunteer opportunities with LCBH, please contact Pro Bono Coordinator Samira Nazem at [email protected].