LCBH’s Affordable Housing Preservation Program (AHPP) helps preserve and protect safe, accessible, and affordable housing by providing legal assistance to renters living in unsafe building conditions as a result of deterioration or foreclosure. An important component of AHPP’s community impact is education outreach. AHPP hosts renters’ rights trainings in conjunction with partner organizations to provide information on various topics including evictions, fair housing and renter self-help remedies. In just the first three months of 2014, AHPP has coordinated six building meetings and participated in three renters’ rights training.
At a recent training in Rogers Park, coordinated by Lakeside Community Development Corporation, an LCBH attorney and Spanish speaking staff member met with a group of residents from a large apartment building. Based on attendee questions and Lakeside CDC’s suggested issues, the training covered a range of topics including: information about when a building’s management changes, the meaning of a month to month tenancy and how this differs from a one year lease, and the required steps needed before a landlord can legally change or terminate the terms of a rental agreement.
“Presenting the information in two languages was empowering for the tenants,” said LCBH staff attorney Victoria Ogunsanya. LCBH legal assistant, Santiago Castrillón agreed, “The renters could feel free to ask their housing questions in their first language,” he said, “and learn answers from an attorney who knows renters’ rights.” Renters who attended the training left the meeting empowered with specific knowledge about their rights and responsibilities along with constructive steps they could take to deal with issues they have been facing in their building.
LCBH appreciates the partnerships it has developed with Lakeside Community Development Corporation and other community organizations.