Cy Pres

Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing (LCBH) welcomes cy pres, as well as court settlement awards. The term cy pres comes from the French, “cy pres comme possible,” meaning “as near as possible,” and allows unclaimed settlement funds from class-action suits to be distributed to organizations that are most likely to benefit or pursue the interests of the class. Court settlement awards come about when parties in a case agree that as part of the settlement one party will make a specified dollar contribution to a specific charity and the court approves the settlement.

LCBH is an appropriate recipient of both cy pres and court approved settlement funds. LCBH provides free legal and supportive services for low-income individuals and families throughout Chicago and Cook County to help protect renters from eviction and stabilize their housing. LCBH’s legal information and advocacy benefits renters across Illinois.

Awards can be unrestricted, for general support or be designated to fund legal assistance for a particular population or a specific area of LCBH’s work.

In 2017, 70% of all of LCBH’s clients were women, 67% were black/African American, and 19% Hispanic/Latino. 43% of LCBH’s clients identify as a person with a disability or a member of his/her household has a disability. 11% of clients are senior citizens.

Free legal assistance to individual tenants/renters

  • Eviction defense
  • Pre-litigation eviction diversion
  • Lockouts
  • Fair Housing Act violations
  • Security Deposit recovery
  • Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) violations
  • Keep Chicago Renting Ordinance (KCRO), formally known as the Protecting Tenants in Foreclosed Rental Property Ordinance, violations
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) violations

Free legal assistance to renters in troubled buildings

  • Mass eviction due to gentrification, foreclosure, or building condemnation
  • Illegal SRO (Single Room Occupancy) Conversion
  • Illegal Condominium Conversions

Advocacy and policy

  • Just Cause
  • Rent Stabilization
  • Eviction expungements/sealing
  • Right to Counsel
  • Preservation of Affordable Housing

Please keep LCBH in mind when directing a cy pres or court settlement award. For further information, please contact LCBH’s executive director, Mark Swartz, at (312) 784-3520, or