We hope our readers saw this New York Times article featured in last week’s issue of BBA Week. While we appreciate the shout out to a 2012 study by the Boston Bar Association (thanks, NYT!), the article included some sobering statistics that shed light on the impact of a booming real estate market on tenants.
Here are some highlights from the article:
- Massachusetts experienced an 11 percent increase in evictions between 2010 and 2013.
- The majority of people facing evictions are people of color, people with disabilities, people who have suffered extreme health crises or a long-term chronic illness.
So, what can be done? Is there any way we can help reverse this startling trend? Well, we wouldn’t be Beyond the Billable if we didn’t offer our readers some way help solve the problem. The BBA’s Lawyer for the Day in the Boston Housing Court Program allows lawyers to give back and directly affect rising eviction rates by assisting unrepresented tenants and landlords directly on site at the Boston Housing Court on eviction day. Consider the following when reading the statistics below – the BBA’s 2012 study on Civil Right to Counsel found that renters with lawyers were two times as likely to avoid eviction than those without. So, what type of difference are we making? Since the program’s inception in 1999, volunteers have assisted more than 15,500 landlords and tenants. This year alone, volunteers assisted over 1,000 individuals.
Impressive numbers aside, there’s always more to do — and we need your help. If you are interested in helping tenants who are facing eviction, and landlords dealing with housing issues, click here to learn more or contact BBA Public Service Programs Coordinator Katie D’Angelo at [email protected].