Help LUCHA Prevent Eviction This Holiday Season!
Suporting LUCHA’s Legal Assistance Work
In addition to its extensive education and outreach work, The LUCHA Law Project also provides pro-bono legal services to low-income community members who cannot afford legal representation. It would be impossible for LUCHA to provide these services without generous contributions and support.
To this end, LUCHA asks that you please consider making a charitable donation today to support our goal of helping those who need free housing legal services. Below we share an eviction prevention story which captures the heart and spirit of LUCHA’s legal work… one story of hundreds.
Not only are we very excited to share such results with you, but we are also thrilled about what lies ahead for The LUCHA Law Project in 2016 and beyond. More updates are forthcoming in the near future … In the meantime, here’s to a joyful 2015 holiday season as LUCHA continues pressing towards its goal of facilitating decent and affordable housing for ALL community members.
Ana Margarita Irizarry
LUCHA Law Project Manager
Celebrating LUCHA’s Pro-Bono Legal Services
A LUCHA Law Project client found themselves in a tough predicament in early 2015 after helping their adult son (who is afflicted with alcoholism) pay his rent.* The client (who is middle-aged and suffered a cerebral embolism in recent years) receives a monthly disability check as their only source of monthly income. So while the client was able to help their son maintain his housing, the client, unfortunately, was unable to pay their own rent. An eviction letter soon followed.
At that point, the client realized the gravity and unsustainable nature of the situation. “I cried because I knew I put myself in this situation and I never want to be there again,” the client said. “You never want to see that eviction letter.”
LUCHA Provides Needed Help
Thankfully, a partnering organization referred the client to The LUCHA Law Project to meet with LUCHA’s Law Project Manager and in-house counsel, Ana Margarita Irizarry. The client noted that this free service was a “wonderful” experience that involved helpful direction and support without judgment or criticism – most of which transcends the notion of pure “legal services.”
For example, LUCHA initially advised the client to seek additional help from their other adult children and family members, but the client indicated this was not a realistic option. “I’m too stubborn for that,” the client indicated. I wanted to fix it myself, so I never want my other children and family members to know.”
In light of this, LUCHA spoke with the client’s landlord to discuss solutions which would help the client get back on track with rent payments. LUCHA was then able to persuade the landlord to accept a rental payment plan which the client could realistically meet. LUCHA has a strong track record in negotiating such payment plans with the tenants of its 153 units of affordable rental housing, so LUCHA was able to leverage this history of successfully facilitating rent rehabilitation programs. Thus, LUCHA provided the landlord with a solid plan which mitigated the fears common in such situations.
A Thankful Community Member
Almost a year later, the client still lives in their home and no longer worries about the prospect of eviction. “I’m so happy,” the client notes. “Now I feel like I can breathe better. If I had wings, I could fly.”
*The client does not want to be identified by name or gender.