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CORT First Friday Webinar: Collaborating to Affect a Crisis: ILS's Eviction Avoidance Project

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  • Details:

  • Starts: 06/07/2019 - 09:30 AM

  • Ends: 06/07/2019 - 10:30 AM

  • Interest Area:

Housing Law

  • Information:

Please join ILS attorney Michael Hurst as he discusses The Eviction Avoidance Project. EAP is ILS’s effort to combat the Marion County “eviction epidemic,” an issue that does not get much attention but is having a devastating impact on the working poor people of Indianapolis, who tend to be one missed paycheck away from eviction. Depending on the data source, Indianapolis has either the second- or fourth-worst eviction rate in the country.

The EAP combines two proven legal aid approaches: (1) right to counsel, and (2) community collaboration. "Right to counsel" means that all eligible clients will receive representation, regardless of the legal defenses available in their case. Clients are “eligible” if they are (1) facing the threat of eviction; (2) have not been evicted by the court yet, and (3) have some sort of vulnerability (history of homelessness, disability, young children in the home, criminal or eviction history, etc.) that decreases their chances of sustaining or finding stable housing.

Some EAP clients self-refer, but the vast majority are referred by community partners. Partners include other social service organizations, re-entry groups, mental health and substance abuse treatment organizations, schools, and local government.

Once referred, eligible clients receive representation up to the “possession hearing,” where the court determines whether the landlord is entitled to retake the property. ILS also has partnered with the IU School of Social Work to provide a social work extern to link EAP clients with community resources.

The Webinar will include more information on the design and implementation of the EAP, a review of our outcomes after six months, and a discussion of lessons learned and plans for moving the project forward.

For more information and documents, see the training event on the CORT website.