Remaining Housed During the Pandemic

Like so many during the pandemic, one of our clients, Leyah, lost her job in April due to COVID-19. While she did find other employment, her income was much less than it used to be – and by this fall, she was 3 months behind on rent for her apartment.

In response, Leyah’s landlord filed a lawsuit for rent and possession that would evict her from her home. While she had already applied for rent relief through the CARES Act, her landlord wanted to move quickly with the eviction and was not willing to work with her as she waited for the CARES Act funds to come through. An eviction on Leyah’s record would severely diminish her chances of being able to recover financially and get ahead in the future: evidence shows that eviction is a cause of poverty, making it more difficult for the person to find safe, affordable housing for years to come. Without an attorney to defend the Leyah in a housing case, she would not have someone to negotiate with the landlord or the court.

Positive Outcome

Working together, our legal team was able to protect this woman from eviction, ensuring she had the time she needed to complete the process for CARES Act funds. Our staff attorney, Tiffany Norris, was able to negotiate with the landlord and the court to give Leyah more time to complete the CARES Act application, receive her funds, and pay the rent she owed to her landlord. She says, “As an attorney, I’m able to be a voice for my client who otherwise may be afraid to speak in intimidating situations, such as facing possible eviction from their landlord.” By ensuring the case was dismissed with prejudice, Norris made sure the landlord cannot re-sue Leyah for rent and possession in the future on the same case, and so that she is less at risk of future eviction.


*Names are changed to protect client privacy