Access to Justice in Action: Howard University’s Fair Housing Clinic
Through our Access to Justice Grants Program, we awarded a grant to Howard University’s Fair Housing Clinic, which focuses on issues related to discrimination, housing conditions, and landlord-tenant issues.
Students enrolled in the Fair Housing Clinic have the unique opportunity to assist clients in real-time as they face legal problems related to their housing. These students often conduct outreach at tenant meetings and lead “know your rights” trainings. They even go door to door in communities with systemic housing problems like building-wide mold or failure to make repairs. They represent more than 100 clients each year, while also staffing an intake line that receives hundreds of calls annually.
At a recent site visit, the Clinic’s program director shared the impact these students can have on their clients:
“Tenants at our clinic report being treated differently as soon as they get a lawyer. And it means something to everyone in the courtroom when they see someone who looks like them in front of the bench. In a recent case, I had a young student lawyer who was working on a very difficult case and was discouraged. An individual came up to her out of nowhere – probably a defendant in the courtroom for another matter – and told her how wonderful it was to see a young person of color in the front of the room. It really put the issue in a new light for my student, and also for us here at the clinic.
To learn more about the many ways your support and partnership makes a lasting impact within the DC community, visit our website.
Tags: Issue 30 (January 2019)