DC Bar Foundation Awards $950,000 to Prevent Foreclosures and Redevelop Communities

WASHINGTON, DC — The DC Bar Foundation (DCBF) awarded $950,000 in grants to five two-year projects focused on foreclosure prevention and community redevelopment. Lawyers funded by these grants will provide free civil legal assistance to DC residents living in poverty and who are facing situations including foreclosures, wrongful evictions, poor housing conditions, and expiring housing subsidies.

“From representing elderly individuals who are fighting to remain in their lifelong homes to assisting tenants in negotiating fair building purchase prices, the lawyers funded by our grants will ensure that the most vulnerable in our community have access to justice,” said Kirra L. Jarratt, Executive Director of the DC Bar Foundation. “We believe that over the next two years, this infusion of nearly one million dollars will strengthen DC’s communities, prevent hundreds of foreclosures, and help to preserve affordable housing units for those who are most in need.”

DCBF received the funds for these grants from a settlement on mortgage-related litigation between the U.S. Department of Justice and Citigroup. The settlement provided $2.5 billion for consumer relief, including millions of dollars to Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Account (IOLTA) programs in certain jurisdictions, including the District of Columbia. IOLTA programs, which exist in every state, DC, and the US Virgin Islands, provide funding for civil legal aid by pooling the interest from funds held in trust by lawyers. DCBF awarded these funds as the designated IOLTA administrator for DC.

See a complete list of grantees attached for more details. For additional information about the DC Bar Foundation and its grant programs, visit www.dcbarfoundation.org.

About the DC Bar Foundation: Guided by a vision of equal access to justice regardless of income, the DC Bar Foundation funds and supports civil legal aid for poor, vulnerable, and underserved populations in the District of Columbia. DCBF provides grants, training, and technical assistance to local non-profit legal services organizations, as well as funding to public interest lawyers to help relieve the burden of educational debts. Founded in 1977, the Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) organization and the District’s largest funder of civil legal services.

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THE 2016 RECIPIENTS OF CITIGROUP FORECLOSURE PREVENTION AND COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT GRANTS

The five projects listed below received a total of $950,000 for the grant period starting July 1, 2016 and ending June 30, 2018:

FORECLOSURE PREVENTION LEGAL ASSISTANCE PROJECTS

Legal Counsel for the Elderly Foreclosure Prevention Project
Legal Counsel for the Elderly
$240,000

Legal Aid Society Foreclosure Prevention Project
Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia
$180,000

COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT LEGAL ASSISTANCE PROJECTS

Housing Cooperative Preservation Initiative
Neighborhood Legal Services Program
$270,000

Affordable Housing Initiative
Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless
$150,000

Community Preservation Project
Bread for the City and Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia
$110,000