Pro Bono News
Eviction Prevention Project Extends Reach to More Tenants (GA)
Sunday, July 15, 2018
- Gainesville Times
Eviction Prevention Project Extends Reach to More Tenants
"Roach infestations, moldy ceilings, faulty appliances and other deteriorating conditions at properties housing low-income families across Gainesville and Hall County have kept Anthony Davenport busy the last nine months.
“That’s the biggest problems I’m seeing,” he said.
An attorney with the local branch of the Georgia Legal Services Program, Davenport attends weekly eviction hearings in local magistrate court where disputes between tenants and landlords play out.
GLSP has long provided pro bono legal aid for low-income tenants in government subsidized housing, but under Davenport’s leadership, now also represents income-qualifying tenants renting from private landlords.
They are the kinds of individuals and families that are “living one bad experience away,” from choosing between a rent payment, a medical bill or even food on the table, Davenport said.
“We saw an opportunity to help a very, very vulnerable group,” he added. “It broadened our perspective.”
Many evictions occur when tenants stop paying rent because they believe they are owed some recourse for the poor conditions of their homes.
This scenario emerged last year when Gainesville code enforcement targeted several substandard, low-income single-family homes for mandated improvements..."