For clients, the Legal Clinic for the Disabled’s (LCD) support can mean the difference between having a home and becoming homeless. Staff attorney Evan Barker recently provided invaluable aid to his client, Pam, who was facing eviction as well as habitability issues in her home.
Pam’s apartment was funded partially by a Housing Voucher through Housing and Urban Development. Pam had been in this apartment for some time, and while she had consistently been paying rent – plumbing related issues, including sewage and water damage, arose within the apartment. As a result, Pam began withholding her rent, a tactic which can force a landlord into making repairs. Through several hearings in municipal court, over the course of multiple months, Pam miscalculated the amount of money she would owe if the repairs were made. Due to the prolonged time period, and the complexity of the Voucher issue, Evan worked with the Landlord’s attorney to determine the actual amount that Pam owed. Additionally, due to the type of Housing Assistance Pam was receiving, Evan was unable to move her to a different apartment, while retaining the Voucher.
After putting in the necessary time and energy of sifting through paperwork and discussions with opposing counsel, Evan and the opposing counsel came to an agreement on the actual amount Pam owed. Once this was established, Evan negotiated a better resolution for his client, saving her a large amount of money.
Once the terms were agreed upon, Pam was able to stay in her home without a Judgment by Agreement on her record and her case was settled. Funds for the settlement came from the Francis Fund, a pool of Funding administered by Project Home in Celebration of Pope Francis coming to Philadelphia. Additionally, Pam’s landlord made the necessary repairs to the unit.
Thanks to Evan’s hard work and resolve, Pam is living in her home, free from the worry of eviction.