Monday, October 22, 2018
Recently Professor Brian Gilmore, of Michigan State University College of Law wrote on the need for lawyers for low and moderate income tenants facing eviction. The piece was published in the New York Times.
Prof. Gilmore notes the frightening statistics in a report by Princeton University’s Eviction Lab. Prof Gilmore confirmed what "housing advocates and public-interest housing law scholars have always known: Evictions from rental housing are a national epidemic."
Prof. Gilmore further noted that "Over two million United States families were forced from their homes in 2017, in big and small cities alike. In some states, like Virginia, which has five of the top 10 cities on the list of cities with most evictions, the number of renters who have faced eviction is jarring."
Calling eviction is the civil equivalent of capital punishment, Prof. Gilmore cites eviction as a major cause of homelessness. Taking a human rights perspective, Prof. Gilmore describes those evicted as "suffering civil death in society. They lose not only their housing but also their independence and dignity, often becoming isolated and hopeless."
In a powerful advocacy piece, Prof. Gilmore calls for appointment of lawyers for those being evicted in an attempt to balance advocacy in a court process where 90% of landlords have lawyers while 10% of tenants have counsel.
To read the entire opinion piece, click here.