Category Archives: Housing

Section 8 blog graphic

A “Golden Ticket” Doesn’t Guarantee Admittance

By | Food for thought, Housing, Legal Aid | No Comments

By: Eric Dunn, Attorney at the Northwest Justice Project

On September 29th, The Seattle-Times ran a compelling story about Seattle bartender Dana Disharoon and her struggle to find housing for herself and her family in Seattle with a “Housing Choice Voucher” (formerly known as a “Section 8 voucher”).  The somewhat ironic headline called the voucher her “golden ticket to landing a home,” while the story itself chronicled Ms. Disharoon’s frustrating interactions with landlords and property management firms, social service agencies, and other players in the leasing game.  And several of those experiences were particularly frustrating because they were legally dubious—if not blatantly contrary to law. So why can’t a participant of the Section 8 voucher program find housing? As demonstrated by Ms. Disharoon’s case, it’s because some people don’t play by the rules.  Read More

CEH rare brief one time

Civil Legal Aid Meets Ending Homelessness in King County

By | Homelessness, Housing, Legal Aid | No Comments
By: Alex KF Doolittle, Executive Director of Seattle Community Law Center

I believe that homelessness is a symptom of poverty. Homelessness occurs to the most vulnerable among us, and yet, a lot of people are closer to homelessness than they think.  Depending on the source of the research, roughly one-third of Americans are just one paycheck away from the streets.  The reasons that people are homeless are many and varied, and this is where legal aid helps.  Loss of income, landlord disputes, and foreclosures are all examples of hardships that can cause one to become homeless, and they are all examples of civil problems that legal aid helps low-income people solve.

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housing justice project client

Housing Justice Project: Preventing Homelessness for Vulnerable Families in King County

By | Housing | No Comments
Article and photographs by: Eric Gonzalez Alfaro, Equal Justice Coalition Director

King County’s Housing Justice Project (HJP) is an emergency eviction defense clinic. The clinic has offices in the King County Superior Courthouse in downtown Seattle as well as the Kent Maleng Regional Justice Center. Both offices are located just down the hall from the ex parte courtroom where eviction show cause hearings take place. The location of the clinics gives HJP the unique ability to help low income tenants at risk of eviction on the day of their hearing.

HJP is a part of the King County Bar Association’s Pro Bono Services Division. The program began in October of 1997, when Aurora Martin, now Executive Director of Columbia Legal Services, and Steve Frederickson, Northwest Justice Project Advocacy Coordinator, sought to create an outlet for low-income tenants to assert their legal rights. Today, the program continues to provide high quality legal services, with increased staffing and volunteer attorney capacity, helping protect housing for over 4,000 people each year. Read More