The Philadelphia Landlord/Tenant Legal Help Center (LTHC), our nonprofit partner, is Philadelphia’s first legal assistance project with in-court services. Notably, LTHC provides free legal services to low-income individuals of all ages who are at risk of eviction or are experiencing other housing rental issues. The LTHC is a collaborative legal aid project working towards securing equal access to justice for underrepresented and low-income tenants in Philadelphia.
The LTHC was established by a $500,000 City Council budget allocation effort, led by Councilwoman Helen Gym, to implement Mayor Kenney’s Philadelphia Eviction Prevention Project. The LTHC is organized by a collaborative effort of legal aid organizations, pro bono volunteers, and court leaders, including Community Legal Services, SeniorLAW Center, and Regional Housing Legal Services. This collaborative effort was designed to address the enormous need for legal representation for tenants, only 7% percent of whom were represented in court from 2007 to 2016.
Although legal representation for low-income tenants has seldom received funding for extensive studies, the Philadelphia Bar Association commissioned a study that revealed that 78% of tenants without legal representation are evicted, while only 5% of those with representation are evicted. Amid the eviction crisis in Philadelphia, LTHC is a vital access point for representation and advice. In the past 6 months, LTHC has helped over 300 tenants, with many of them receiving full representation from a lawyer.
At the Help Center, tenants are able to have private meetings with attorneys, learn about their rights and responsibilities and the legal process, obtain advice and guidance, and connect with financial, housing counseling, and other resources. The Help Center is located in the Philadelphia Municipal Court, Room 1009, and offers translation services for tenants. The efforts of the LTHC staff are helping level the playing field of legal representation in Philadelphia.
Learn more about the Philadelphia Landlord/Tenant Legal Help Center.