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August 24, 2016: Assembly Approves Survivor Bill of Rights (SB 1150)
On August 22, the California Assembly voted in favor of SB 1150, a California bill to address the problems that arise when mortgage servicers refuse to work with homeowners who inherit property but who are not borrowers on the loan. These titled homeowners are often stonewalled by servicers that refuse to speak with them or to allow them to assume and modify the mortgage.
August 10, 2016: NHLP releases memo on families threatened by maturing mortgages in affordable housing
Tens of thousands of units in certain HUD properties are experiencing or facing mortgage maturity or the expiration of use restrictions or assistance. Unassisted tenants in these properties face the serious risk of a rent increase. For FYs 2015 and 2016, Congress has again targeted $5 million for tenant protection vouchers in each year to address this issue.
August 9, 2016: A $1 billion plan to provide integrated solar energy for low-income renters
NHLP joins the California Housing Partnership, California Environmental Justice Alliance, Brightline Defense Project, and the Natural Resources Defense Council sent comments to the California Public Utilities Commission regarding how to spend up to $1 billion from the state’s cap-and-trade tax to pay for solar energy systems to benefit low-income renters....
July 25, 2016: The National Housing Law Project (NHLP) is very pleased to announce the appointment of Shamus Roller as NHLP’s new Executive Director
Shamus Roller will join NHLP as Executive Director on November 1st. He comes to NHLP with expertise in executive leadership, strategic planning, fundraising, coalition building and policy development. Shamus will join NHLP as Executive Director on November 1, filling a vacancy left by Marcia Rosen, who retired in December 2015. He will work within a limited scope from now until November with Susan Stern, who will serve as Interim Executive Director.
His role at NHLP will follow his tenure as Executive Director of Housing California. Robert Pearman, Chairman of NHLP’s Board of Directors notes, “Shamus Roller is widely respected for his many accomplishments and illustrious track record. We are very excited that Shamus will take the helm at NHLP, a storied home of housing champions and great legal minds."
July 15, 2016: New Protections Proposed for Domestic Violence Survivors
Having worked closely with national allies in assisting Senator Jeanne Shaheen's office (D-NH) in developing this critical protection for survivors, NHLP is pleased to support a bill introduced on July 12 by the Senator that would amend the federal Fair Housing Act to explicitly include survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking as a protected class. A study found that more than 10% of all evictions and more than 25% of housing denials involved victims of domestic violence because of the crimes committed against them. “Domestic violence and sexual assault survivors have so many obstacles to overcome – it’s unconscionable that women are removed from their homes and face repeated discrimination simply because of the heinous crimes committed against them,” said Senator Shaheen.
July 13, 2016: NHLP Attorneys presented at the National Legal Aid and Defender Association's Litigation and Advocacy Leaders' Conference
NHLP's Renee Williams, Karlo Ng, and Jessie Cassella recently presented at the National Legal Aid and Defender Association's Litigation and Advocacy Leaders' Conference, where they spoke to experienced and emerging civil legal aid practitioners from across the country. Their presentations explored: emerging issues in housing and domestic violence/ sexual assault, the future of public housing, and frameworks for building broad-based equitable remedies for systemic injustices.
July 11, 2016: Advocates Demand Stronger Lead Poisoning Prevention Strategies in Voucher-Assisted Housing
NHLP, the Shriver Center, and the Health Justice Project at Loyola University Chicago School of Law recently submitted joint comments to HUD to prioritize lead poisoning prevention in the Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection protocol. Lead poisoning causes severe health concerns, such as significant biological and neurological damage affecting cognition, behavior, bodily functions, growth, and development. These concerns are especially dangerous for Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) tenants, who reside in neighborhoods with high rates of lead poisoning where the housing stock predates prohibitions against the use of lead-based paint. More than one-fifth of children from the poorest neighborhoods, where HCV tenants often reside, have alarming levels of lead poisoning. These risks fall heavily on communities of color, who are disproportionately represented in federally assisted housing. For example, African American children are nearly three times more likely than Caucasian children to have highly elevated blood-lead levels and the associated damaging health outcomes. The joint comments request that HUD take a stronger, proactive stance to detect and abate lead before it causes significant, permanent health concerns among HCV tenants, especially in communities of color.
July 5, 2016: Protecting Tenants in Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Communities Nationwide (June 2016)
This webinar provides an overview of the RAD program and explores how legal services attorneys and tenant advocates can secure key RAD tenant rights at each major stage of a RAD conversion. The webinar also draws upon the experiences of tenant advocates in RAD-converting communities nationwide to provide lessons learned and examples of implementation challenges. Click here to view the PowerPoint slides.